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Donna De Lory | Bliss | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Donna De Lory

Bliss (Secret Road)
by Jamie Kiffel

Take one measure of east Asian instruments, fold in simple synths, stir with a cello, and add Madonna's slow, sweet voice circa Bedtime Stories. Seal with a lotus-scented kiss. There you have Donna De Lory, enlightenment for the pop set.

It's no wonder that Bliss sounds like Madonna. De Lory is one of Madonna's own backup singer/dancers.

It may also be noteworthy that it's De Lory's voice you hear singing the theme song as your boat eases through Disney's "It's a Small World," that she's sung back-up for Barry Manilow, and her dad, Al De Lory, is a keyboardist and producer in his own right.

But it's the Madonna years that have truly made their mark on this artist. Perhaps Lady M. met De Lory at New York's Jivamukti Yoga Center, somewhere between drilling jade into her front tooth and touching her first Indian, er, instrument. Don't expect any "Material Girl" beats from De Lory, however: This is all easy listening for lovers... with a nod toward the Buddha.

On the cover art, De Lory - a stunning, muscular woman who looks the mythical Chinese woman warrior, Fa Mu Lan - wears a sarong set that falls somewhere between Scheherezade and an Indian princess. She dons Buddhist beads and poses her hands in Indian yogic mudras. Like her music, her image is a conglomerate of spirituality.

The result is glowing sunrises of harmonies over easy, '80s-ish (almost Genesis) synth chords touched with "world" instruments (Indian tabla, African djembe). The lyrics are simple: yearning for love; praising love. "A lot of these things are about realizing that love is eternal," De Lory explains. The album's single (and strongest song), "On and On," says it plainly: "Love goes on and on and on and on and on." Such is De Lory's wide-eyed, American mantra. Love, baby. That's what it's all about, dig? Expect to hear this one on your local WLUV station, and remixed over jungle rhythms on your local dancefloor. Certainly, it's faster than finding your guru, and coordinates perfectly with this season's Asian-inspired clubwear.


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