Ramona Silver | Small Circle of Light

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The Carpenters Til Tuesday

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Pop/Rock Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Small Circle of Light

by Ramona Silver

A unique blend of melodic pop/rock guitar and moody keyboard balladry, rich with harmonic vocal textures.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hero
3:41 $0.99
2. State of Being Grey
3:16 $0.99
3. Salt of the Sea
3:23 $0.99
4. Idiot's Delight
3:51 $0.99
5. Dropped E
2:50 $0.99
6. Big Fat Lie
4:18 $0.99
7. Small Circle of Light
5:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ramona Silver’s 6th release, Small Circle of Light, taps a range of musical influences from the 1970s-80s: Til Tuesday to The Carpenters; Harry Nilsson to Nanci Griffith; Brian Wilson to Queen. The blend of these, however, comes out distinctly Silver’s, 2011. Trading off between guitars and keyboards, Silver's new batch of songs go beyond her trend of eclectic pop/rock with a new maturity of sounds and poignant lyrics.

Silver’s trademark Les Paul guitar keeps its rightful edgy place in her lineup of sonic colors, as in the eerie opener, “Hero,” and the triumphant pop of “Idiot’s Delight.” While these two songs differ in writing styles, both are closet rockers the listener must wade into to fully experience. Hero's slow groove buildup of guitar/bass/drums mixes with an atmospheric carousel organ halfway through, and the lyrics follow suit. Though at the start she directs her pining towards a male figure hero, the lyric moves outward to show a bigger frustration -- the longing too long for life’s fulfillment. Easier to read is “Idiot’s Delight,” a straight-ahead, hooky rock gem displaying vivid snapshots of a worn-out domestic argument, with a bite (“There’s a silence in the kitchen, never heard eggs fry so loud”).

The acoustic guitar-based “State of Being Grey” and “Salt of the Sea” offer space for glimpsing rhythm loops, Wurly sounds, kid gang vocals, and even a passing train. While “State…” reflects fearfully on growing old in different relationships (in this case, with a lover, a mother, and the Earth), “Salt...” is a happier resignation that each day is a gift just to be alive (“I’m a lucky me to be free, I’m a lucky lung just to breathe”).

The CD turns toward a lament on the two piano-based songs, “Big Fat Lie” and “Small Circle of Light,” in which darker vocals and harmonic bass lines float over a subdued parlor piano. Though likely a typical set up for brooding young-love lyrics, Silver instead speaks to the conflicts facing older hearts. In Big Fat Lie, she wants “out” before a relationship even begins (“There’s a better place to be then wasting away on pretty dreams”), and in the title track, “Small Circle of Light” Silver weighs years of a messy but still committed relationship (“I know we weren’t always truthful 60 years of life, and these are pills we have to take to help us sleep at night”). The latter song closes the CD with a slow, swirling buildup of voices and instruments, rippling echoes on the final word "light," only to end with a long fade of discordant piano notes. It's a blurry light, but a light nonetheless.



to write a review

David Champagne, of Treat Her Right and Sunset Engine

Ramona Silver's Small Circle of Light
On "Small Circle of Light" Boston based Ramona Silver manages to transport the listener to such far-flung ports of call as Queen, Nancy Griffith, Til Tuesday and The Carpenters without ever sinking into pastiche. The music is familiar yet fresh, the lyrics intelligent and poignant. As the final note of the opening track 'Hero' faded, I was torn between the desire to hear it again immediately and the competing one to see what new delights awaited. My solution was to listen to all seven songs and let it start over again. Either way you won't be sorry.

Harry C. Tuniese

Sublime Silver!!!
Except for a few occasional shows and guest spots with several friends, we haven’t heard much from the ultra-lovely & talented Ramona Silver during the past five years, since her last CD release Intermission. Though she’s been professionally disinclined, her personal life has been center stage - living with a hard-working travelin’ hubby, bringing up her teenage sons, and coming to grips with her aging parents. These responsibilities have been her reward and her challenges. These seem to be the topics of this stunning new album.
Working with her terrific small combo of John Sands (drums), Kimon Kirk or Jim Haggerty (bass), and Thomas Juliano (guitar), Ramona has created some of the best music of her career. Four of the tunes are assuredly masterstrokes - “Small Circle of Light” (a gorgeous overview of her folks’ sixty year relationship which builds into a compelling dramatic coda a la Brian Wilson), “State of Being Grey” (middle-agers moving onwards), “Idiot’s Delight” (a moving rocker about separation), and “Salt of the Sea” (a perky woe-is-me tale w/ vocals by her sons). Other facets to applaud are her keyboard playing and especially her vocals - delicate, true, and rich in harmonic textures. The entire album pours down like silver. Totally sublime!!!