(written 3/1/97)

Conventional wisdom tells us that in order for a story to be believable, it must be written from experience. So how does the music of Chantal Kreviazuk manage to cast aside any doubt of insincerity, despite her relative inexperience in the professional music industry, and make us believe that she really does know what she's talking about? In a word, passion.

As an artist, she expresses herself with magnificent grace. As a musician, she communicates with a brave ferocity that leaves the listener wanting more. And as a poet she makes us listen to her with a gentle tug. This is Chantal Kreviazuk.

I first heard her single on the radio, and my first thought was ", can she SING...". Being somewhat of a vocalist myself, I always look for strong vocals in a song. Her voice raged and soothed, up and down, and the unique phrasing she used was phenomenal (I still can't get the timing quite right on that song...!)

Having initially searched the web before beginning this project a month ago, I found nothing on her. Seeking to right another "web injustice" (see my Cyrano de Bergerac site), I started to work on this site. My lack of time being what it is, I'm just finishing it now. Doing another search for Chantal Kreviazuk, I've found a fair bit more. Only one other real home page devoted to her, but I'm feeling somewhat dejected that someone beat me to the punch. Oh well. The more the merrier! My eventual goal is to be in direct contact with her management, and get up-to-date information.

But enough about the site! On to Chantal!

growing up

[from the SONY web site]

A piano playing prodigy at two, a competition-winning classical pianist and vocalist by her early teens, Chantal turned towards contemporary music with the onset of a rebellious adolescence. At fifteen she stopped studying other people's music but continued writing her own, developing a sense of personal style along with her sense of self. When a near-tragic motorbike accident in Italy left her with a shattered jaw and broken leg in 1994, an enforced period of bed-rest and recuperation found her writing songs that explored a life ripe with the diverse mysterious of an adulthood just begun.

the album

The album is, in a word, stunning. The sheer ferocity with which Chantal sings never ceases to amaze me. Exuding passion in every vocal rise and fall, she sings about the things that mean the most to her: her relationships, her faith, and her experiences.

From the Sony web site:

Whenever an artist debuts with the musical self-confidence and assured demeanour that Chantal Kreviazuk (kre-vee-a-zuk) so openly displays, some insiders might suspect a prank. Could she be a seasoned veteran masquerading as a newcomer? How else would not one but two extremely reputable producers be convinced to share (not split) credit on all of the album's thirteen tracks? Why would Sony Canada sign a 22 year-old artist from Winnipeg for a global release and a subsequent tour when she had yet to perform before a paying audience? The answers, obviously enough, can be found in the music.

      Under These Rocks And Stones reveals an artist that has emerged full grown, like Diana appearing from the head of Zeus. From the discordantly tinkling ivories that introduce the first track (and single) "God Made Me", to the brutally bare emotions that underscore the album-closer, "Actions Without Love", the album reveals a burgeoning talent almost too good to be true.

   Co-produced by the legendary Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, 10,000 Maniacs) and alterna-rock mastermind Matt Wallace (Screaming Trees, Faith No More, The Replacements) and recorded in Los Angeles, Under These Rocks And Stones features Chantal on piano and vocals. Chantal wrote all but two of the album's thirteen tracks.

So that's SONY's take on their new artist. A very interesting approach; describing their own doubt (in a way) to explain their actions as ultimately justifiable. I'd agree with them! They also have this to add:

      Chantal's spirituality informs but doesn't define her music. In an era when deeply held beliefs divide as often as they unite, Chantal writes confidently about the complexities of secular rather than religious life. She unabashedly catalogues her personal shortcomings on "God Made Me" and isn't blind to the shortcomings of others, as evidenced in the seething anger of "Believer". The passion is unbridled on "Green Apples", the poignancy heartfelt on "Imaginary Friend" and the labyrinthine intricacies of day-to-day human interaction are compellingly revealed on "Boot", "Hands" and "Don't Be Good".

This might be the one area in which I disagree with SONY. I tend to feel that the spiritual depth attached to Chantal's music is one of the reasons her music is so special. It's quite "politically correct" to underplay this element in her music, but I enjoy her lyrics for this quality that helps define and focus her approach.

On Under These Rocks And Stones you'll find one of the most astonishing debuts in recent memory and in Chantal Kreviazuk, an engaging and diverse new talent.

At some point I'd like to look into this part of her music further, but for now this is enough to make you think. Send me some e-mail if you have some strong feelings about this . . .


Books Music Video

Did you enjoy this web site?
Help support it by buying

something from AMAZON! logo