Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Grandmothers Tea Leaves
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
Listen to Samples
The biggest sonic thrill you've had in years
Chuck | Ohio | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Emily Bezar's "Grandmother's Tea Leaves" will probably leave you breathless; that is, if you like stunning, pop-influenced art songs written and performed by a classically-trained operatic soprano. Bezar's powerful voice is clearly the centerpiece of this album, where most of the music is acoustic piano augmented with synthesizers and on one track, a string quartet. Her piano work could be compared (albeit on a superficial level) to Tori Amos, but Emily Bezar draws just as much from the classical tradition as from pop, throwing out chord progressions that sound more like late Debussy or Ravel than any modern singer/songwriter. At times, bits of atonality creep into her work, and she can walk a brilliantly thin line between harmonious tonality and chaos (the title track is a perfect example of this fragile equilibrium, as the almost musical theater-sounding lushness of the melody periodically teeters on insanity). Her voice sounds like a cross between Kate Bush's high register, Dawn Upshaw all over, and a bit of Tori Amos' drama; she was trained at Oberlin in both piano and voice, and it shows in both her flawless vocal and instrumental technique. (She wrote, sequenced, arranged and played on every track.) My personal favorites are the 11-minute "Just Like Orestes", where she uses a vocoder and makes fabulous leaps that stretch the bounds of tonality, and "Madame's Reverie", an equally long avant-garde pieces which ends the album in an almost ambient sonic collage. I should emphasize that while this is most certainly NOT for everyone, it may appeal to both fans of more abstract popular music and classical art song tradition, and is without a doubt one of the most original and beautiful releases of the last decade."
Finding answers you never will believe
moongrenadine | high point, NC | 02/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"emily bezar is so deserving of great attention from critics, musicians, and naturally music buyers but it seems she is still so over looked. why is that? ms bezar has the most lovely voice one could ever hope to hear and lyrics which certainly rival all conventional pop artists. on top of that, she produces these spectacular albums which no one has ever heard of. while the obvious contemporary artists one might compare ms. bezar to would most likely be a kate bush or tori amos, bezar seems a little less eccentric and perhaps her musc veers away from the melodrama which often floods our more conventional wonders. her lyrics may close our eyes at first and place us under a wonderful trance only to open them in places we could've never imagined. ms. bezar gives excellent insight and her writing almost reminds me of an 18th or 19th century poet which one might read on a cool summer's afternoon. emily is the kind of poet that one might've read in an advanced english study while still in school but her work should definately not be confined to any classroom. through her grandmother's tea leaves, we all could very well find answers or ending which you'd never believe. ms bezar has made a believer out of me. try tracks grandmother's tea leaves or just like orestes just to see what i'm talking about."
Beautiful and unique
Root Of All Evil | Sacramento, CA United States | 12/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm going to preface my glowing review by saying that I can completely understand why someone wouldn't like this album. And that's evidently a common reaction since I found this CD in the "dollar bin" in my local used record store about 10 years ago. The progressions are strange and initially off-putting to ears (like mine) that are conditioned by years of safe, formulaic pop music. My first reaction to Emily Bezar's unconventional style of music was not favorable. But I continued listening and as I did, I began to appreciate the unique beauty of it. That free-form, piano-heavy, pseudo-operatic style is water that Kate Bush and Tori Amos have dipped their toes into a few times over the years in their more adventurous work but Emily Bezar dives in head-first. I describe it as the soundtrack to a pleasant dream with a nightmare lurking just below the surface. It's at once comforting and disconcerting, an emotional dichotomy that I really enjoy.
This album certainly isn't for everyone, but I absolutely love it.