Monica Pasqual – Is Fortune a Wheel
Indie Award winning recording artist Monica Pasqual presents a deeply personal album with “Is Fortune a Wheel” – a vivid, daring journey into what happens when unforgettable memories are lost by a lover whose ability to recall the past is fading. These memories, still cherished by Pasqual, are explored through song as she navigates the art of letting go. The album is a modern-day odyssey through love, pain, loss and the ultimate rediscovery of self.
If this is how rediscovery plays out, then Monica Pasqual has lost nothing in her time spent making music and just added all the more to it by doing so. The CD has a lot going for it even though it has been a while since her last release. This conquers some musical feat not all could even if they tried, but of course you have to let it all sink in if you’re not usually listening to these folkish and sometimes Americana heavy songs. Kicking off with “Is Fortune A Wheel,” itself could be an overwhelming way to start but there is not a bit of nit picking to be done about this track which fills your soul to the brim with melody and dark but interesting textures and tones. “Swann’s Way” is equally brilliant but in enough ways to stand on its own two feet as naturally progressive. In-fact it put me onto more of her music, as I’d never heard Monica up to this point, but sure glad I am on board with this review. It just seems to get better with the third track, “Golden Cuff” which is almost like an album itself. What a fantastic song this one is. But chamber music is not something I am used to reviewing. It introduces something new to me, even though it isn’t really new. I find most of it to be in the presence of the cello and the use of keyboards which blend together these textures that demand your attention. This overall sort of almost spooky presence is really just how it comes out, rather than anything intended to be emphasized. I think more should appreciate this when applied to folk, as they seem to go together like bread and butter. And “Wild” seems to contain some of that feel but goes in other directions too. This is a great track that probably doesn’t have as much in common with the others as it seems, but it does deal with the aches and pains found lying deeply under the surface but doesn’t take too much figuring out as the album’s running concept. And as the first few tracks build, this is finely delivered as it competes with anything in the set. “1969” is one of the only tracks that don’t seem to go on the album but still worth inclusion. It breaks up some of the tension caused by seriousness though, and it never hurts to do that for some change in direction anyway. It’s just not the best moment shared on what appears to be a long awaited CD, according to such clues found in her bio after hearing this for the first time. But “Down By The Mill” takes it back up a notch with another one of the finer moments to be heard. This is much more like it and gets the album back on track. It’s just a flawless work that anyone can use. “Strings In My Human Heart” takes you on a thrill ride of emotions that bring out the best in Monica Pasqual’s voice. This is another one of the better arranged tracks for me.
It holds up to every song surrounding it and even surpasses a few. But that being said there really aren’t a lot of ups and downs to be found, even though it is like a roller coaster when it does happen. This is an evident combustion, just not a dominating one. “UmaUma” also compels with the best on offer as well. Just another great track no matter how you slice it along with “Steam,” “Saint In The Yard” and the cool changes of the closer, “The Color Blue Is Everywhere.” They all make for a world class release.