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Andreas Vollenweider - Eine Art Suite In XIII Teilen CD (album) cover

EINE ART SUITE IN XIII TEILEN

Andreas Vollenweider

Crossover Prog


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3 stars Where is the border between Newage and Prog? With an artist like Andreas Vollenweider, finding it is very hard. He is classically influenced, instrumental, and sometimes follows a concept. He shows jazz skill and has invented the electroacoustic harp. This is prog. His music is relaxing, almost always sunny and melodic. His tracks are rarely longer than 4 minutes. This is more newage.

However who reads a review may want to know if an album is good enough to spend some bucks or not, and being Vollenweider in a full prog category on this site, let's ignore the discussions.

This debut album, as the German title says, is a suite (in the classical meaning of the word, so an instrumental piece) made of 13 parts (Teilen).

It's incredible how this album has already all the principal ingredients of Vollenweider's music. There's not a research of a line to follow as sometimes happens with debutants, this is a Vollenweider's album, like all the others, with just electric guitar and drums a bit more in foreground respect to the usual.

For who doesn't know this artist who comes from Zurich (Switzerland), his music is mainly based on the electroacoustic harp, that's a harp which can be played with glissandos and legatos and allows even playing blues. The tracks are in general instrumental, at least there can be choirs. We'll have to wait for Eolian Minstrel to hear proper "songs". The music is a fusion of classical, rock and jazz in a vein not too distant, I think, from Pat Metheny but very more European.

This album, as I have written, has more guitar than what will become usual later, and this makes it sound a bit more rock in some parts. Effectively it can also sound newage, being based on major chords. This album as all his production until the 90s would be very good to be used as soundtrack for documentaries. In brief, if you are looking for a relaxing background skillfully composed and played, with elements coming from classical and jazz, this is a good one.

The track that more than the others deserves a mention is the 1:58 minutes of piano solo in the 5th track. It is excellent. The rest is "just" good.

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Posted Sunday, June 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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