reviews by mark wirtz, linda perhacs, cinzia cavalieri, the millionaire, terry hall
“Christine Leakey's Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasureis a luscious jewel-colored phantasmagoria with the depth and complexity of fine old bourbon or a Caravaggio.
Spending an hour with the narcotic splendor of Ms. Leakey's sultry sounds is like taking a stroll underwater through limpid, star-spangled honey... on Ecstasy.
All this, and she has a voice that will make you swoon.”
– The Millionaire, Combustible Edison, Luxuria Music (AKA Michael Cudahy)
LISTEN TO THIS TEN TIMES,
AND EACH TIME YOU LISTEN
HEAR IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. AGAIN.
The problem with originality is that it's hard to review in the absence of familiarity, comparisons or references. Like, try to explain the taste and texture of an avocado pear, banana or chocolate to someone, perhaps a kid who has never tasted, seen or touched any before, and you'll go crazy in the head before you surrender the mission as impossible.
Christine Leakey's new solo album ("Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure") is a such-like challenge. Delicious, seductive, enigmatic, hauntingly captivating, mysterious, eclectic, cerebral, moody, obscure yet laced with reminiscent undertones, genre-defying yet at once embraceable and undeniably commercial, even seasoned with catchy hooks, marvellous arrangements, and melodies delivered by Christine's sensual, mesmerizing vocal renditions that slyly get under your skin and stay there.
This ("Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure") is hallucination-friendly, neo-sike pop at its best, which could easily have been recorded in a small, smokey, avant guard Paris night club, a 30's Chicago cabaret, in a timeless corner of the Twilight Zone, a bohemian bar in New York's Village," or a magical circus -- but not the kind your parents took you to when you were six years old, rather like a wonderland circus in space.
Like I said at the outset, originality is nigh impossible to describe, and ("Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure") is a very original piece of pop music. Hence, instead of self-defeatingly trying, I merely described how listening to Christine's work made me feel. The best thing for you to do is -- buy a copy and lose yourself in a hypnotically spellbinding music journey! Listen to it twenty times, and....
– Mark P. Wirtz, Ivor Novello Award-winning 60's EMI Records/Abbey Road Studios producer/composer.
"Listening to Christine's album is like opening a treasure chest filled with pure gems! Her style and sound are unique. The richness of the colors that each and every instrument brings to this album is rare to find. With this labor of love, Christine leads the listeners on a path that touches many chords and moods. The lyrics are true to the heart and Christine's beautiful and pristine voice delivers them with much grace and fun. "
– Cinzia Cavalieri, Music Consultant, Editor and Performer for film and television, performer with Maurizio Guarini (Goblin), Creatures from a Drawer
“Beautiful! I wanted to play the songs again and again.”
– Terry Hall, The Specials
This is a totally delightful set of 14 songs by Christine (who had asked me to review them for her a few months ago). I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say, the last few months have lent themselves to me as rather difficult. Thank you so much for your patience, Christine!
“Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure” is a true treasure. It is a wonderful departure from some of the music that is put out these days and well worth the time to listen to. And listen to very carefully I might add. Christine’s lyrics are both playful and moody and like true music, also has a message to deliver, but leaves the listener to draw upon their own life’s experience for a conclusion. Her singing voice has no weaknesses as she has found her own style of music, which is quite varied! These songs delight the listener from what I perceive are Celtic undertones to Pop and swing to a cabaret to an almost bossa nova beat and R&B.
Kudos to Christine also for how well the selection of songs were mixed and finally recorded. Nothing rough or left out, very smoothly integrated and seamless. The only exception would be song #14 “Trinket” (plus bonus track)- I really loved the song, but there seems to be a lot of space between it and the very playful and interesting bonus track. I was wondering for a time if the bonus track was really there when it finally started to play!
Each song is just wonderful and shows that much love and thought was put forth. The orchestration and composition work on these songs were masterfully done.
“The Marching Song” .47 – Christine has shown in this wonderful blend of electronic harmonies that truly one can get a great deal for 47 seconds!
“Lovely” 3:46- This is a very happy and lovely song. Lyrics are just fantastic, and is coupled with the really catchy beat and rhythm, this is a true jewel!
“Here I Stand” 4:09- Moody. But not completely dark, very nicely done with a surprisingly wonderful blend of orchestration that really compliments this song. Rhythm and vocals are just a delight!
“Be You” 3:39- Very lovely lyrics and harmony! I was delighted with how the percussion came in past mid point in this song! For me, it uplifted me more towards the Highlands! I hope others can feel this as well! “Travel with me to my world” Beautiful! Powerful!
“Tipsy”- .48 – Cute melody with great blending of background words. Just enough to leave you to wonder! Sort of a carnival atmosphere!
“The Man With The Golden Heart” 3:51- Rather ethereal! This has to be a tribute to anyone’s uncle, father or grandfather who, even in his later years, still has much to offer with a “Golden Heart”. Sadly beautiful, angelic melody and voicing, done with so much love! “With every end, a new life begins” “Tell me sir How do you do?” “I do fine!” How wonderful, Christine!
“Tap Dancers” 3:56- Really a cute song! “A million tap dancers on my roof” Waiting for the sun to shine again!
“Miss Betty Grable” 5:06- Beautifully intense and tragic tale (I believe taken from Betty’s real life)- Melodies and lyrics are very nicely done!
“Shine My Tarnished Sheen” 6:25- Great ballad of searching for love, or perhaps for yourself. “So, love yourself within- find an end, then begin” Truly words to live by!
“Lullabies and Apple Pies” 3:31- Really great rock and roll song! Has it all! But still so 21st century!
“The Day My Flower Died” 4:18- A moody, dark, blues-ish ballad. The balance of electric guitar and synth is amazing! Beautiful lyrics and voice!
“Gloom Chime” 2:55- Trippy use of special sound effects! Song goes into a R&B and cabaret style and back again in a very nice way, great voicing and melody!
“Quand Tu Dors” 2:30- Ok, I have no idea what she is singing in this song, but it’s done with such a nice “breathy” melody and beat, you can make up your own words! Wonderful song!
“Trinket” (Plus bonus) 11:41- Dreamy little song, nicely done! The only problem is the real long space between the song and the wonderfully playful bonus track! I think the idea for the pause between the songs is great, it just needs to be limited to perhaps 10 to 15 seconds.
Christine, dear Christine, this is quite a show of talent! You also managed to pick your musicians and all your back up voicing very wisely! This set of 14 beautiful songs are such great examples of just how you and everyone behind you paid such great, loving attention to detail. Very refreshing to listen to as your lyrics, combined to absolutely such fantastic vocals and music and instrumentals is really incredible.
Again, I apologize for being so late on getting all this back to you- but after what I have been through lately, perhaps this was the time for me to do this, as surely your music with its kindness and so much love in it has really helped me! What a blessing!
Thank you so much, Christine. We’ll stay in touch!
Much love and light!
– Linda Perhacs, Parallellograms