We were sent Donna De Lory’s new album ‘HERE IN HEAVEN’ to review.
Madonna fans have always been very fond of Donna De Lory, she’s been singing with Madonna since the Who’s That Girl Tour in 1987 (read our interview HERE) up until the Confessions Tour in 2006. Donna has an incredible voice that mostly showcases in ballads and the mantra’s she known for. Madonna fans have had the chance to attend one of her performances during the Re-Invention and Confessions Tour. The best way to listen to Donna was to lay down on the floor, eyes closed and just drift away. Recently Donna has been reunited with Niki Haris and recorded a few songs including a cover of Madonna’s ‘Rain’. The perfect track to hear why she’s such a brilliant vocalist.
Her new album ‘HERE IN HEAVEN’ is just that…..brilliant. Donna takes you on a journey from the fantastic ‘Heaven’ leading to two covers ‘Listen’ and ‘Never be Mine’ (Kate Bush). ‘Listen’ is so sweet, Donna’s daughter Luci and her third grade classmates sing along to the chorus. Sat Siri takes me back to one of my favorite Donna albums ‘The Lover and the Beloved’. Donna has the capability of creating an intimate setting by just using her voice, truthfully the music is just a bonus. The songs would’ve just been as compelling if she recorded them a-cappella. ‘Piano Man’ is genius in its stripped back manner and shows exactly what I mean with Donna ‘and just her voice’ the music is only an extra. ‘Amor Amor’ is the perfect track for this Summer, sung completely in Spanish. Co-written by her father and featuring him on the piano. There is also a new version of ‘Go Talk to Mary’ a song previously released on her “Bliss” album. The music and vocals both top the earlier version, it is mostly the violin that tugs at your heart. It is beautiful. The album’s closing track is ‘Heaven Meditation’ and that’s just what it does.
I can’t recommend Donna’s HERE IN HEAVEN enough. Madonna fans will be pleased to know that percussionist Luis Conte also worked on this album. If you are looking for music that will lift your spirits, take you on a journey, out of your 9-5 day job, make you drift away in bliss…..HERE IN HEAVEN is for you.
Donna De Lory’s new solo album, HERE IN HEAVEN, is a gorgeous mélange of all the flavors and colors in the gifted singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist’s multifaceted musical world. Beloved for decades as a reigning diva of devotional music, De Lory also has deep roots in heartfelt and expressive pop songcraft. Her vision and breathtaking voice possess the scope and range to embrace all of these influences on HERE IN HEAVEN. The self-produced album blends vibrant Indian and Latin tonalities with contemporary grooves, lavish string arrangements and exquisitely crafted melodies. It all adds up to a masterful musical statement that is deeply personal yet universal in resonance.
De Lory’s keen pop sensibility was honed by two decades of touring the world as Madonna’s back-up singer and dancer, performing in the documentary film Truth or Dare and on the Who’s That Girl, Blonde Ambition, Girlie Show, Drowned World, Reinvention and Confession tours. She grew up in a highly musical household—the daughter of the late, Grammy-winning pianist and producer Al De Lory, who was part of the legendary Wrecking Crew and inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. Her grandfather played in the studio orchestra at Warner Bros. for films including Casablanca and Gone With The Wind.
Following up on the international dancefloor and chart success of her self-titled, 1993 MCA/Universal solo debut album, De Lory went on to extensive recording work with such artists as Bette Midler, Leonard Cohen, Belinda Carlisle, Carly Simon and Selena, to name a few, also lending her voice to film soundtracks. And with her 2004 album of sacred Sanskrit mantras, The Lover and the Beloved, De Lory became one of the foremost voices of the burgeoning world devotional music scene. All of these elements meld together beautifully on HERE IN HEAVEN.
Seven of the album’s nine songs are originals that showcase De Lory’s considerable skill with classic song structures and arrangements. Her evocative melodies and extraordinary voice are framed by pristine instrumentation and percussive grooves. The emotional truths contained in these engaging, accessible tunes are just as uplifting and profound as those of the cherished sacred mantras for which she is so respected. Stylistically, the new album represents a bridge between De Lory’s two musical worlds.
It is an intimately personal work, with songs paying poignant tribute to both her late parents, a passionate Spanish-language ballad, “Amor Amor,” co-written with her father (and featuring him on piano), and inspiring, open-hearted paeans to the beauty of nature and love. She also covers two songs she’s always wanted to record, the moving “Never Be Mine” by Kate Bush and the lilting “Listen” — co-written with singers Avasa and Matty Love and featuring a charming chorus starring Donna’s daughter Luci and her third grade classmates.
Musicians on HERE IN HEAVEN include guitarists James Harrah (Jewel, Madonna, Ray Charles) and Gerry Leonard (David Bowie); percussionists Dave Allen (Michelle Branch) and Luis Conte (Phil Collins, Madonna, James Taylor), and strings player Stevie Blacke (Beck, Rob Thomas, Nelly Furtado), among others. De Lory herself contributes keyboards and harmonium. The album was mixed by studio wiz Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello).
De Lory’s gravity-defying voice is delicate and soaring, a fine instrument that she uses with great subtlety and sensitivity throughout this song cycle, which covers broad ground and touches the soul again and again with its beauty and emotional honesty.
“Donna DeLory doesn’t simply sing or play musical instruments. She invokes. She uplifts.
Her sounds are truly angelic.” ~ Marianne Williamson