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Review: "Wilder Shores" - Belinda Carlisle

by Jeremy Williams-Chalmers,

Belinda Carlisle is best known for her epic pop anthems Heaven Is A Place On Earth, California, Circle In The Sand and Always Breaking My Heart, but for her first studio album in a decade, she takes a very different approach. Having explored a series of chansons inspired covers for 2007's much overlooked Voila, for her return to record Belinda explores her passion for Kundalini Yoga on Wilder Shores. With a very different approach to her previous recordings, can this rather off-beat collection really resonate with her audience?

Though it may sound like a slightly off-the-wall idea, the finished results is actually rather enticing. Although exploring a different side to her character than previously displayed by the feisty and bold popstar, Wilder Shores actually works as something of a world inspired pop record. Yes, this was never going to set the radio waves on fire, but it can connect with you on a very different level.

Most important to note is that Belinda has not forgotten that she is best known as a pop artist. This may be a mantra collection, but it is also penned by an artist who understand the appeal of a pop song. Meeting somewhere in the middle, this takes chants that many of us will already be familiar with and reworks them into a format that is has echoes of the pre-remix Freed From Desire by Gala. An anthem and a mantra that moves body, mind and spirit.

Closing with an acoustic reworking of her most famous song is a clever move, although the rendition does not shine as brightly as album highlights Light Of My Soul and Har Gobinday.

Overall this is not a collection that will appeal to everyone, but for those that can see the beauty of a concept album with Belinda's pop sensibilities at the forefront, then this is the album for you.