"First off, as usual, ignore the Rolling Stone blurb above -- "funereal, bewilderment, resignation" ????? Puh-lease. And as for "spooky obsession" -- well, the only thing that comes close is the Boy George look she's adopted for the cover. Otherwise, this album is as beautiful and life-affirming as it gets. It includes two immediately accessible songs of love -- Love is Everything and The Gospel According to Darkness. The latter comes just after another of much more intense conflicted love -- Sweet Incarnadine. She adds to the mix a deathbed celebration of a life fully lived (her own? her mother's?)-- The Vigil and the wonderful duet with k.d. lang Calling All Angels (also availabile on the Until the End of the World soundtrack) and closes with a harmony reprise of Love is Everything. Somehow this CD slipped into the back of my collection for a few years, but heard again on this drizzly Saturday morning and two weeks ago on a perfect early spring day, it goes with both and has the feel of a lost classic rediscovered. Very, very impressive. The only thing it lacks is another song about hockey as in Hockey on Bound by the Beauty, where in two lines Siberry perfectly captures both a moment and the breadth of potential futures: "he'll have that scar on his chin forever someday his girlfriend will say hey where.../he might look out the window...or not...". If you haven't discovered Siberry already, start now!"
The Queen of Quirk get's very serious here
Scott T Mc Nally | ORLANDO, Fl USA | 12/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was first introduced to Jane's work back in 86 by a friend. I went out and bought "No Borders here" She made me snicker alot and also made me sad. Not many recording artists can do that. I later boguht "The Walking", which at times is utterly confusing. Then "Bound By The Beauty" which had a great folksy sing along feel to most of it. Brian Eno called it a masterpiece. "When I Was A Boy" is also a masterpiece. It has elements of her earlier works, but with a much more serious tone to it. The songs here deal for the most part, very directly with love, loss, and death, but you don't come away feeling depressed. "The Vigil" is about the only really conceptual piece here. It seems to be about the death of her mother. I have no idea if her mother has passed or not. Maybe it's just dealing with the loss of anyone's mother. The duet with K.D. Laing on "Calling All Angels" is pure magic. I bought this on cassette for my mother a few years back and told her that this is not typical pop music and about the suject matter. 6 years later she's still hooked on it as well as Joni Mitchell's "Turbulent Indigo" which I bought her the following year. My mother is now 64 and has thanked me repeatedly for introducing here to artists of this caliber. She doesn't play Celine Dionne much any more.Thank God! I'm digressing too much here. This is a must have for anyone who likes Joni Mithchell, Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush or Sarah McLachlan. It simply transports you to places you might fear to tread, but you come back feeling better for it! This year, I sending Mom Jane's sort of Christmas CD, "Child" along with The Chieftains' "The Bells Of Dublin". A far cry from dogs barking "Jingle Bells""
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
email@example.com | Sydney, Australia | 01/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Siberry in 1991 singing Calling All Angels with K.D. Lang in the Wym Wenders movie Until the end of the World, a sci-fi movie aptly passed the Y2K. I thought her vocal was so emotional and secluded at the time but not since the song is called up as the Sydney Olympic theme song this year that I bought the CD When I was a Boy .For some time, I have held Sarah Mclachlan's Fumbling towards Ecstacy as my all time favorite CD for meditation. After listening to Siberry's vocal extravaganza on When I was a Boy, I was simply amazed at her power of musical expressions through songs of utter joy, beauty and sadness. In The Vigil, which is a song of tribute to her father, she went through this musical and cinematic journey that leave my soul completely letting go after each and every listen, and eventually lost in the moonlit darkness.This conceptual CD is not an easy listen (not with the likes of Ms Dion, Carey or Enya) but it will grow on you time after time and lead you to a new place at the end of each journey. A must have CD for casual music lovers and audiophiles alike, and a super-fix for myself."
Uniter | Minneapolis, MN | 03/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is doubtless one of the finest compilations in the music world. Exploring love from all perspectives: ups and downs, in and outs and from beginnings(mmmm...gimme) to (especially) endings, this a true masterpiece. The songs are moving and the production is flawless. The kind of album you want to listen to in the dark and be carried away. It upsets me to see this CD in the used stores, because I wonder how could anyone trade it in? I've given it myself to friends and family alike, simply because it is a jewel to be treasured. Her voice is beautiful and her articulation delicate. "The Vigil" brought even my mother to tears! The song "It Can't Rain All The Time" from "The Crow" soundtrack is cut from the same mold. I only hope she returns to writing and producing original music. I think there is still a lot of emotion residing there yet to be shared by her admiring fans."
Extraordinarily difficult, but impressive.
Uniter | 05/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This record has always captivated me since I bought in in 1996 even though it is an extraordinarily difficult listen for anyone, especially in a country like Australia, where its autumnal tone is so antithetical to a culture obsessed with the beach and ridiculously hot weather.
However, Siberry is a highly expressive singer and this album was positively beautiful and lushly expressive. Her lyrics, in contrast to the worldy themes of previous albums, were focused on spirituality and coping with darkness. Indeed, occasionally ("All The Candles In The World") the lyrics are almost religious, yet Siberry shows she can rival Kate Bush as "The Sophia of popular music", especially on "Temple", "The Gospel According To Darkness" and the k.d. lang duet "Calling All Angels", all of which stand out as beautifully moving pieces after many listens, aided by the melodic viola and cello fighures that complement Siberry's songs to great effect.
The standout songs were the opener "Temple" on which Siberry expressed with wonderful internsity the pain of unrequitted love, "The Gospel According To Darkness" a beautiful and lush anthem about not finding love, the danceable "All The Candles In The World" and "An Angel Stepped Down", and "Sail Across The Water" a highly melodic tune about loss of wisdom of remarkable beauty. On these songs, Siberry sung with a beauty approaching that of Karen Peris, yet at times her voice had the depth of a gospel choir. Despite her intense spiritual focus, she did not give up her ability to depict the everyday observations of nature that she had concentrated on during the 1980s, as shown on "At The Beginning of Time".
However, many of the longer songs are just so difficult to get into that even years of listening does not permit them to be easily appreciated. The album also contains an unnecessary mix of the underproduced "Love Is Everything", which certainly needed more atmosphere for Siberry's voice to function at its best.
This is a fine companion for a fan of Kate Bush or Karen Peris, despite the fact that it takes almost n listens to appreciate."