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Michael Stearns - The Storm CD (album) cover

THE STORM

Michael Stearns

 

Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The American ambient-oriented artist Michael Stearns really hasn't got many reviews here, despite his vast discography. Last month I reviewed Encounter (1988) and now the only other album I have from Stearns. No, I am not a connoisseur of his output.

Instead of having an ordinary studio album at hand, much of the music on The Storm has originally appeared on various films. This fact doesn't decrease the coherence of the whole, which is mixed with great dedication to function perfectly as an individual, genuine ambient album. According to All Music Guide review here are "some of darker and more exotic soundscapes and atmospheres" of Stearns. Compared to Encounter, this does feel a bit more exciting and varied, but the difference is not notable. If the space- themed Encounter was fit for a planetarium, this music by and large has the similar meditative and profound nature, only with some more Earth-rooted nuances, at times associated to Africa or India.

The opening title track featuring sound effects of a thunder is from a film called The Doe in the Headlights. It's a very fine, dynamic piece of dark ambient. Many of the other tracks are typical Stearns in their slow-paced spatial serenity.

'Light in the Tree' features some female voice (Marsha Lee) as a part of the soundscape. 'From the Cradle' is one of the highlights. It has crystal-like brightness and some distant, distorted human voice to increase the mystic feel. Female singing is more central on 'Bajan' co-composed by an Indian mystic Mirabai.

Those listeners not in general excited by slow-paced ambient music probably won't get interested with this album either, but especially if you like some World Music flavour too, The Storm is a recommendable item of the genre.

Matti | 4/5 |

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