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'Shadows & Dreams'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '20th February 2020'

Our Rating:
This classically trained Spanish born singer-songwriter has spent 17 years in the UK and tried her hand at many musical styles including Jazz, Latin and pop. She has toured with Byörk and worked alongside Ricky Martin and Shakira.

For this self produced solo album she has played virtually all the instruments and recorded it in her home studio. She says that the eleven songs "tackle the shadow aspects of ourselves, such as obsessions, self-love, past lives, dreams, emotions and healing." It is, in other words, a soundtrack to personal growth. Recurring themes of spiritual healing and life as a journey tie in closely with her holistic practice as a health and fitness instructor.

All the songs are in Americanised English and would not be out of place in an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical. Rodriguez tries her best to instil a sense of drama but her voice doesn't have sufficient rawness to suggest real emotional intensity.

In Obsession, Addiction, for example, she sings eloquently of an "obsession of the most dangerous kind" and then ends with a carefree la-la-la chorus.

On Hold My Heart she reassures the listener that "Everything will be all right" always a bad sign in my experience; like a dentist blithely telling you a treatment won't be painful.      

Rodriguez is, I've no doubt, in earnest when she affirms the importance of confronting our shadow selves but musically the songs are so weighted towards the beauty of dreams that the darker contrasts are rarely evident.

Graciela Rodriguez's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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RODRIGUEZ, GRACIELA - Shadows & Dreams