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Album Review

Andreas Vollenweider's Cosmopoly finds the Swiss harpist collaborating with artists like Carlos Nunez, Abdul Ibrahim, and Ray Anderson, and exploring the music of Africa, Brazil, China, Ireland, and the U.S. Fittingly, Vollenweider's palette of instruments on this album includes the ocarina, gu cheng, baby koto, 12-string guitar, Bavarian folk harp, Celtic harp, and Chinese harp, along with his usual custom-made rhythm harp. "Morning Poem," Vollenweider's Celtic-inspired duet with Nunez, is all the more moving for its restraint, and the unusual fusion of Bobby McFerrin's vocals with Chinese harp on "Elle Chelle" is another highlight. Ibrahim and Vollenweider create a smoky Armenian atmosphere on their doudouk/harp duet "Hush, My Heart, Be Still," and "Peachtree Valley" evokes a lush Chinese landscape, though the overly glossy production is somewhat distracting. Carly Simon's recitation of part of Finnegan's Wake on "Your Silver Key" is also slightly jarring, and some of the album's jazzier tracks seem out of place, but for the most part, Cosmopoly offers an intriguing fusion of traditional, indigenous styles, and new musical ideas. [This version of the album contains an additional CD of bonus material.]

Customer Reviews

another fine recording

very enjoyable, imaginative and skillful musicianship.

Not impress

Not bad, nothing really new under the sun for sure.I reach to song 14 and start skipping after that.

A let down

While it sounds a little more experimental at first, together it begins to sound like musical backgrounds for the next American Express commercial or something. Its pretty uninspired overall, and Petit Smile is simply awful. There is no real flow to this album - you have to take each track as its own experience - and I like his previous albums that were theme-based and thought through. "Hey You! Yes, You..." is included on other albums available at iTunes - basically the best track on this hodge-podge of songs. So buy his earlier work and get that track thrown in for free. Avoid this album.

Biography

Born: 1953 in Zurich, Switzerland

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Andreas Vollenweider was one of the few musicians to gain superstar status as a "new age artist" back when the term was first used as a marketing category in the mid-'80s. The Swiss harpist, however, quickly transcended the need for alternative record sales when his albums simultaneously broached Billboard's pop, jazz, and classical charts in 1986. Born in Zurich in 1953, Vollenweider was ensconced in the city's fine art scene, courtesy of his father, one of Europe's leading organists. After becoming...
Full Bio
Cosmopoly, Andreas Vollenweider
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: New Age, Music
  • Released: Dec 07, 1999

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