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Vangelis - Voices CD (album) cover




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3.82 | 102 ratings

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4 stars Reprising ideas from "Conquest of Paradise" (1492) and "Chariots Of Fire", this album's title track is paying a tribute to both. This is the "final" sound of Vangelis. After the jazzy period immediately following the end of Aphrodite's Child, the clearly progressive electronic period of the late 70s and after being survived to the 80s, Vangelis quits with the experimentalisms. That's why now his ethereal music, often based on major chords, is perceived as newage. The classical influences in the orchestral arrangements and the lyrical choirs can look pretentious, but they are the consequence of years spent experimenting sounds and sequencers.

After the pompous beginning "Echoes" opens much relaxed. The main theme is reprised but it's a complete different interpretation. The same melody of the first track is now spacey or "liquid". It's played by a subtle keyboard, the choir sings low and something totally different. Just a bit less melodic and it could been exchanged for a Tangerine Dream's work. Effectively also they moved to realm closer to the newage in the 90s. This track too reminds to the two albums mentioned before, but from a different angle.

"Come To Me" is the first real highlight. The "Flute and Harp" create a mix of Celtic and Far Eastern mood. "China" and "Ireland" plus the amazing voice of Caroline Lavelle. In this song she's between Annie Haslam and Maire Brennan. It was since So Long Ago So Clear that a song like this was missing from Vangelis' solo discography. A 5-stars song.

"P.S." is a short filler which reprises the main theme after a short excursion into the medieval mood of early Clannad. Then it comes another great track: "Ask The Mountains" with the dreaming voice of Stina Nordenstam is a travel into ice and cold, and really better than Antarctica. I had similar sensations from Kate Havnevik (give her "Melankton" a try). It's a great song.

Calling "Prelude" the sixth track is quite strange. It starts with a minor chord and a singer that reminds to what Demis did on Blade Runner, only with a lower pitch. Then the piano plays a melody with echoes of Greece. Who considers Vangelis a newage artist could mention this track as example. Listening to it I can imagine Greek islands in the Mediterranean sea.

"Losing Sleep" comes from the 80s. It's probably the voice of Paul Young or the fretless (electronic) bass. There are self-references to the title track but played here and there behind a minor chords melody. It makes me think to "This is Not America" (Metheny/Bowie), a 80s hit, but the tempo is slower and some passages are too typical of Vangelis.

"Messages" opens ethnic. Seashore, birds and percussions. The melody is similar to the main theme of Antarctica but the total effect is similar to Mike Oldfield's "Song Of Distant Earth". Aborigens on an outer planet. Very melodic and spacey at the same time. It goes in crescendo until the final fade-out and the return of the seashore.

"Dream In An Open Place" gives what the title promises. Put your headphones on and let your mind travel in the space-time.

A great album. I don't like the title track and it's follow-up too much, but they are not really bad. Some excellent songs and the peaceful mood that permeates the whole album make it one of the best releases of this period.

If you need relax and appreciate melodic music this is for you, otherwise stay away. This would mean 3 stars as it not for "any" collection, but it's good music and also metal fans need relax sometimes, so I give it 4.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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