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Blackmore's Night - Under A Violet Moon CD (album) cover

UNDER A VIOLET MOON

Blackmore's Night

 

Prog Folk

2.65 | 73 ratings

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Progosopher
2 stars Some time had passed between the release of the first album by Blackmore's Night before I bought it, which means that not much more time had passed before the second one, Under a Violet Moon came out. My disappointment in the earlier gave way to my admiration for Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist of many of my earlier years, and so once again I made my way to the nearest Tower Records and bought a copy. I was hoping for something better, but alas, did not find it. That the word 'moon' appears in both titles should have been my first warning signal. Still, there are improvements.

The first improvement is the better production. The sound is much more present and clear. Several of the problems from Shadow have been solved - the music is less the same and more dynamic. Blackmore is not carrying the bulk of the instrumentation, and he even plays electric guitar on a few tracks. This adds more verve to the proceedings, but do not expect to hear the wild workouts he is so justifiably famous for. The orchestrations are real and not synthesized. Jen Johansson's keyboard work fills in a lot of space and adds more depth. There is a sophistication to the music, of a level which should only be expected from one with Blackmore's experience. With all of these characteristics in its favor, Under a Violet Moon is not a better album than its predecessor.

About half the album is the same old boring renaissance fantasy songs, that is, they are dull and uninspired, bringing out the worst qualities of both Blackmore and Candace Night. Even some of the acoustic instrumentals suffer from this problem. The vocals remain unemotional, but they are better.

The opening title track is among the better songs. One of my favorites, oddly, is Wind in the Willows. There is an illuminated child-like (as opposed to childish) quality to this song: John Ford's vocals add a much needed contrast to Candace Nights, yet this is the one song where I actually like her vocals. Spanish Nights is a good upbeat tune with lots of energy, while Gone with the Wind is the most powerful track with its kettledrums, male choir, and brass ensemble.

Even with the improvements, the low-quality songs which make up half the album keep this one on the same level as their first release - two stars. I have given up on Blackmore's Night.

Progosopher | 2/5 |

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