Amy Sky, Olivia Newton-John, and Beth Nielsen Chapman’s Liv On

Olivia Newton-John and Beth Nielsen Chapman have had long and prolific careers but I was late to the party to become a fan and this is my first introduction to Amy Sky. This trio has the perfect melding of harmony with positivity, whoever brought them together deserves a big thanks. In my gay opinion, they are the new age folk version of such historic musical threesomes as Expose and Wilson Phillips.

When I was growing up, Olivia’s music was always in the background because my older brother was a fan. As an act of rebellion, I would never admit to liking the same music. The only album I confessed to liking was the soundtrack to Grease, because after all, Grease is the word. When I got older (older, not more mature…I’m still waiting for that to happen) I met a guy I liked who was an Olivia fan, so of course, I had to jump on the Olivia band-wagon. Although the guy is no longer around, my love of her music remains.

My appreciation of Beth Nielsen Chapman’s music was a pleasant surprise that was born out of my love for the TV show Charmed. Charmed used Beth’s song “Sand And Water” (which is rerecorded to perfection on Liv On) in one of their early episodes in 1998. Just a snippet of the song peaked my interest enough to buy her album by the same name. From there I was hooked and bought everything of hers I could.

Now these two amazing divas have joined forces with Amy Sky to make some beautiful music together. Liv On is a consoling album to help listeners through a loss. The first song “My Heart Goes Out To You” sets the tone to help you “in this hour of your tears”. Sadness is a major theme especially on songs like “Don’t Know What To Say” and “Immortality” which are all about death and what happens when you die.

If you’re looking for upbeat music the closest you’ll get is on my favorite track, “Stone In My Pocket”, however with lyrics like “got a hole in my soul you could drive a truck through” and “I’m a mess but I guess that’s the best I can do” it’s anything but happy. The next song, “Forever Blue” isn’t any happier than the title suggests.

This album isn’t only about loss and despair, there’s an underlying message of hope and survival as well. The album’s songsake, “Liv On”, is about enjoying every day and “Grace And Gratitude” is about being thankful for those days and anything good in your life.

The only problem I have with Liv On is something that’s a pet peeve of mine, artists who put Christmas songs on regular albums. Don’t get me wrong, “There’s Still My Joy” is a great song, but there’s a time and place for Christmas music. Driving around in my car in the middle of October is neither the time nor the place. Save it for the mall in December.

New age folk, isn’t my go-to genre of music. I like variety in my music, however, each mellow song on Liv On is magnificently done. It’s a go-to album if you’re going through a hard time and you want camaraderie and inspiration delivered in a realistic and emotionally cathartic way. If so, bust out a new box of tissues and sob along!

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