Dear Reader – Rivonia (2013)

Posted by on April 16, 2013as

dearOriginally starting out as alt-pop three piece, Dear Reader exists now as the solo project of South African born Cherilyn Macneil. Rivonia is technically the third album from Dear Reader, but this record is the first solely produced and recorded by Macneil herself. Mainly recorded in her apartment with friends and family supplying additional instrumentation, the end result of the project is one of raw and natural beauty. To describe the record as a simple alt-pop record would in all honestly not be justified. The album is more of an emotionally honest and heart felt tale of Macneil’s innocence as a child, growing up in the trouble ridden and violent surroundings of Johannesburg.
With the passionately played piano lines, epic trumpet inclusions and echoed, and at some points operatic vocals, middle of the record track ‘Back From The Dead’ offers an air of Regina Specktor’s musical poetry. This melodramatic sound is heard throughout the album. Album opener ‘Down Under, mining’ sets the scene for the rest of the album, the basic instrumentation of a drum beat, belled percussion, ominous monk like chanting and Macneil’s accentuated accent frames the unusual lyrical content, the song is simply like the title states, about her brother who used to mine for gold.
Track ‘Already Are’ hears the inclusion of an almost Willy Mason esque deep male vocal, this teamed with the harsh bursts of violins, creates a dark yet relaxing vibe. This dark energy is played upon throughout, specifically in the record finale ‘Victory’. This almost religious chanting sound is simplistic yet affective, a fitting way to end an honest, intimate and heartfelt look into Macneil’s thoughts.
The album is affective in its simplistic instrumentation, yet complicated, deep and diverse in its lyrical content. Macneil’s voice carries the record; the anger and emotion in the vocals derives from her own experience. Rivonia is simplistic and intimate; in essence, it’s everything it needs to be.

mp3 VBR~223 kbps | 58 MB | UL | CL

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