Although there are some light-hearted parts on this album, the sound of the music seems to be more sombre than the first Adiemus album. There is much more emphasis on powerful chord changes rather than ethnic beats or pretty melodies. 'Song of the Spirit' is probably my favorite song, due to it's blistering momentum and harmonic invention. 'Song of the Spirit' is also very good, with it's alternation between joyful choral passages and a more melancholic solo voice passage. The chorales always contrast strongly with the songs as they are mostly sung by a solo voice and do not usually exceed 2 minutes.
The structure of this album is clever in that it imitates, as the title suggests, the structure of a classical cantata. Typically these follow the pattern of recitative, aria (song), chorus (or chorale). Usually, in, say, a Bach cantata, this pattern would be repeated twice or three times but, here, Karl Jenkins repeats it many more times and the songs are extended in length. I think this is where the album falls down a bit. The repetitious nature of the material lends itself to brevity and Jenkins just pushes it that little bit too far. The album is well over an hour and one just gets exhausted because of the weight of the compositions.
So, even though most of the songs on this album are better than the songs on the first album, the overall experience is too dense for it to seem a superior album. This is why I give 'Cantata Mundi' four stars as well.