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Dancer And The Moon by Blackmore's Night
- posted by Michael Diamond on 7/13/2013
Dancer and the Moon by Blackmore's Night
For those who may not be familiar, the music of Blackmore’s Night is an alchemical brew of Renaissance and Medieval music, Celtic, English folk, and rock influences. The seven-piece band employs a wide range of instruments harkening from the Middle Ages to the present. “Dancer and the Moon” is their ninth studio release, and is available in two versions. One is the standard CD by itself, and the other is a “Deluxe Edition,” which also includes a DVD, and sells for just a few dollars more. On the DVD are bonus videos of four of the songs performed informally on acoustic guitar and vocals by Richie and Candice. Also included is a half hour documentary where the duo discusses the making of the album, individual tracks, and other facts related to Blackmore’s Night.

“Dancer and the Moon” is another outstanding release by Blackmore’s Night with something to please the rainbow spectrum of their fans. From earthy Renaissance reverie to rousing rock, there is something for everyone. In a previous review I compared elements of Blackmore’s Night’s sound to aspects of Jethro Tull, and with this album featuring more electric guitar, the comparison is still apt in certain respects. Although the elegant vocals of Candice Night put Blackmore’s Night in a league of its’ own. Fan’s of Richie’s soaring Stratocaster who wanted to hear more of it in the music will certainly be happy – I know I am. And those who love the group’s more traditional acoustic fare will find a nice balance of that on Dancer and the Moon as well. Despite the wide variety of influences in their sound, or possibly because of it, the group has managed to build a huge following around the world, showing that there is a market for original music that breaks the mold of standard radio fare. And that is something Blackmore’s Night does in grand style.

Rating: Excellent
Light of Aluna by Anima
- posted by anonymous on 7/3/2013
NEW ALBUM FROM ANIMA IS A TRIBUTE TO OUR PLANET
ANIMA
LIGHT OF ALUNA

Anima is one of the U.K.’s top healing-music groups. This is soft, meditative, spiritual, healing new age music that has positive affects on body, mind and spirit.

This music combines both deep ambience and subtle uplifting melodies to create compositions that encourage and enable meditation, healing, inner journeying, transformational mind-shifts, personal peace and relaxation/stillness. This is true right-in-the-pocket new age music in every sense. The music combines soft synthesizer sounds with acoustic instrumentation (piano, guitar, flute, Tibetan bowls and wordless vocals).

Anima is a male-female duo with a half-dozen successful recordings. They have traveled widely, lived and studied with shamanic teachers, and been inspired by native tribes like the Kogi in South America. This new album is a tribute to our planet (going all the way back to its formation) and the development of all living things as well as the balance needed to maintain a good and healthy environment as we move forward.
Rating: Excellent
600 Years in a Moment by Fiona Joy
- posted by Michael Diamond on 7/1/2013
600 Years In A Moment by Fiona Joy Hawkins
With the press release for her latest album, “600 Years In A Moment,” heralding it as “her most epic and significant album,” I was of course very much looking forward to it. And after hearing it in detail, I have to say that it definitely lives up to that lofty accolade. “600 Years in a Moment” was recorded using a unique contemporary piano crafted in Australia along with ancient instruments from around the world. Fiona’s concept is to bring instruments and their distinctive sounds from villages across the globe to explore the hidden musical treasures of cultures in a modern musical setting. The album is eclectic, acoustic, beautifully produced, and spans genres with influences of new age, jazz, classical, and world music, with the distinctly Celtic flavour of her ancestors. In addition to piano, Fiona also adds vocals on the album and has often been told that she sounds like an “Australian Enya.” A number of the songs begin with solo piano before being joined by other instruments and I appreciated that it provided a contrast and an opportunity to experience Fiona’s playing and melodic sensibilities on their own before flowing into a collective musical pool.

Reading the list of accompanists and instruments on the various songs, it might seem like the tracks could be rather busy, but everything is expertly mixed with just the right amount of subtlety to allow Fiona’s graceful piano to shine, while still providing melodic and textural support. “600 Years In A Moment” is a masterful mélange of superlative musical performance, stunning contemporary composition, and widely diversified cultural influences. Preceded by a string of award winning and critically acclaimed recordings, Fiona Joy Hawkins has outdone herself with this release and continues to set the bar ever higher in the unfolding of her creative potential.

To read a full length version of this review, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com


Rating: Excellent
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