Marcela Bovio is the renowned Mexican soprano and violinist of the band Stream of Passion. If you are a fan of Marcela’s music you have probably wondered when she would come out with her own solo album. She has often discussed recording a solo record in interviews and through her social media websites. Well, the time has finally come and her first solo album, entitled Unprecedented, will arrive on the world stage on October 15th.
Fans of her work with Stream of Passion will be surprised by the difference in the music contained on Unprecedented, but they will not surprised by the professionalism or quality with which she unleashes it to the world. This album is a departure from her Stream of Passion, heavy metal progressive sound, and is the perfect career transition since Stream of Passion recently hosted their goodbye “tour”. This album is full of classic, deep thinking, and powerfully emotional ballads which will provide an alternative perspective of this talented artist for her fans and friends.
Most of her Stream of Passion fans have already heard and shed tears over the news that the band was ending. What everyone didn’t know was what would happen next. Marcela has always contributed her voice and musicianship to many projects outside of Stream of Passion both in Europe and North America. Last year she sang guest vocals on the single from Anthony Arjen Lucassen’s Gentle Storm, with Anneke Van Giersbergen, and she completed acting and singing in the theater production of Lucassen’s The Human Equation, which was recently brought to life as The Theater Equation in a DVD/Bluray/CD package.
Marcela sings all of the songs on Unprecedented to the accompaniment of only the Dudok Quartet, featuring violinists Judith Van Driel and Marleen Wester, Lotte De Vries on viola and David Farber’s cello. The album was produced by Joost van den Broek and recorded live at Sandlane Recording Facilities in Rijen, The Netherlands.
Marcela is a passionate musician who loves her art and takes it very seriously and this album is the perfect launch for the next stage of her blossoming career. The album opens with arguably one of the best songs, Hay Amigos. It starts quietly, taking control of your ears and never releasing your attention. It is a keeper, and an excellent way to start an album. The violin work helps focus your attention, the Spanish lyrics and full–hearted vocal expression delivering the kind of performance you were waiting and expecting to hear.
The other tracks on the album are also deep emotional expressions of feelings long held and offered to comfort one and all. Often, Marcela sings in her native Spanish and you can feel the commitment to the music even more powerfully in those tracks.
On Treasure Hunter she sings passionately of “Hope out there” to a world troubled by many challenging circumstances. Found! is another song of hope with deep standing bass, violin, passionate lyrics, and Marcela almost shouting out a cry for people to communicate and relate to each other around the world; “we all want to be in someone’s poems”. Dime, or Tell Me, is sung in Spanish with the addition of percussive sounds and slices on the violin which mark a cadence. Her voice does sound best in her native tongue.
Most of the tracks are under 5-minutes, another change from her longer, progier Stream of Passion writing. The Cartographers is full of wonderful violin and lyrics that in many ways describe the evolution of this world travelled artist who grew up in Mexico and now resides in Holland. Powerless opens with soft violin, but contains more of those hopeful lyrics about escaping the realities we are all confronted with daily in the cold machine-driven world which seems to be evolving. Marcela sings, “Cannot leave the past behind. It restrains us and constrains us”. Alicia opens with sad violin notes foretelling a deep personal story, again sung in Spanish and filled with Marcela’s feelings.
Saboteurs is the first “single” from the Unprecedented and it is full of powerful Spanish anthem-like vocals from the beginning. The violin work on this track is the best on the album and it is also Marcela’s best vocal performance. Who are the saboteurs? The things that ultimately hold us back internally, or personally? Or are they something bigger on the world political stage? Bovio lets you choose.
Stars is an operatic powerhouse, unleashing the full soprano magic of this artist. You may be immediately taken back to Il dolce suono, an aria from the opera Lucia di Lammermoor, which was performed during the movie The Fifth Element. I think you will find great comparisons to that excellent work here, only this time without the full supporting orchestra.
Closer The One starts with violin and bass, immediately taking me back to Kate Bush’s Under Ice, with similar opening lyrics that describe confinement; “Confined by haunted walls. I yearn for my saviour’s words. Could you be…the one?” However, this song illuminates the power of promise and hope for the future. Another of the best tracks on the album.
It will be interesting to see and hear what Marcela does next. Get this album and enjoy its operatic splendour.
01. Hay Amores (4:17)
02. The Treasure Hunter (4:46)
03. Found! (4:15)
04. Dime (4:44)
05. The Cartographers (4:14)
06. Powerless (4:26)
07. Alicia (4:19)
08. Saboteurs (4:02)
09. Stars (3:10)
10. The One (5:11)
Total time – 43:24
Marcela Bovio – Voice
The Dudok Quartet –
– Judith Van Driel – Violin
– Marleen Wester – Violin
– Lotte De Vries – Viola
– David Farber – Cello, Violin
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Mexico
Produced By: Joost van den Broek
Date of Release: 23rdSeptember 2016