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Clannad - Atlantic Realm (OST) CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.74 | 10 ratings

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2 stars If you are looking for the nice, relaxing sounds of Clannad's style of Celtic music, don't look here. "Atlantic Realm" is a soundtrack to a documentary about the ocean, and while it is true that Clannad is credited for the soundtrack, this is not your typical Clannad recording. It sounds like most of the music is manufactured by synthesizers, not that this is a bad thing, but it's not always what you expect from Clannad, plus there is the fact that the synths at many times sound very dated. There is very few vocals on this recording, and, for the most parts, the few vocals that are there are wordless. There is hardly any acoustic guitar to be found anywhere here, if any. The tracks are very short, no track here makes it to the 4 minute mark, so there is very little room for development of any themes. Even though there are some melodic moments here, it is mostly non-melodic.

So those are the reasons to avoid this recording, especially if you are expecting typical Clannad music. There are a few highlights here regardless of the negative aspects. The biggest highlight is the song "Under Neptune's Cape" which is more on the experimental side at first with deep, dark bass tones underneath a bell-like melody. Intensity grows as the track continues and actually becomes exciting and interesting. More percussion gets added as the intensity grows. This one actually approaches something that you would expect to hear from Vangelis. "Drifting" features a nice electric harp, but is way too short. "Ocean of Light" has a nice shimmering effect, it remains soft through the track and has a hymn-like feel to it.

Those are three highlights that make up about 9 minutes of the album. The rest of the album will give you little teases with a few tracks offering wordless vocals, but nothing to get excited about. The one track that does have any vocals worth mentioning is "Signs of Life" but it is spoken word since it is the reading of a poem over a very clunky synthesizer. They do throw in a sax and some pipes here and there, but they are very sparse and far between, that you may not even notice them much. Although there is no guitar to speak of, there is a mandolin on one of the tracks which adds a little variety.

The biggest problems here is that the tracks are underdeveloped and the synthesizer is often very poorly used. I suppose, at the time of the release, it didn't sound too bad, but it really hasn't aged well. If you want some nice world music with a Celtic feel, then this is not the album you want, but pretty much any other album by Clannad would suit you better than this one. I doubt this would even work well for background music because of the cheesy synth in many of the tracks. I don't even know if fans would be interested in this, but I will give it the benefit of a doubt because of the 9 minutes (out of 33 total minutes) of good music on the album.

TCat | 2/5 |


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