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Jon Anderson - Earthmotherearth CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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3.06 | 61 ratings

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3 stars "Earth Mother Earth" is a homespun effort: Jon wraps the sound of his home (birds, cats, wife Jane) into his acoustic songs. In some ways this is a return to the musical terrain of "Olias of Sunhillow" -- the mixture of harp, acoustic guitar and vocals create the same sweeping effect -- though this takes a more natural approach where "Olias..." was supernatural. Fans of Jon ANDERSON will probably enjoy this album from the start; detractors will find fuel in the moments when Jon steps back from songwriting (e.g., the three "Harptree" pieces and segues like "Scraggle Cat and Puss Cat Willum"). Despite the light arrangements (bass and an additional guitar are added occasionally for color only), many of the songs are terrific. "Time Has Come", "Concerto Uno", "Concerto Due" and "Whalewatching" are transparent but at their core is the framework of wonder.

As with all of Jon's albums in the '90s, "Earth Mother Earth" is different than anything before or after it. Here, the singer steps back from creating music in a studio, and instead creates a studio for his music using nature. Jane also gets a few cameos, including some spoken poetry as well as lead vocals for the delightful "Heaven Knows (Treehugging)". (I don't think there's anyone in that family who doesn't have a beautiful voice.) "Earth Mother Earth" reminds me that ANDERSON (and, thus, YES) was influenced by the work of SIMON & GARFUNKEL, this time leaning toward the GARFUNKRL side of that team. ANDERSON has had such success exploring outside of his natural element (Deseo, Change We Must) that "Earth Mother Earth" seems like an easy feat. True, it's no surprise that he made an album like this, but it would have been a shame if he didn't.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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