If you were wondering where Mike Oldfield had been lately you might have been forgiven for thinking he was responsible for most of the material on this album. Not so! This multi instrumentalist is a new name to me from the Musea label and introduces a delightfully refreshing assortment of songs with many of those hallmark sounds so typically found on albums such as Tubular Bells, Discovery, Platinum, Five Miles Out and QE2. The assortment of instrumentation is equally impressive and is used to perfection without sounding like a plagiaristic attempt at dethroning Mr Oldfield. If you can appreciate the droning sound of the bagpipes and don't mind the Celtic influences throughout, this is sure to please. With so many instantly likeable and upbeat tunes, one can dismiss the slightly amateur sounds from the female vocalist whose voice, while reasonably strong, just doesn't quite have that same impact that Maggie Riley had on songs such as "To France". Perhaps, thankfully, most of the music is instrumental and those tracks featuring vocals are often embellished with some lovely ethereal voicings straight out of heaven. It all fits in together so well and certainly adds to the holistic charm of this really inspiring work.
If a new sub genre called progressive new age were to be adopted, this album would certainly be amongst its strongest contenders for breaking through the barriers that often marginalize this class of music. It never ceases to amaze me how many brilliant albums fall through the cracks purely because of a slightly incorrect musical description. Sure, there are plenty of New Age albums (and artists) who should have their names expunged from the annuls of musical importance, but I must admire the attempts to deliver what I believe to be a riveting set of songs that explore the boundaries so much more adeptly than others who have ventured before. With gorgeous melodies using flute, piano, violin, hammered dulcimer, keyboards, guitar, tablas, hand drums, pennywhistle and other appropriate instrumentation, I can see why this had me hitting the repeat button so often.
For fans of Lanvall, Gandalf, Mike Oldfield, Loreena McKennitt, Bill Douglas, Deuter, Jeremy, and those artists with an ability to infuse the many wonderful worldly influences within each song to make you sit up and listen. This has my highest recommendation.
1. Yo (3.31)
2. La Princesa De Las Ramas (5.00)
3. Un Dia Nublado (6.37)
4. Engel (5.23)
5. El Nino Que Habbala Con El Vicento (5.15)
6. Felicer Suenos (5.07)
7. Una Imagen Para El Diablo (5.15)
8. El Pajaro Azul (5.16)
9. El Rostra Del Ajanta (5.28)
10. El Ultimo Viaje Del Galeon (5.28)
11. Recuerdos De Mi Habitacion (2.37)
12. Fia (1.19)