It is said in the record industry that it takes three albums to break an artist. Garden of the Moon is certainly a testament to that statement. This was a landmark album for Lana Lane - an album that,in fact, literally changed our lives. Lana's 1995 debut album, Love is an Illusion, was a fairly commerical hard rock album, while her 1996 follow up, Curious Goods, was a much more experimental and progressive album. The best elements of these first two releases came together beautifully in Garden of Moon.
One of the most noticeable aspects of Garden of the Moon is the consistent usage of three unique guitarists throughout the album. In theory this may seem excessive, but in practice it worked extremely well. The lead and solo work was handled by Neil Citron, whose fluidly melodic yet still quite aggressive work on the previous album, Curious Goods, gave that album its own specific sound. Garden of the Moon's heavy rhythm work was handled by Danelle Kern, a harder-edged player whose metal background provided the sonic weight and rhythmic pull so omnipresent on this album. Lastly, Mark McCrite, of the Los Angeles prog outfit Rocket Scientists, played contrastingly shimmering acoustic guitar along with occasional electric leads. This guitar orchestra had little overlap, and the combination of these three distinct personalities made for a thoroughly lush production.
Throughout Garden of the Moon you will hear Chapman Stick artist Don Schiff covering the bass guitar parts on this unique instrument. It was perhaps a bit risky to employ such a progressive instrument on an album as melodic as this one, but I believe the result was a success in the end. On Disc Two you will hear several tracks featuring fretless bass virtuoso Tony Franklin who has also been a recurring contributor to the Lana Lane sound. As for the keyboards, I generally took a supporting role on Garden of the Moon, although there are two rather nice synth solos on "Destination Roswell" and "Evolution Revolution". You will hear the keyboards a bit more up front on the delightfully epic long version of "Frankenstein Unbound" which leads off Disc Two.
We all know that Lana is a great singer. But Lana's vocals on Garden of the Moon display an uncontrived confidence that perhaps sets them apart from the two previous albums. There is a sincere passion on this album that really comes through. From the most intimate whispers of "Dream of the Dragonfly" and "Under the Olive Tree" all the way to the bone crushing wails of "Evolution Revolution" and "Destination Roswell", we can clearly hear her development into a world-class artist on this album.
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