For her second solo album, Starlight Starbright, Blackmore's Night singer Candice Night didn't have to go very far for inspiration. Her children, Autumn (Who she was pregnant with when she began writing the album and Rory served as her muses for the project. Night originally designed the album as a series of lullabies to help her children sleep, but soon found that her music had a calming effect on many children with sensory, hyperactivity and learning issues, making the album much bigger in scope.
For the album, she is backed by her husband, legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore as well as Pat Regan on keyboards and orchestral arrangements. Claire Smith Bermingham performs violin on the record. The song mixes originals, some co-written with Blackmore, and covers ranging from "So This Is Love" from Cinderella to "John Denver's "Annie's Song" to Kenny Loggins' "Return To Pooh Corner." Throughout, Night's voice is gentle, often ethereal and Blackmore's playing offers the perfect accompaniment.
The album opens with the traditional "Rock A Bye Baby," with a new lyrical arrangement from Night. Her dreamy vocals open the song unaccompanied before being joined by gentle guitar, woodwinds and keyboards. Night harmonizes with herself in this pretty track. Night gives a passionate vocal on her own original track, "Robin Redbreast." The song, like the rest of the album, is a gentle, relaxing number showcasing the range of Night's vocal abilities. Where she could push her voice like so many other singers, she shows restraint, adding to the song's gentle nature.
Night offers a beautiful take on 'So This Is Love," backed by piano and gives a haunting vocal on "Sleep Little Baby," a track that also features some delicate acoustic guitar from Blackmore. Co-written with Blackmore, it is a gorgeous track on par with any of the famous covers on the album.
John Denver's classic "Annie's Song" showcases a stunning vocal performance from Night. The arrangement is similar to the original, but maintains the dreamy quality found throughout the rest of the CD. The album closes with another Blackmore/Night original, "Misty Blue." The song's intricate guitar and pretty vocal help round out a beautiful selection of songs.
Night wanted to make an album of lullabies for her children. With Starlight Starbright, she has succeeded in not only doing that, but also creating a tranquil, relaxing album for for all ages. Filled with gorgeous vocals and understated, yet intricate playing, Starlight Starbright is a satisfying listening experience.