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5 out of 5 stars A CD that catches your attention, May 9, 2002
Reviewer: Rick Davis from USA

On May 5, Kim Buchanan had her CD release party for her new CD, "Illusions". My wife and I have been following Kim and Jubal's performances for a couple of years now, and the performance that night was one not to be missed. So when I finally got a chance to sit down and listen to her new CD, I was looking forward to seeing what she had done with it. It is no illusion that it is a great CD! I am very impressed with the quality of it - both music and recording quality.

The arrangements are well done and, of course, Kim (lead vocals, guitar), Jubal (percussion), Robin (bass and bg vocals), and Michael (violin and guitar) are each excellent musicians in their own right. But together, they are more than the sum of the parts.

The music itself shows that Kim pours a lot of heart and soul into her writing and performance. I was in a discussion recently where a friend, who is an excellent fiddle player, was describing the playing ability of a professional hammered dulcimer player she and I both know. Her comment was that he "played well" - he got all the notes and timing right. Then she went on to say that there is such a thing as "playing well", but there is also such a thing as playing with passion and heart. She thought the dulcimer player played well. Kim writes and sings and plays well, but she goes beyond that - she writes, sings and plays with passion and with heart, and that is what makes the music on this CD worth hearing - more than once.

But to leave it there would be to leave out the rest of the equation - the engineering and the production. Kim co-produced this CD with Jubal, and engineered and recorded it herself in her home studio. Being a musician myself, and being interested in recording, I was eager to hear what the quality of this DIY project was. One of the things I noticed was the mixing of the percussion and guitar in one piece to get a tolling bell sound. It was very nicely done - the type of thing I hope to be able to do when my time to record comes. Kim and Jubal did a great job producing this CD, and she did a great job engineering and recording it.

OK, so I'm using the word great a lot, but it's because this is one of the best CDs I've heard in a while! I listen to a lot of folk music, American, Celtic, Scandinavian, and have listened in the past more to Rock, Jazz, and Blues. Every once in a while, there comes along a CD that catches your attention for it's sheer elegance of production and performance and content. For me, this is one of those CDs.

5 out of 5 starsIllusions Rocks the Triangle, May 9, 2002
Reviewer: Alan R. Light from Chapel Hill, NC United States

Illusions is the greatly anticipated second release by Kim Buchanan, one of the most popular recording artist in the Triangle area. From the title track to the reprise at the end, the music is written and arranged in a style that just cannot be attached to existing genre's. The best description is Rock with a folk edge, or maybe vice versa! The concentration here is on music with memorable melodies and oh, that voice! It's strong, sweet and perfect at the same time! A number of the tracks, including the title track, "Illusions" are beautiful in the pictures they paint with both the melodies and the lyrics, but others like See Me and High Anxiety will throw you back in your seat. Then there's the hilarious "Dress Code" taken directly from the dress code at a local middle school! What a great piece of satire of our modern hypocrisy!! You must listen to this and play the whole thing over and over!!

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