This is a reissue of Beverley Glenn-Copelands album that he self-released 15 years ago as Phynix, If your unfamiliar with his works he is a well-known Transgender activist having transitioned to being a man and is a performer who among other things in his long career was one of the writers on Sesame Street and this album straddles various genres from Opera to dance and jazz to make a wonderful hybrid somewhere close to Malcolm Mclaren's Madame Butterfly strained through some of Wendy Carlos' musical landscape and all sorts of other things besides to bewitch and draw the listener in to a wonderfully mature album by an artist who is now well into his 70's.
From the opening song La Vita it's clear we are in similar territory to Malcolm Mclaren's Madame Butterfly in how this fuses Opera to dance music that allows it to wallow in beauty and make a really striking and affecting sound as the lyrics implore us to enjoy our lives.
Back to Bachland obviously has re-worked some of the maestros work to create a very gentle and rather moving song about the mysteries of time. Heaven In Your Heart has a darker sound to it almost like some of Adrian Sherwood's experimental sounds with Beverley singing gently over the top in a way that sort of reminds me of Nico's My Heart Is Empty but with a sort of Choral edge to it a rather beguiling song as we all want to find an angel.
Between The Veils has a very middle eastern feel to it like he is trying to dance in the middle of a sandstorm as the music gentle builds and the song slowly unfurls and wraps itself around your ears with the electronic pulses coming in and out as the strings swirl around and what sounds like a recorder adds an interesting counterbalance to the vocals.
This Side Of Grace uses an organ in a way that almost makes this song a gospel belter and the lyrical content only enhances that feeling as the voices swirl around and draw you into what has suddenly happened so that this sounds like a wondrous modern hymn.
In The Image seems to re-work the Happy Mondays Step On rhythm to good effect as some brooding vocals come over the reasonably sparse percussive backing that as it builds could almost be perfect for a marching band routine.
A Little Talk has a bit of a Nuyorican soul feel to it and to me sounds like it should have been the big single from the album with a video that acts out the scenario in the lyrics. A Song And Many Moons is full of advice for anyone going through some of life's twists and turns the backing vocals sound like a chorus of angels set against the pulsing rhythm and a very 1970's soft rock guitar solo to wonderfully bewitching effect.
A very cool way to close an album that really needs to be heard a good few times.
To celebrate this re-issue Beverley is touring Europe in November find out more here https://beverlyglenncopeland.com/tour find out more about the album herehttps://beverlyglenncopeland.com/ or https://beverlyglenn-copeland.bandcamp.com/album/primal-prayer