Beautiful - Great album!
My boyfriend and I were driving back to Chicago from visiting family in Cincinnati and we stopped in Lebanon, Ohio which has a lot of beautiful little shops filled with antiques, art, etc. We were in a small art gallery called "Picture This", looking around and this beautiful music was playing. I asked the woman if she knew who it was and she said it was actually an artist who lived in town!! She said she supported local artists and had a few copies of the CD and I bought one for the trip back home.
We listened to the CD 3 times on the way home! It's been a long time since I'd listened to a whole CD and liked all the songs - of course I liked some songs more than others but I liked the whole album - It was definitely a well-spent 16 bucks and it's been awhile since I've felt like that about an album!
Here's my review:
The 1st track, a very melodic mix of New Age and Techno with lush strings, a kind of metallic sounding flute for the main instrument and kind of a techno-sounding drums - starts off very unassuming and simple, builds in intensity and then fades away. A beautiful and dramatic piece.
The next three tracks(2,3,4 - Layla's Lullaby/Surrender/And Layla Dreams) are actually mixed as a "Suite" on my copy of the CD(the 3 pieces are connected and flows into each other). The first part is a sweet and simple piano lullaby, then it turns into a dreamy spacey kind of thing with a sad solo cello for a couple of minutes, then the first part is repeated with a full-blown orchestra, all kinds of etheral electronic, spacey sounds, echoes, tape-reverse sounds etc. It was like listening to Pink Floyd or something but New Age - A really beautiful set. Definitely one of my favorite pieces.
Track 5 is a really driving techno piece featuring synthesizers and flutes. It's called "Black Train, Red City" - it really reminded me of a moving train and the all the instruments weaved in and out and around each other beautifully throughout the whole song. Another excellent piece.
Track 6 "The great Rift Valley" took me a few listens to appreciate. It starts out with a flute repeating a "World" kind of melody, then a kind of 80's jazz bass and an acoustic drum set joins in, then Xylophones(?), cellos, violins, piano etc. It at first sounded very strange but melodic at the same time - then after listening again, I realized it was really complicated the way one instrument would leave while another takes it's place without you noticing immediately because the transition was so smooth. I've actually never heard anything like it - I think it's really a unique song, you'll either absolutely love it like I do, or hate it with a passion like my boyfriend.
Track 7 "Evolution Waltz" is a mix of Ambient and Techno. It's got a very cool slow-tempo techno beat, starts out with very lush strings, then a flute is added, then a violin, then an acoustic guitar, then a weird glitch noise, then a cello. Everytime a new instrument is added, a new inter-weaving melody is created and by the time the song ends, you're completely immersed in the song then it ends abruptly. It leaves you kind of wishing it hasn't ended yet - a really beautiful piece.
Track 8 "Harbinger" is a beautiful melodic mix of ethnic drums, lush strings, flutes and cellos. It starts out very quiet with sounds of distant thunder then everything just pops out at you and the song just keeps driving more and more intense and then reaches a crescendo and fades away - and the you are left in a rain storm with sounds of thunder cracking here and there. You actually feel like you're somewhere in a monsoon or something. Another intelligent, excellent piece - one of my favorites.
Track 9 "Do You Want to Drive?" was a surprise. It starts out with a very jazzy and funky beat and a solo piano, then it changes genre and sounds New Age with pan-flutes, then it changes back and so on. It's a really catchy and funky tune. Another favorite of mine.
The last track (10) "Ireland Blue" is my absolute favorite off the album. It's almost a classical piece of music - a solo flute accompanied by a beautiful orchestra. I can't really describe it except to say that it's like a beautiful, sad, meaningful part of a movie soundtrack. Everytime it ends, it takes me a few moments to recover from being mesmerized. It's absolutely gorgeous!
I absolutely love this album. It's an instrumental album that can't really be put in a single genre - but several(New Age/Jazz/Ambient/Techno). If you like beautiful but intelligent melodies, excellent mature composition, unique songs and serious musicianship - this one is a MUST!