Terri~B - "Wrap Me In Your Skin" (Headline 2002, HDL 509, originally released by Stone Premonitions 1998, SPCD 005)

From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)

I first reviewed Terri~B's Wrap Me In Your Skin in AI #8 (October 1999). But in celebration of it's re-release on Hi-Note Music's Headline label, and given that I'm returning to it after nearly 3 years and having heard much more of Terri's music since the original review, I'm giving it a fresh listen with updated comments. For those of you unfamiliar with Terri's work, she is, along with Tim Jones, a founder of the Stone Premonitions label, as well as a prolific songwriter and musician with the bands The Rabbit's Hat, Body Full Of Stars and, most recently, Census Of Hallucinations. She and Tim also create the Alchemical Radio shows which we're so proud to host here at Aural Innovations.

I've always found Kate Bush's early albums to be among the great progressive rock albums by a female artist. Now I'm not comparing the music on Wrap Me In Your Skin to Kate's albums. But it is similar in that a uniquely talented female singer/songwriter/musician has created a hauntingly beautiful collection of songs that is - like all of Terri's work with her Stone Premonitions bands - backed by creatively constructed music that would easily appeal to fans of song-oriented melodic progressive rock.

Terri's voice brings to mind a cross between Kate Bush and Sade, though I've heard so much of her music now that to my ears she has her own recognizable sound. The sultry lounge jazz of "Ephemeral Fire" has the most overtly Sade sound. Jazz influences often spice the music but "Time Will Tell" is the one other track with a strong jazz flavor. "An Only Child", "Menage A Trois" and "Hector" are the songs that struck me as the most primo examples of songs that are indeed "songs", but are backed by music that will make fans of melodic progressive rock swoon. "Listen" and "Girl Power" are the tracks that have the most interesting keyboard work, the former including nice bubbling and bleeping synths and wailing guitar notes, and the latter incorporating a little dose of funk. "Sandalphon" is a standout with freaky guitar and Dub rhythms. "Floating" is one of the spacier songs on the album and also has a touch of the Dub beats. "Baird, My Soul" is the heaviest song on the album and showcases the potent rocking soulful side of Terri as a singer. And the closing track, "Dream World", sees Terri and company journeying off to a place where you can close your eyes and watch as the visions that slumber produces parade before you. A haunting, but not nightmarish, collage of sounds and atmospherics.

The Hi-Note release of Wrap Me In Your Skin includes new artwork, lyrics (ALL of Tim & Terri's releases should have lyrics!), a slightly different lineup of tracks that excludes 4 songs from the original but adds 4 new songs, and includes a bonus version of "Ephemeral Fire" recorded live for the BBC. If you like good songs backed by imaginative music and phenomenal vocals... this is the place.

For more information you can email Stone Premontions at info@archhouse9.fsnet.co.uk.
Wrap Me In Your Skin is distributed by Hi-Note Music. You can visit their web site at: http://www.hinotemusic.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Hi-Note Music; PO Box 26; Windsor; SL4 2YX; UK.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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