Michelle Tumes's airy and ethereal-sounding Listen draws the inevitable comparisons to Enya and Sarah McLachlan. But while the title track and "My Constant One" pay homage to these secular sisters, Tumes carves her own aural niche with a densely layered mix of piano, strings, and programmed rhythms. At times, the dreamlike quality of the music enhances Tumes's unique style, although at other moments it nearly suffocates her beautiful voice, as well as a handful of well-crafted songs. Qualms aside, Listen is a formidable debut release from one of contemporary Christian music's most interesting artists. "Heaven Will Be Near Me," "Healing Waters," and the superb "Please Come Back" are the release's shining moments. --Michael Lyttle
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Record Label Sparrow
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.6" Width: 4.6" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 1998
Publisher EMI- CMG DISTRIBUTION #36
ISBN 7474003406 ISBN13 0724385154621 UPC 724385154621
emm gryner not sara mclachlan or enya Jan 23, 2006
there lives in canada...an amazing talent named emm gryner and she is worth a listen ...up until now ..i thought her without a peer ...that is until i heard michelle tumes...and now. well i guess its safe to say that not only does the secular world have dibs on real talent. buy this cd and enjoy a relaxing ,soothing and yet uplifting record.
Michelle Tumes.. Not quite my style. Jul 24, 2004
I bought this album because I had read great reviews on her music. However, I did not personally like her style of singing. It is very hard to actually hear the words of her songs and the background music is very repetitive. I know that this will not be a popular review.. but it is an honest one.
Although I am in my sixties I have a huge variety of female vocalists which include Twila Paris, Kathy Troccoli, Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, Sandi Patty and Point of Grace, just to mention a few. So I have a really varied taste in music. My taste in male singers is even more varied... from the lovely ballads of Michael Card and Dallas Holms, to Charlie Peacock, Steven Curtis Chapman, Ray Boltz, and many more. So I do not feel that I am being unfair to Michelle in writing this review.
Perhaps, if I got one of her later albums, I might have a totally different view of it.
Beautiful Apr 22, 2004
This first album of Michelle Tumes is one of the best musical albums out there in the world. Her music is soothing, inspiring, full of messages of Christ, and excellently done. My favorite track is "Untame Lion", a great one to listen to, and shows just how much Christ loves us, and though he might not be a safe God, he is a God of love. "Healing Waters" and "Listen" are among my other favorite tracks and have great messages as well. Get this album now!
Ethereal Nov 15, 2003
Oh God is the right thing to say here. I love her words and her voice. "Healing Waters" and "Heaven Will Be Near Me" made me cry the first time I heard them. Her voice is beyond words and the music the ethereal. A recommend this to any music lover. Truely blessed woman with a great gift.
Listen...closely Feb 21, 2003
Michelle Tumes, obviously Australian from her accent, is one of the most relaxing and story-telling Christian artists in the whole genre. Her debut, Listen, is an effort to convince listeners of one of God's easiest subjects: His love. The opening title track subtly approaches with distand sounding piano and string tracks followed by her fervent, breathy voice. A gripping intoduction. A few seconds later, exotic percussion and timpani join the accompiament as her over-dubbed voices add to the sudden cool-headed energy of the song. The lyrics hint at God playing a certain rythm in the cores of every individual, urging the listener to "listen to the beat of the drum in you". "Healing Waters" was Tumes' debut single, which impressively landed a position on the WOW1999 compilation. Pure strings precede watery sounding synthesizers and a programmed drum track. The words are basic, yet inspiring. To-the-point lyrical approaches to inspire thought have become common among Christian lyricists. It's simply a prayer for God to help her "dive in the love that rescues" and send his healing waters. "Heaven Will Be Near Me" is one of the few reasons I docked a star off the possible five. The music is intriguing enough, but the lyrics are a bit TOO simple. In fact, it almost feels more appropriate to call the song "I think of you" as that phrase occurs multiple times over the title clause. And instead of establishing a thought train like the song is implied to exist for, it causes a single thought that repeats over and over and gets pretty old pretty fast. The basic resonance is "heaven will be near me when i think of you". Probably a filler track. "Feel" is the most unique on the project. It's surprisingly musically aggressive, with fast-moving minor-progressive piano chords and string ensembles backed by a back-beat drum track. It's an track purposed to inspire the listener to care less about what people say is ethical and to follow what your heart feels, thus the title. The title word is used a little too often (a direct contrast to the previous track), but the music is gripping enough to let that slip go. "Christ Of Hope" is a blessing from Tumes to her family in Australia which she left behind to pursuit music in America. Again she uses different wordings to illustrate the exact same point repeatedly. This is further brought out by the redundant flute track in the background. Not quite as annoying as "Heaven Will Be Near Me", but a slight chore to listen to. "My Constant One" is one of the most outstanding songs I've heard anywhere. It has a very catchy melody with a pleasant synthesizer to open, and a drum track which would have sounded better going half as fast, but it's still incredible. The lyrics are sheer honor to God for never changing, hence the title. The lyrics in themselves are again somewhat redundant (perhaps I'm just spoiled by Nichole Nordeman), but the idea relayed in this song is one that agrees more with repetition, thus not annoying at all. Definitely one of the effort's highlights. "Untame Lion" is an interesting paraphrase of the hints conveyed in C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. The excerpt typed above the provided lyrics of the song inside the album cover explain that the Lion mentioned in the song is infact Narnia's Aslan. Once this is known, the song is so much easier to understand and appreciate. The lyrics are metaphoric, of course, as were the Narnia chronicles, and have a definite artist's touch. Indeed, Tumes wrote all of these songs, and this is another highlighting impression with of course piano and strings and light percussion. "Rest My Soul" isn't quite as fervent or emotional as one would hope. There is however an unnerving interlude meant to illustrate "being caught in the wind of a hurricane" with an according musical sound and sharp lyrics deliberately contrasting with the rest of the song. Perhaps Tumes was trying too hard to make this one sound impressive. It's all easy-going and sunbathing in God's love until that brief hurricane comes to shake up the listener. Rather unnecessary. "Please Come Back", though not included on the WOW compilations was ironically Tumes' biggest hit. A story of the prodigal son serves as another paraphrase here. The musical orientation is obvious of her talent as an artist. The drum track is appropriately tempoed here, thankfully. The only downside to this song is that Tumes chose to hold back on most echo effects, including that of what should have been applied to the strings, particularly at the end. The lack of concert-hall resonance simulation takes away from the drama and emotion of this song. "Life Is Beautiful" is a short autobiography of a young and dreamy Tumes living with her family in a jungle "where daddy worked and she would play". The story tells of provisional lacks in her life, such as an implied complete lack of money, etc. Yet, the friends she had there help her to understand that love is everything and life is beautiful, and so the absence of finances gives way to "diamonds in her eyes" and "castles in the sky". Complete with a track that is strictly piano. "He's Watching Over You" is another example of Tumes' fascination with similarizing her words throughout a song. The title phrase above is all the song manages to say. It would just be eaiser to say "Wherever you go, he's wathing over you, EVEN when..." you get the point. It needs more depth, this project. But the talent is obvious. So four stars.