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New Age CD Reviews By Diane Garris
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Full Bloom
By Nancy Shoop-Wu
Label: Lei Hoku Music
Released 9/17/2021
Full Bloom tracks
1. Full Bloom
2. Night Rainbow
3. Dreams
4. Flying Away
5. Beautiful
6. Olinda Winds
7. Angel Above Me
8. Serenade
9. Golden Leaves
10. Morning Paradise
Nancy Shoop-Wu - Full Bloom
“’Full Bloom’ is one of the most exquisitely beautiful albums of this year. Nancy Shoop-Wu is in full bloom, dripping and infused with genuinely great musical talent. Impressive on every level.” – Dyan Garris, New Age CD

One of the most exquisitely beautiful albums of this year, “Full Bloom” by Nancy Shoop-Wu is her second full-length album. This is 10 tracks, about 40 minutes of impeccably arranged, performed, and produced, “New Age Contemporary Instrumental” with some vocal tracks.

The marvelous ensemble of instrumentation consists of Nancy’s refined, authentic, expressive violin and her fabulous voice, cello (Cello [Qiele] Guo), guitars (Mitchell Long), dynamic piano (Derek Nakamoto, who also produced the album), bass (Aidan Carroll), and congas and percussion (Peter Korpela). Nancy’s own colorful arrangements on the album are outstanding.

Hailing originally from Connecticut, Nancy began playing the violin at the age of 9 years old. Later in life, she graduated from the Yale School of Music, and began her formal musical career playing in symphony orchestras. Recently, she began combining her love of New Age music with her classical training. The results are astoundingly beautiful and impressive.

Among other nominations, she was nominated as Best New Artist in the 2017 ZMR (Zone Music Reporter) Awards. I was not familiar with Nancy’s music prior to this, but I can, indeed, see the reason for her nominations and we added her right away, without hesitation, to our rotation at New Age Notes Radio. This first-class album is amazing all through.

The album opens with the gorgeous title track. Here we have Nancy’s superb, angelic, wordless vocal performance, along with her magnificent violin – which seems to be part of her body – as well as Derek Nakamoto on dynamic piano. Gentle, flowing percussion along with the other lush and wonderfully arranged string instrumentation, make this one to play over and over again.

“Night Rainbow,” a melodic instrumental, follows, again with that heartfelt, emotionally evocative violin, confident piano, guitars, bass, cello, and congas. This has an almost exotic, gypsy flair to it where we can almost see the colors of the rainbow shimmering in the moonlight. Very pretty and enjoyable in every way.

Things slow down a bit with the very dreamy, “Dreams.” Like a very romantic love song, this is very touching and beautiful in every way. I absolutely love the melody here, and it’s yet another favorite.

“Flying Away” is an up-tempo, hip, vocal, which is very cool. Nancy’s voice is beyond wonderful. This is a very happy song, evocative of freedom of spirit, akin to having the top down on the convertible with the warm sun shining on your face and the gentle breeze blowing through your hair. So fun.

Dedicated to her mother, Eleanor Shoop, “Beautiful” was the last song Nancy composed for this album after her mom passed away in April 2021. What an extraordinarily spectacular tribute. I don’t think I can even describe it in any way that would do it justice. I can say, however, that it definitely lives up to its title.

If I have it right, Olinda is an artist colony in Brazil. “Olinda Winds” has that exotic, world feel to it. Nancy’s ethereal interspersed wordless vocals and expressive, ultra-graceful, elegant violin are again so very beautiful, as is the entire piece. Along with everything else, I just love this.

“Angel Above Me” is a full vocal with very eloquent, soul-touching lyrics. Again, gorgeous all through, and we are reminded that angels are always with us in one form or another. This will give you chills.

“Serenade” and “Golden Leaves” both follow suit. None of the pieces on this album are to be missed. They all perfectly captivate the emotions, speak to the soul, and paint a luscious musical soundscape that is both exciting and rejuvenating at the same time.

This deliciously lush, rich, and ripe album closes out with the melodic and gently upbeat, “Morning Paradise.” The violin is astoundingly beautiful here. Gorgeous arrangements, here too, along with the other instrumentation which is expressive and wonderful. This piece, and the album, conveys beauty, freedom, dreams, and hope, in a consummate way.

Nancy Shoop-Wu is in full bloom, dripping and infused with genuinely great musical talent, and I hope we continue to hear more from her soon in this space.

Get “Full Bloom” on Amazon Music, iTunes, Spotify, and all major streaming platforms or here: https://www.nancyshoopwu.com/music

Official artist website: https://www.nancyshoopwu.com/
Broadcast & Media Promotion:
Sherry Finzer, Higher Level Media
info@higherlevel.media

Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by Dyan Garris on 10/17/2021
 
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