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Popol Vuh


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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here is a more mainstream, commercial work by the legendary Popol Vuh. To trancey / ethereal folk rock compositions, the band turned to very melodic, "Yin" musical pieces with the Amon Duul's singer Renate Knaupp (who already appeared on older albums as "Letzte Tage ~ Letzte Nächte ".). The album is mainly acoustic, orientated to short intense pieces for piano, vocals with the add of Fischelscher's usual floating guitars' parts. The music are not as complex as previously, the material is more simplistic but the songs always have an introspect, peaceful atmosphere. This album also has a discreet "Hosianna Mantra" felt with a subtle religious flavour. However its includes a constant use of trademark rock guitar sounds. Not a bad album, a sympathetic listening during comfortable free moments.
Report this review (#43115)
Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Far from their glory days

Fricke attempts here to blend some world music and mainstream new age nonsense into a more commercial Popol Vuh sound and the results are less than enticing for progressive music fans. Don't expect anything even close to the primo PV albums. Sure you will find some beautiful moments of piano, some melodic morsels here and there are nice. But you can find those on the Yanni/John Tesh discs in your Mom's car. From PV the progressive music enthusiast would expect something more challenging.

"This is music devoting itself to merging the styles of various cultures. Gathered here are musical elements from the Himalayas, Ireland, Greece, and Africa, and created world music in the true sense of the phrase-one which transcends cultural boundaries, touches, and hopefully unites all people. The songs within are an instrumental base of New Age/World/Folk music, with transcendent vocals." [from CD booklet]

The title track opens with a commercial world music/new age blend that sounds like the soundtrack for some evil green-washing video about the joys of spreading corporate benevolence around the awful opening for the album. "Wind of the Stars in their Eyes" is a bit better taking an "antique Irish theme" played on Irish harp and combining with "modern Western electronic music." It works pretty well as the harp is simply gorgeous, reminding of Loreena McKennitt. "Little Bazaari" according to the CD booklet "evokes the ancestral string playing music of oriental coffee houses." Wordless vocals and hand percussions abound but the track never grabs me emotionally as is the case with much of this material. Frankly I'd take Loreena's more well-rounded excursions into this territory in a heartbeat. "Compassion" features wordless female vocals, quite beautiful, over a gypsy-like musical feeling. Warm bass licks slide underneath while various percussions grace the front door. It also sounds like harp accompanies here and there. "When Love is Calling You" is a mural of glowing guitar chords with sweet vocals about love to a very slow moving rhythm section. "In Your Eyes" is not a Gabriel cover tune but a short synth/percussion interlude. The four part "Om Mani Padme Hum" is the centerpiece of the album. It recalls the meditative aspects of some of the classic '70s work and parts 3 and 4 are the real highlight of the album for me: Florian on piano, eventually accompanied by acoustic and vocal.but mainly quite serene and less commercially pandering than elsewhere on the disc. "For You" is a brief reprise of the opening title track. This album truly fits the criteria of "for fans only"-either hard core Popol completists or admitted new age music junkies. I'd recommend other progressive fans pass on this one.

Report this review (#168333)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The last album by Popol Vuh recorded in classical line-up of the 70s-80s - Florian Fricke - keyboards and leader of the band, Daniel Fischelsher - guitar, Renate Knaup - vocals. On this album for the first time appearing Guido Hieronimus (keyboards, guitar, producer), who would play prominent role on the last electronic albums by Popol Vuh. The result is - the best recorded and the most light rock album by Popol Vuh. Florian wanted to record "For You and Me" as a kind of his reaction to the Near East war, so he tried to show that all cultures and nations are neighbours. He mixed on this album the elements of rock, acoustic guitar sound, Celtic, African, Oriental, and even classical music (piano). Also included re-recorded version of "Letze Tage-Letze Nachte" ("When Love is Calling You"). In general "For You and Me" is not the most impressive record by Popol Vuh but very good and pleasant listening which could give you a hint how Popol Vuh sounded on the peak of its activity back in the 70s.

Report this review (#456732)
Posted Saturday, June 4, 2011 | Review Permalink

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