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Ian Anderson - Divinities: Twelve Dances With God CD (album) cover


Ian Anderson


Prog Folk

3.63 | 109 ratings

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4 stars The colors of spirituality

"Music as celebration is the key here: brightly coloured by elements of improvisation, this material echoes the many diverse and sometimes conflicting spiritual yearnings which might trouble the itinerant middle-aged musician on his continuing journey across the world's stages..apparently, it was also quite fun to play." [from the CD booklet]

"Twelve Dances with God" is an interesting effort from the Tull front man. No vocals, no guitars, no big bass/drums rhythm. Ian plays flutes and his partner Andrew Giddings handles Keyboards and Orchestrations along with a handful of classical musicians. The results are really enjoyable and special.

On the plus side, yes, the music is as beautiful as you've heard. Simply gorgeous flute as the lead instrument with orchestral backgrounds in styles of classical, folk, world, and new age all present. Occasionally is reminds me of renaissance period music or travelogue music a la Loreena McKennitt. And while it is often relaxing and mellow, it is not "bore you to sleep" background music. It has moments of great writing, colorful distinct playing, and character. The quality of the material makes it more than a muzak experience. On the down side, since the music is inspired by spirituality it would have been nice for there to have been some exploration or commentary in the booklet to this end. Nothing. Also, while this was clearly a classical music release I do wonder how good this material could have been with some band involvement. There are moments that just cry for some guitar or for different musical elaboration. That's a big what-if and maybe a pointless one, but with the right adjustments this could have been the best Tull album in ages. But pulling back from that tangent this is really a quality release just the way it is.

I would recommend this first and foremost to fans of classical music but also to anyone who loves quality instrumental music. It is a very nice little highlight of the Tull/Anderson catalogue. I'm so happy to have taken the chance.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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