Anne Allen, The Romantic Flute. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Romance, to some it is about feeling wanted, desired, cherished, perhaps with the knowledge firmly and subtly denied that it will lead to a form of subjugation, of power being placed back and forth between the two parties involved; eventually always leading to the damned phrase, if you loved me you would…. Romance though should arguably be seen like love, not one that monetary can be placed upon, rather it should be the feeling of being equal, of feeling relaxed and safe enough in each other’s company that is the main flush of excitement in any relationship.

The gentle narrative offered by Anne Allen in her album The Romantic Flute is enough to shake romance up, enough vigour and passion in her hands to show that romance is a notion misplaced in the eyes of some, who think it is about what is spent and not the freedom that is offered that makes romance actually seem shallow and wanton; the gentleness of Ms. Allen’s flute is the antipathies of such destructive forces and instead proposes a scent of the cool and excitement.

Music in the hands of the serene is always constant, unlike romance when taken for granted which can be too high or wallow in the wreck of a broken soul, music is a companion that only seems to want to give, to provide a defence in which to feel safe within and Anne Allen is a great builder of the hideaway, of the sense of calm and rising hope that comes from such a dynamic pulse who truly understands how to love.

Romance is in the eye of the individual, Anne Allen brings the collective view into sharp focus as she plays an array of music from other’s huge repertoire and makes each one stand out individually, in tandem and as a force that such a musician can do. With renditions such as The Dance of The Blessed Spirits by Christolph Gluck, Charles Matthews’ Love Songs, the swaying beauty of Henri Mancini’s Days of Wine & Roses and the awesome intrepid feel of George Gershwin’s Summertime Blues, Anne Allen brings delight, true romance and soul filling nourishment firmly into place; this is long walk through spring meadows with a picnic at the end kind of album, one we all could do with coming across.

Ian D. Hall