Divinity often speaks loudest when unconfined by human dogma. Even so, music captures spiritual feelings better than almost any other medium. When an artist moves beyond pious clichés, the results can be dazzling... which Blessings often is. Tucker's music has always had a Pagan lilt, and Blessings brings that element to the forefront. Inspired by people and events in her spiritual life, this album is a love note to modern Paganism. Several songs ? especially "Come to the Labyrinth," "Handfast Blessing," "For Love of All Who Gather" (both versions) and "Witch's Rune" ? work best in ritual context. Several songs, in fact, were composed for rituals in which Tucker took part, and these songs ? "Come to the Labyrinth," "Witch's Rune," "For Love of All Who Gather/ Spirit Call," "Handfast Blessing" and "In the Name of the Dance" ? are the album's strongest cuts. Tucker handles most of the instrumentation herself, with occasional backing vocals from special guests. Keyboardist Ginger Doss and djembe player Winterhawk spice up the proceedings, but the arrangements on Blessings are simple and spare. The exception, "In the Name of the Dance," is a full-blast crowd-pleaser. Most of the songs are hair-raisingly good. "Hymn to Herne" may be the sexiest Horned God evocation on record, while "Come to the Labyrinth" deserves to become the official song of Samhain. The reprise outtro of "For Love of All Who Gather" features an exquisite guitar passage, while "In the Name of the Dance" is one of the best songs I've heard anywhere all year. Whatever her spiritual intentions, Tucker is a formidable songstress. Whether you're Pagan or not, Blessings is well worth owning. --Phil Brucato New Witch Magazine.
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