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Pleasant but not very memorable.
on 27 August 2002
This is a pleasant album from Sarah Brightman, the first of many and ongoing collaborations with German producer Frank Peterson (one of the creators of new age group Enigma). The influences from Peterson's visions of chant, electronic and chill out music are easy to recognise on this album. Indeed, there are not really any chants in the same way Enigma has them, but the opening track `Dive' and other conjunctioning songs such as `Cape Horn' and `Siren' are definite indicators with their ocean sounds and whale vocalisations. This album is also a pioneer of a tradition that Brightman still practices today, which is to link all of her material with a common theme. In this case, it is the ocean.
This is still a pop album as opposed to a new-age album though, and the album is filled with pleasant enough sounding mid-tempo ballads with the odd dash of power (though never operatic) that Brightman was and is capable of - `A Salty Dog' is a prime example of this. But none of the songs are particularly memorable. `The Second Element' and `Once In A Lifetime' have some replay value, and may, indeed, be your passage for justification to buy this album but the rest may well pass you by with the exception of a jarring, irritating track that is `Johnny Wanna Live'.
This is by no means a ground breaking album with ground breaking songs, but it's a pleasing listen and would make some great background music whilst you're working or pre-occupied with other things. If you have a great interest in Brightman's music, this is a good source to understand her roots with Peterson who went on and continue to experiment with different sounds. If you want an album of theirs where they had eventually found their footing, try `Eden' or `La Luna'. If you want an album that packs more of a punch but a bit less of the classical influence, `Fly' is your best bet.