New Reviews: April 24, 2001
Anthem is a magnificent album produced and composed by Ronan Hardiman of
Dublin, Ireland. Delicate and lush lead vocals performed by Leslie Dowdall,
emanate effortlessly from track to track. The lead vocals are accompanied by
electronic layering that sounds surprisingly similar to musical pieces by Enya.
Additionally, the contemporary keyboard, piano, string and drum arrangements are
amazingly reminiscent of Enigma. Lyrically, the content of the songs are very
positive and uplifting. The contemporary instrumentation and operatic and
angelic vocal pieces are essential ingredients for one of the year’s best
contemporary world music albums. Ultimately, the catchy arrangements and
creative lyrical styles will certainly bring enjoyment and delight to anyone
interested in contemporary world music.
The music of Seven Nations combines their Celtic roots with American rock/pop
melodies and vocals to create a unique Celtic rock sound. A few instrumental
tracks demonstrate the traditional influences in their music. Acoustic and
electric guitars, Highland bagpipe, mandolin, jembe drum, bodhran, shakers,
piano and fiddle are blended from track to track with uncanny ease. The vocal
songs are very catchy and enjoyable. The immense musicianship of Seven Nations
definitely shines through on their latest, self-titled album. The addition
of rock arrangements reflects the incredible versatility and compatibility
that Celtic music has in the North American rock/pop music scenes.
Paul Santos had a keen interest in the chanting traditions from around the world.
His interest led him to approach Triloka Records for the completion of a world
music album devoted exclusively to chanting traditions. Planet Chant features
the music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Michael Brook, Sheila Chandra, Jim Donovan,
Angelite, Krishna Das, Russian State Symphony, Saraband, Ladysmith Black Mambazo
and Lama Gyurme among others. For the most part, traditional instrumentation
accompanies the chanting pieces. Tibetan Buddhism, Qawwali, Hindu, Zulu, Bhakti Yoga,
Native American and Orthodox chant traditions characterize the varied scope of this
recording. Planet Chant offers an excellent glimpse into the rich history and
culture of the world’s diverse chanting traditions.
Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.