Album Review: Mary Fahl - Love And Gravity

Mary Fahl delivers another essential title to join The Other Side of Time and From the Dark Side of the Moon.

By , Columnist

Over the course of 13 years, Mary Fahl has released only three albums and one EP. While the length of time between releases may have been a long, long time to wait, especially for her fans, the songs from them are of the highest quality and beauty.

Fahl was a part of October Project, a New York City-based band that released two albums on Epic Records. After Mary's departure from the band, she put together a four-track EP called Lenses of Contact (2000), with three of those songs ending up on her well-received Sony/Odyssey full-length debut from 2003, The Other Side of Time.

In 2011, she released a brave album, a re-imagining of the Pink Floyd classic The Dark Side of the Moon, a track-for-track replication cleverly called From the Dark Side of the Moon. With Mary's rich contralto voice, which truly needs to be heard to fully appreciate its uniqueness, that album does the original a grand service.

MaryFahlLoveAndGravity.jpgOn February 11 of this year, Mary Fahl released her third album of songs, Love and Gravity. Love and Gravity immediately rewards the fan—and the new listener—with a collection of songs honed to perfection over time. In that collection there is a stunning cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." This song has been covered by many, but few can provide the song with the emotional impact it requires. Joni Mitchell, with her two renditions, each as different from the other in extraordinary ways, is one; Mary Fahl is another. "Both Sides Now" is one of those guarded songs that require a key to unlock the intensity of its meaning. Mary Fahl's able hands craft her own key.

The opening track on Love and Gravity is a song commissioned by author Anne Rice, a fan of Fahl's, who calls Fahl's voice "supernatural." The song, "Exiles (The Wolvesof Midwinter)," was written for inclusion into the audio book version of Rice's latest novel, The Wolves of Midwinter.

But there is more to Love and Gravity than commissioned songs and covers. Of the album's ten songs, there are no fillers. Well-crafted ballads like "Gravity (Move Mountains, Turn Rivers Around)", the positive notes of faith from "Everything's Gonna Be Alright", and the aching passion of "Siren" are but a few that will wrap around you like a warm blanket.

Mary Fahl Performing.jpg

Love and Gravity has its place in you somewhere. You have to take the steps to embrace its collective beauty. From there it will become a part of you. Love and Gravity, like its sister albums, is here for a long, long time.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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