Amazing musician and artist Jennifer Hope returns to us with a second EP release, Reflections of an Enchanted Soul. As enamored as I was concerning her previous debut CD, Winds of Tomorrow*, her latest work is more refined, subtle and quite beautiful. Following the release of Winds of Tomorrow in 1999, Jennifer's track The Sky is Blushing appeared on The Unquiet Grave, a phenomenal compilation from powerhouse of the genre Cleopatra Records.
Continuing her independent stance, Reflections of an Enchanted Soul is also released by her self-owned Mystic Dreams Music label. You can expect to find this and her pervious release at Middle Pillar, Metropolis, Seraph and other indie distributors worldwide. This go around the release was co-produced by Tomie Reeves as well as herself.
Jennifer is an amazing persona in music today, with wonderful musical arrangements and a far reaching collection of musical know how. From classical training on a wide variety of instruments to arranging and performing for many years. Her style is new age, ethereal and darker, though she put away a bit of the experimentalism she was toying with on Winds.
In her previous Winds of Tomorrow release, Jennifer had a tendency to clash musical aspects against one another to achieve an enigmatic and interesting sound. But this time around she reigns in the experimental tendencies and instead creates a smoother and more refined collection with Reflections. Her vocal range is far reaching and provides for a pleasant listening experience throughout. Fans of her previous work will find much to enjoy here. Rather than her voice standing out as much as it did in past music, here she combines it flawlessly with electronic and rhythm backgrounds. So instead it blends and joins with the instrumentals to create a dramatic sound.
From the moody Exile with subtle electronics and flowing synths combining flawlessly with her vocals, to the more moving and faster paced Don't Leave Destiny, both highlights to this six track EP. Jennifer is a solo act to watch and enjoy, for both aspects of physical and aural beauty. Her music is continuing to mature as her skills increase and her arrangements become more accurate, backed with classical learning but tempered with experience in the ethereal, darkwave and pop genres.
In short, Winds of Tomorrow was an excellent debut. However Reflections of an Enchanted Soul is a step upward, more mellow, comfortable and mature. It makes one wonder what Jennifer Hope can produce next, for if the history and track record is any indications, it should be sublime and wonderful.
Post: Mystic Dreams Music, P.O. Box 221624, Newhall, CA, 91322
Reviewed in Legends #103, October 2000.