Music Review: Here in Heaven

by Donna De LoryDe Lory Music
reviewed by John Malkin
Album cover

DONNA DE LORY’S new album, Here in Heaven, begins with percussive vocals that bring to mind Indian singer Sheila Chandra. Elements of pop, world music, chanting, and spiritually focused lyrics are also mixed together on this, De Lory’s 11th album. “Instruments are what first drew me in, before I ever knew a mantra,” De Lory told S&H. “Somebody loaned me a harmonium and I learned how to play it.”

De Lory’s voice soars on the self-penned “Go Talk to Mary,” which sounds like it could be by Kate Bush. “I’ve always loved her songwriting and we sing in the same range,” says De Lory. “I grew up singing along with her records.” Here in Heaven in fact features a cover of the Kate Bush song “Never Be Mine.” 

De Lory has studied multiple spiritual philosophies, a practice she strived to keep alive while touring as a singer and dancer with Madonna for almost 20 years. As De Lory reflects, “It was so bizarre! As you can imagine, touring with Madonna—and then I get into this other kind of music.”

Donna De Lory 2016 Promo Shot Nick Spanos
Photography by Nick Spanos

Here in Heaven is also a family affair. Donna’s late father, Al De Lory, was a musician who worked with Glen Campbell and The Beach Boys; his piano recording appears here on “Amor Amor,” a song cowritten by the father/daughter duo. And the choir on the song “Listen” is De Lory’s daughter’s thirdgrade class. “It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful message,” she says. “It all starts by listening to your own heart and listening to each other. That’s like the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn, a great spiritual teacher for me. Your presence is the best gift you can give to anyone.” —JOHN MALKIN

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