10 Songs, 45 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings
8 Ratings
KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"A World Away" is the eighteenth full-length album from 2002. Originally a duo (Randy and Pamela Copus) and now a trio (with daughter, Sarah), 2002 still has one of the most distinctive sounds in new age music. They released their first album, "Wings," in 1992 and went on to release several albums on the Real Music label before going independent with their own Galactic Playground Music in about 2009. Early albums had the layered vocals that give 2002 an easily-recognizable sound, but most of those vocals were wordless and served as an angelic choral background. As Sarah has taken a bigger role in the group, her vocals have become more prominent as well lyrical, telling the story of the music with words as well as ethereal sounds.

On the instrumental side, Randy Copus plays piano, electric cello, guitar, bass, and keyboards. Pamela plays flutes, harp, keyboards, and a wind instrument called a WX5. Sarah plays Celtic harp, violin, baritone ukulele, piano, and Irish whistle. The three artists provide all of the vocals on their recordings, with Sarah and Randy singing in both the foreground and background. Their voices are recorded many times and layered to create a "virtual choir.” In a nutshell, this album tells a “cosmic love story” of two spirits traveling together through different times and places, becoming separated, and finally, after a long search, reunited. The purity of Sarah’s voice brings additional emotional depth and poignance to the lyrics. Six of the ten tracks are vocals and four are instrumentals.

"A World Away" begins with “Dream of Life,” which starts the story at a point where the lovers have been separated and a search has begun. I love the lines: “I would hold the stars and still the winds of time to be with you.” Although tinged with sadness, this song really soars! “Finding You” is a dreamy yet haunting instrumental that features piano, acoustic guitar and violin as well as synths. Randy Copus takes the lead vocals on “To Live Again,” a touching song of loneliness and searching for a lost love so that life can be complete once more. “Butterfly” is classic 2002 - buoyant, soaring and emotional. “Memory of Tomorrow” expresses powerful emotions in a mysterious instrumental that features harp, cello, violin and keyboard orchestration - a favorite. “We Are Always” is a gorgeous instrumental that overflows with love and contentment - another a favorite! I also really like “The Space Between,” which is more piano-based. “Strings of Your Heart” is a bittersweet song of reunion and abiding love, bringing this lovely album to a close.

So, if you have been a fan of 2002 since the beginning, "A World Away" shows this enduring group moving in a somewhat different direction without losing their distinctive sound. If you’re new to their music, check this one out first and then work your way back to see how this group has evolved over time.

CandiceMichelle1 ,

Like the soundtrack to a fantasy romance novel

2002 began as the husband/wife duo of Randy and Pamela Copus who released their widely successful debut album Wings in 1992. Initially making their mark on the scene with a traditionally ‘new age’ style in the vein of Herb Ernst or Liquid Mind, the band gradually evolved over the years to adopt more symphonic and neoclassical signatures, such as on their notable 2000 release River of Stars, which employed classical strings and wordless ethereal vocal layers reminiscent of Enya. Evolving ever still, 2002 started incorporating gentle progressive rock elements (as heard on their 2012 album Believe) with Randy’s lyrical-vocal style impressively recalling that of Jon Anderson’s. By the time their 2014 album Trail of Dreams rolled around, Randy and Pamela’s daughter Sarah Copus had joined the line-up as lead vocalist, officially becoming the band’s third member. Comprised of ten alluring compositions, 2002’s latest album entitled A World Away is themed around a cosmic love story of kindred spirits traveling together among different worlds and time periods, becoming lost along the way until eventually reuniting, as if the music were playing out like the soundtrack to a fantasy romance novel. Together the trio not only provide vocals, but play a variety of Celtic, classical and acoustic instruments plus keyboards/synthesizers.

From the opening piece “Dream of Life” the listener is seemingly swept up on a magical night-flight guided by the song’s choral-pop vocal arrangement, which is feathered among a richly cinematic soundscape likewise mirrored on other compositions such as “Butterfly”, “Stars and Moon” and “Strings of Your Heart”. One of my favorite pieces is “Finding You”, which unfolds like a Celtic lullaby with its tender harp and gentle guitar. Randy’s progressive rock influences are especially noted on “To Live Again”, which he beautifully sings to a gentle arrangement of piano and symphony. “Memory of Tomorrow” is perhaps the ultimate highlight for me; the most haunting piece on the album due to its mysterious, minor key affections along the way, it enchantingly lulls the listener into a dreamlike haze.

Collectively, the lyrical vocal portions on this album are somewhat reminiscent of the male/female ‘new age’ music duo Llewellyn of whom I’m also a longtime fan. Additionally, the gorgeous CD booklet includes the songs’ inspiringly romantic and celestially poetic lyrics accompanied by stunning fantasy-nature artwork. Overall sweet and sparkling yet rich in depth, A World Away is, unsurprisingly, another top-notch album from 2002 that will likely appeal to fans of Enya, Llewellyn and Jon Anderson, as well as lovers of Celtic, ethereal and fantasy music!

R J Lannan ,

2002 A World Away

2002
A World Away

If you want to get away from it all, now’s your chance. If you ever dream about how things should be, then dream on. If you wonder what if, but never took that first step, then march lively. Legendary New Age/Fantasy band 2002 provides ten glorious opportunities to get you on your journey with their latest collection, A World Away. The album contains a sublime mix of vocals and impressive instrumentals to summon, escort, and guide you to worlds unknown and places you only dream about. The album, number eighteen for the band started in 1992 by Pamela and Randy Copus, is one of their strongest performances to date with intricate, breathtaking compositions and the maturation of one of the planet’s (Ours) more ethereal voices in daughter Sarah Copus. The music entails distances and discoveries of the heart and the spirit.

“Here in the Dream of Life,
Returning to your shore,
I would cross the moon,
I would cross the ocean,
anything to find you.”
The album opens with the tune Dream of Life. Dynamic harmonies and a positive refrain fuel the ballad that offers a promise, and I think the entire album is full of promises, said and unsaid. Strong violin mixed with piano and with layers of refined vocal provender combine into a song that is bright and energizing. The interlude (the bridge) is a beautiful piece unto itself. This dream lover will make a pledge she will keep.

The first instrumental is called Finding You. It is slow and otherworldly with the combination of harp, violin, and guitar. I imagined myself drifting along, sorting through all the white, cumulus clouds, looking in the deep, dark recesses of the caves, and opening all the locked doors of my mind, hoping for a sign of you.

Randy dons his magical balladeer cloak and offers up the song To Live Again. His unique alto/tenor voice is perfect for this gift of a song.
“I’ve always held you in the silence of that sunlit day, a world away”
The lyrics capture the idea that love, above all, is timeless. Randy’s tune offers hope that anyone, despite distance and time, can love again. I believe him.

Butterfly is a gift of a song. It is a light hearted frolic and an invitation to spread your wings and fly to your future. I can appreciate that this song is just about perfect for the vocalist, Sarah as she pursues her musical career as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist of the finest kind. Her sweet vocal reminds us that the freedom of flying free is a gift you give yourself.
Memory of Tomorrow is another instrumental that sets you spiritually free. The tune is a bit melancholy, but never frightening, never haunting. Get ready for a trip beyond the boundaries of your heart in the song Stars and Moon. This is an upbeat tune, full of glorious harmonies and perfect continuity as the singers take you to a place of dreams and wonders. Lots of layered vocals and imaginary scenarios for you to peruse. The next instrumental We Are Always has a captivating flute resonance over dreamlike vocalizations that are guaranteed to produce a more than pleasant reverie. The weightlessness of it all. The nascent beauty of it all. It is musical rapture.

Sarah’s sweet, fairytale voice soars on the final tune Strings of Your Heart. It is a song of love lost and the yearning that a heart can muster once the prize is missing. The memories are there, but they have faded it bit. Then starlight magnifies them and the yearning starts once again. Strong piano motif and warm, harmonious background vocals add to the story. Don’t worry, love wins after all.

2002 has conjured up just the right combination of strong vocalization, lush, complex orchestration and somewhat romantic and listenable lyrics on A World Away. The trio is headed for new heights as their music transmutes from harmonious to gold. The instructions are simple Play the recording. Dream. Repeat. I give this my highest recommendation for delightful fantasy fare.

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