“In the Garden” is the fourth release from Seay (pronounced ‘say’) – a highly gifted musician, composer and singer who plays piano and keyboard, as well as provides all vocals on this album. Produced, arranged and written by Seay, she is joined by other musical talents that include Rob Beaton, Leon Bisquera, Butto, Erik Darken, Jules Delgado, Scott W. Hallgren, Varsha Gowda, Ricky Kej and The Raevolution Orchestra, Wouter Kellerman, Karthik K, Geoff Koch, Stephen Peppos, Jeff Silverman, Jonathan Smith, Bret Teegarden, Pat Thomi, Vanil Veigas, Jerry Watts Jr and Hitoshi Yamaguchi. This amazing team lends additional acoustic, electronic and indigenous world instruments throughout, such as guitar, bass, flute, cello, percussion, sitar, santoor, digeridoo and string arrangements. Beautifully packaged with detailed, vivid artwork and photography, “In the Garden” immediately whisks the listener away on a trans-global adventure of natural wonderment.

“Beautiful Earth” sets the tone of the album with sweeping orchestration as Seay sings an uplifting lyrical tune. Co-produced and arranged with Ricky Kej (who also worked on the song "Anima Mundi"), and featuring flutist Wouter Kellerman and The Raevolution Orchestra, this vibrant and colorful piece conveys a picturesque landscape filled with lush green forests, crystal blue rivers and glorious mountain ranges. “Dream” follows next, a more tranquil piece that seems to behold Earth’s radiant beauty with its wordless vocal layers and harmonious strings. Another highlight in this vein is the album’s title piece, “In the Garden”, where sparking chimes, ethereal vocals and a pristine arrangement of various instruments illustrate an earthly paradise. "Oceanus" begins with the sounds of ocean waves and seagulls, an especially captivating piece that Seay arranged with Nashville orchestrator-arranger Geoff Koch. Carried by tribal percussion and a chanting chorus accompanied by piano and strings, the atmosphere and arrangement of this more lyrical, upbeat composition reminds me somewhat of Enya’s “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)”, as it ebbs and flows like the waves of the sea. Likewise in this mode is “We Are One”, an equally mesmerizing composition with a unifying global theme characterized by mellifluous orchestration and soul-stirring lyrics. A reprise of “Oceanus” closes out the album on “Into the Blue (Oceanus Reprise)”. Like ferrying away at sea on a clear sunny day, the piece concludes with the soothing sounds of whale-song amidst gently rolling waves.

Sure to have far-reaching appeal among a diverse listening audience, “In the Garden” is one of the most delightful vocal-centric albums I’ve heard in years. Stylistically, it bears resemblances to Enya, Adiemus and Marcomé, although Seay possesses a signature sound of her own. An extraordinary amount of detail and effort was put into this recording, with every twist and turn taking the listener around the globe, as if viewing scenic places on earth from above. Combining the finest elements of new age pop, world-instrumental and neoclassical music, “In the Garden” is a top-tier musical production and prepossessing work of art! ~Candice Michelle

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes

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