Anna Gutmanis Wing
"Glimmer In The Dark"
Review by: Len Rogers
The album title, "Glimmer In The Dark" did not prepare this music lover for all that is Anna Gutmanis. My reaction would be more like "Beacon In The Dark". Yes I am familiar with Anna's musical prowess. I made the mistake, I think many have made, in mainly associating her talents with songs of social activism. Not so! Indeed Anna is an activist.
However she is so much more and shares all that exquisiteness with us in "Glimmer In The Dark". A beautiful and soul touching collection of musical subjects which have enriched and been a portion of Anna's life. This could well be a 'best of' CD, however I doubt we have seen or heard enough to make that judgment. Whether songs of; love, friendship, activism,
appreciation, inspiration or loss, Gutmanis is universal in her appeal and comprehension. Anna's activism is human activism so she transcends boundaries of country and or culture. Much like John Lennon's "Imagine", Anna has the ability to touch your soul with a common and shared emotional sense of what is. I would also place Gutmanis in the same category of that legendary songwriter.
There is no let down in "Glimmer In The Dark". From packaging and liner notes to pure musical genius, all is there. The production value of the CD is spot on perfect. Lyrics inspire and warm the heart. They combine with musical accompaniment which carry the listener like a gentle river through twenty-five years of Anna Gutmanis. Sharing the full seasons of her life in a manner which make a permanent place in artistic revelry. To limit Anna to one genre would be close to criminal neglect. I hear influences of folk, rock with a blues edge, some 'get on up' Gospel, and even warm Caribbean rhythms all of which bring the senses to a higher appreciation.
Songs are placed not in chronological order but instead the order of meaning and feel. The entire experience is a musical vision into the person and her experiences. Yet the flow of the album is smooth, sharing messages of life, love, and purpose. Gently setting you down where the next begins. Cradling your senses in such a way that the award winning final tack, "I Am Who I Am" rings like an anthem of spirited self-statement and understanding. I am frequent to say that my favorite part of a CD is hitting the replay button. However once through I found myself using the continual loop feature. And was/am so happy to have that function.
Opening with "First In Love", Anna takes us on a journey back through her time and musical experiences. I say back through as this is the most recent composition. One which sets the tone and stage for what is to come in following tracks. In the title song "Glimmer In The dark" we literally meet and engage the muse who guides this amazing talent. By doing so Anna Gutmanis has opened herself to facilitate a deeper understanding of her experiences and feelings. At the third song, "People (Got To Get It Together) I was entranced and engaged.
"Glimmer In The Dark" is a full serving, (thirteen tracks), of the talents of Anna Gutmanis. I am truly not convinced I could choose one song as a favorite. Just as one song would end and I would think to myself ah that's it. The next song would totally captivate me and a new favorite would slide into place. "Hello Again" brought a few comforting tears as I thought of loved ones and friends who have moved on. Not a depressing experience but rather creating a joy that those friends and loved ones are or have been. Anna is able to speak or sing to such commonly avoided subjects like aging and family with an understanding voice in songs like; "When I Get Out Of Bed" and "Middle Of The Line". Not dark or pessimistic in tone or delivery Anna brings common joy and peace in her lyrics. Touching on everyday experiences like a beach vacation, "In The Sun" to the excitement and expectation that comes with a beginning relationship in "You Won't Be Sorry".
I can honestly say that "Glimmer In The Dark" for me is more than just a beloved CD. The music Anna has shared touches upon many points of my life. Being an activist, getting older, my thirty-two years with Chris, special friendships like Joe who have been with me for thirty-three years, and even the pets I have loved and love in my life. Anna's inclusion of Track 12. - "The Voice Of Bliss" bring the musical snapshot of her to full fruition. All are included. And yes I felt like Anna was singing these songs directly to and about me and my life. Her ability to touch and share is that strong. Without a doubt "Glimmer In The Dark" is one of the most meaningful CD's I have had the pleasure to enjoy and review!
Check out all things Anna Gutmanis and get "Glimmer In The Dark" at Anna's website.
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