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Karnataka - Delicate Flame Of Desire CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.33 | 78 ratings

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3 stars My first experience with Karnataka is this - beautifully named - third, and last with the original line-up, album. While listed under prog-folk, the listener will instantly realise that the musical orientation of this band is not quite as described here.

There is some small truth in the term prog-folk, as the band tries to mix traditional Celtic tunes with prog (related) arrangements. The result probably leans towards the first direction; folk elements appear in a relatively ''soft'' atmosphere and mostly in the vocal melodies of Rachel Jones and the scarce flute phrases and guitar solos. Progressive music is not really embedded in the music as the few neo-prog elements (in the vein of 90's Marillion, Arena) never take the lead.

The whole album flows in a charming ethereal atmosphere and the highpoint is clearly Rachel's voice which creates an emotional aura. While resembling to bands and artists like Enya or Mostly Autumn, whatever Karnataka chose to deliver, they deliver well. ''Pop'' is probably not the appropriate word to describe the approach, but definitely there is a ''commercial'' or, in other words, simplistic tendency. The tracks are attractive pieces of melodic soft rock coloured with neo-folk harmonies that work very well but do not create a memorable outcome.

The first part of the record is much more interesting with some magic moments; the title track is the one that in my opinion stands out. As the album progresses, the composing ideas are not developing at the extent that someone would expect and the tracks feel somewhat weaker approaching the end. Melodies seem to be repeated or remain static, without necessarily being uninteresting. Also, the length of the album (~62 mins) does not justify the number of novel ideas.

The potential problem of this flame of desire is that it is way too delicate, but this would not prevent me from enjoying it from time to time, being in the right mood - not looking for challenging tunes, but rather some well-formed melodies sung by the appropriate voice...

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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