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Music Review: Candice Night: Reflections

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Candice Night met Ritchie Blackmore when she was a background singer. That chance meeting has evolved into a 15-year musical and romantic relationship. Now Blackmore’s wife, Night has been fronting the renaissance/rock group Blackmore’s Night since 1997. She is now stepping out of the band’s shadow to release the solo album, Reflections.

This is first and foremost a Candice Night project. The album begins with a number of lyrics she had written but had not been set to music until now. Blackmore was busy with a project of his own, so she wrote the music herself. With her husband unavailable, it left Night free to explore territory of her choosing. While her Blackmore’s Night roots remain firmly in place, and at times influence some of the songs, she does branch out toward the pop/rock mainstream.

Night has one of those voices that is a gift from God and it is on display here. In a group setting, that voice always shared the stage with Blackmore’s guitar play but now it occupies the center position without any constraints.

Night has always been an excellent lyricist too. Her visions, sometimes mystical and surreal, are presented as her ethereal vocals bring them to life.

The music travels in a number of directions – from country, to contemporary pop, to rock and roll. There is the catchy melody of the pop-oriented “Gone Gone Gone,” the electronically-driven dance track “Dangerous Smile,” the gentleness of “Wind Is Calling (Hush the Wind),” and the introspective “Alone with Fate,” and “In Time.” My only complaint is the constant use of keyboards, which make the strings of “Alone with Fate” a welcome relief.

Candice Night has made it quite clear that Blackmore’s Night will remain her priority. Still, it’s good to see her take a chance and stretch out a bit. Reflections is a nice look into her creative spirit and soul. It should please her old fans and gain her some new ones as well.

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