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Andreas Vollenweider - Kryptos CD (album) cover


Andreas Vollenweider


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 12 ratings

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4 stars After the questionable vocal tangent of "Eolian Minstrel", ANDREAS VOLLENWEIDER leaned heavily on his aces for this 1997 release, where voice when present is more for complementing his delicate palate. But this is far from a restatement of his earlier successes, as any examination of the shoulder length credits would reveal.

"Kryptos" veers resolutely into the orchestral man-cave of the Vollenweider estate. Sure, the first true composition is the familiar sounding and downright catchy "Morgana Palace", but this time around the victors are the Celtic infused symphonic gems like the breathtaking "under the Tree of Hope", the guided travelogue "Wanja the Wanderer", the whimsical and rambunctious "Forest Folk", the most overtly progressive "Trigon" (with show stealer Michael Brecker on sax), and the OLDFIELD inspired "May Green be the Grass".

All the while the listener is faced with an essential quandary at the core of this man's music. Is he just a "nervous composer" as some have suggested, flitting petulantly between attention starved themes, or is he not a composer at all in the "classical" sense, but just a "player" for those with no formal musical knowledge or appreciation? The true answer is an amorphous third option hidden in stark view on "Kryptos", in which his perfectionism achieves a brightness that can only make one squint with awe and delight.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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