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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » Carstensen, Dee - 1993 Beloved One
Carstensen, Dee - 1993 Beloved One

ARTIST: Carstensen, Dee
ALBUM: Beloved One
LABEL: NYC Records
SERIAL: NYC 6005 2
YEAR: 1993


LINEUP: Dee Carstensen - vocals, harp, piano * Plus guests: Bob Marlette, Tim Pierce, Denny Fongheiser, Lynn Mabry, Kathy Hazzard, Mike Mainieri, Dan Karns, John Pierce, Vinnie Zumo, Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Jane Scarpatoni, Niki Richards, Carla Cook, Nick Holmes, Jimi Tunnell, Mark Knopfler

TRACK LISTING: 01 Forgiven * 02 Finally Free * 03 Beloved One * 04 Rooftops * 05 The Wish * 06 Speed Of Love * 07 Waterhole * 08 I'll Be Your Girl * 09 Until The Day I Die * 10 At The Mercy Of You * 11 A'Stop


I dragged this out of the pile the other day. Thinking back to the time I acquired it; it was probably due to the fact that Bob Marlette produced a couple of tracks. So too did accomplished percussionist Mike Maineri, who incidentally is the husband of the lady in question: Dee Carstensen. Mostly known as a harpist and coming from a Conservatory background in New York State, She eventually moved into the singer-songwriter field. Dee came together with NYC Records to release this album back in 1993, which is quite a lush studio bound CD. Not quite in the Loreena McKennit mould, but there's enough to suggest which direction she would follow on future albums.

The Songs
If you like the direction which the Burns Sisters took during their 90's folk era, or the aforementioned Loreena McKennit then you might like this. It combines ambient layers with a folk/pop style, coming off perhaps over-produced at times, but probably a good fit for GDM regulars. Dire Straits Mark Knopfler and bass master Tony Levin would guest on some tracks, so too some L.A session vets such as Tim Pierce and John Pierce plus Heart drummer Denny Fongheiser. The indelible hand of Marlette is all over the opener 'Forgiven'. A soothing tune which is a lush way to open. Percussion loops mixed with an urban pop delivery is the main style on 'Finally Free'. The distinctive acoustic solo from Tim Pierce is a plesant surprise. The title track 'Beloved One' has a near ethnic feel, while 'Rooftops' sounds like something Suzanne Vega might attempt. I think the solo piano on 'The Wish' is best representative of Dee's work, similar to Canadian Sarah McLachlan, especially that will-o-the-wisp vocal. 'Speed Of Love' and 'I'll Be Your Girl' should appeal to those with a hankering for melodic pop (dare I say it even AOR). Both are very close to registering on the GDM radar! The latter even dips into Kate Bush territory. Dee's harp makes an appearance on 'Waterhole', which borders on world music ethnicity, 'Until The Day I Die' introduces some gospel elements, while 'At The Mercy Of You' really should be listened to under a set of HQ headphones. Very lush and ambient. The closer 'A Stop' is a mostly vocal/piano affair, but soaked in a synthesizer backdrop.

In Summary
So there we have it. When I purchased this I didn't really give it chance, but nearly 23 years later it rises with Lazarus like quality. Dee would release a bunch of other albums after this, and these days is primarily involved in songwriting and live performances, particularly where there is a harp involved! Her website is not active at present, but some clever Google searches will provide some clues as to what she's currently up to.

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