Jane Sytek and Rick Davies find musical compatibility on From The Shadow Of The Citadel. The couple also finds the simple beauty and colorful patterns within the music on the twelve tracks of progressive folk rock offered on their new release.
This music has a 60s folk feel and definite Celtic influence similar to Jethro Tull or Blackmore's Night. Sytek and Davies have the charm of a Peter, Paul, and Mary, minus one Peter or Paul of course; nevertheless, their positive spirit and engaging lyrics reminded me of wonderful songs that spin a magical tale. They are serious musicians with some great music to offer. It is not soft pop we are talking about here, although it does have its pop elements, the progressive folk weighs in heavily. The use of woodwinds, flutes, acoustic guitars, and chimes give the feeling of warmth and mysticism throughout this recording.
Jane Sytek has a lovely voice and indeed sounds like a fair maiden transported from medieval times and her partner Rick Davies has the same approach and style, he is soft yet convincing, and delightfully so with his vocals and interplay with Sytek and the music. What both musicians accomplish with instruments they also uncover with their voices. The tapestries of rich layered sounds bring you right into their world. If this does not happen to you after the first track you are hopeless, your imagination has somehow escaped you and the child within is dead. I guess I cannot be any blunter than that.
This was such a great listen and I enjoyed it so much that it seemed it was a matter of minutes before it was over. Each track seamlessly blends into the other creating a storybook set to music. It really is magical what they pull off on this CD. Besides being very good at what they do with the prog-folk style I think they should consider doing a movie soundtrack or something along the lines of a children's book with a soundtrack to accompany the story. I can hear them doing an all time classic like "Puff The Magic Dragon." I do not mean this as a detriment at all by any means nor am I taking away from this marvelous effort, I am pointing out the fact that this couple is quite talented and could take their craft in many directions.
Sytek & Davies take a magic sword made of gold and cut a hole into thin air, creating a time portal that transports you back into a magic kingdom where fairies, nymphs, sprites, and leprechauns frolic about. This music engages your imagination and for me that is what great music is supposed to do-a job well done indeed.
01. Changing of the Guard (5:02)
02. Secrets (4:05)
03. Sunset City (3:58)
04. Avatar (2:53)
05. Hurricane (on the edge of 7) (5:30)
06. Tried To Reach The Gold (3:53)
07. Alone In Thoughts (2:54)
08. A Haunted Look (3:16)
09. Dancing with the Flutemaker-inst. (3:12)
10. Child of Passion (3:28)
11. Haridas (2:37)
12. Tree Planter (5:59)