[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Lisa Gerrard has always made her most striking recordings when the music is dialed back and her voice takes center stage, we have something here which not only adds to her collection of remarkable moments but also manages to transcend them. Interestingly, she’s not the focal point on every song here and some of her guests may surprise you. For one who has made so many memorable soundtracks, Gerrard has always striven to keep her solo albums pure but that’s changed on ‘Twilight Kingdom’. I have hopes that those who listen will give this thing a chance because I almost didn’t and am glad I persevered. This beauty is a perfect reminder of how good she is at turning even the most basic arrangements into auditory gold. Never mind her wisdom in choosing collaborators
Although she sings these days in a lower register, the effect is the same as ever. She soothes our minds and dims the light quietly; if anything, we have a collection of lullabies designed to erase the trials and tribulations our lives so often become cluttered with. For how much sweetness this record contains it takes a while to get into primarily because she isn’t sticking with what is proven to work for her. Her voice comes into these pieces very stealthily, as though she wishes to pass through her own work undetected. However the decision was reached to let others play major roles on here could not have been an easy one. “Estelita” in particular really hammers it home that whatever has come before counts for little on ‘Twilight Kingdom’.
Wisely, she avoids experimental compositions and keeps things firmly based in classical influences. It’s a ghostly place we’re in here, with the wisps of memory rising up around us like a siren’s song. I’d imagine it all too easy to stay here forever, the studio sessions no doubt were heavy on the atmosphere. Who knows, there may have even been a lunar timetable being adhered to; like breathing in the mist of the sea, watching those around you slowly vanish into the fog. The inevitable pull of years undoing those ties which keep us tethered to our lives, when night falls and your light goes out what remains. Where have you gone.
In the ‘Twilight Kingdom’ everything is serene, those grains of sand shift in subtle patterns across the years. Lisa Gerrard’s voice is the lamp which illuminates our path, her restrained yet elegant delivery becomes the means by which we find this place. Unlike any other record she’s done and still somehow uniquely her, Gerrard proves that less can indeed be more. With vocals like this filling up the room, how could anything else even stand a chance. I have long wanted her to do an album like this, where the alchemy of how she creates is fully revealed. Thank you for this record and thank you even more for reminding people that limitations only limit those who acknowledge them.