It’s been quite a few years since Colleen (aka Cécile Schott) has released a record of fragile, angelic compositions. Its been six years in fact, the last record was 2007's Les Ondes Silencieuses for Leaf and in those intervening years she's certainly been missed. She picks up her orchestral folk blend easily though, and The Weighing of the Heart expands Schott's catalog nicely. Sweeping and delicately soundtrack-like in its scope, the album has a sense of whimsy and sadness that echoes through its entirety. Amid the plucks, bowed strings and gentle woodwinds, Schott's voice floats as heavy and as thick as fog, but just as ethereal and elusive too. The songs some of her best and with that in mind they're well worth the wait it took to get them here. The album presumably takes its name from the Egyptian ceremony of weighing the heart to enter the afterlife - if you're heart was light from a lifetime of doing good deeds you entered the afterlife, if not, Ammit would gobble you up. The songs on the album seem to be so sad and, admittedly weighed with some force, so its left to wonder what Schott has to be sorrowful about. If she has indeed done things to make her heart heavy, surely music this lovely is tribute enough to allow her a happy eternity. Its certainly made my week lighter. The album also sees Schott team up with her longtime design collaborator Iker Spozio for a gorgeous cover work that's expanded to detailed books in both the CD and LP editions.
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