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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Anna Cate

Anna Cate

Review by Larry Toering

Anna Cate is a string harpist who combines a lot of genre to encapsulate her amazing style of music and put it into one package. These are some well put together tracks with nothing but pure integrity in blending her instrument, vocals and overall musical approach to a disc that delivers it with sheer precision and grace. First rate songwriting and performing are captured in a CD. There is nothing to do but look forward to more from this talented artist.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
This Old Radio
This begins with a sweeping harp, and ends with one as well. Some lovely piano is included to back it very nicely. In the middle there are all kinds of satisfying melodies to sooth the ears, and a heartfelt vocal that sort of takes the listener back with the artist, as she builds the subject matter around the title. This is excellent in every way!
The Raincloud Song
Bouncing around a bit more on this one, it actually comes to life before you know it. Once again you're in complete Cate mode as she delivers yet another fantastic track with a real universal lyrical concept, particularly for those in the Pacific North West. This is another absolutely fantastic track.
This features a great acoustic guitar arrangement over a sweet vocal, and again it picks up after a teasing opening that leads one to believe it has no pockets of power. However, the overall mellow approach still contains bursts of energy that beef it up so well that it makes the track. Add in the timely orchestrated inflections that top it off and make it another overall pleasant piece that beautifully defines the title.
Your Arms
Things go down a notch in energy but up in vocal delivery. I find this to definitely be one of the more vocally mesmerizing tracks on the disc. The more complex arrangement, though, doesn’t really complement that vocal approach as well as it could, though. That makes it less effective tham some of the others are. Still, it has an equal place here alongside these great tracks.
Full Circle
This is a lighter and overall more abstract cut, and easily one of the most interesting tunes on offer. There are plenty of bursts of that energetic factor already expressed, but it doesn't go as far as some of the others in that department. But it contains all of the other elements these tracks all possess, so it fits as well as can be with them.
The Letter
To close this fine disc we have another slower number, but in terms of backing arrangements this is one of the more masterful compositions. It’s another winning effort from Cate, as she can apparently do no wrong in artistically expressing herself on this great quality recording. This track contains as much to love as anything to be found on this great recording, as she does so with such class and finesse that it's amazing to hear.


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