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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas tradition with comtempory twist, 15 Dec. 2010
By 
Marcia "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ringing The Changes (Audio CD)
Wake up; Wake up, There's a new beginning, Wake up, Wake up. These are the words of the chorus of the first song on this release by the ever impressive Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band. It is a rousing start to a very original Christmas themed album.
Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band first released a Christmas album in the mid 1980`s with "Tapestry of Carols" and that album and their third to sixth albums all centred on established or traditional Christmas music.. Then on their eighth release, also a Christmas album "Gold,Frankincense and Myrth" Gold Frankincense and Myrrh they offered us an album of mostly their own songs. All with a very strong European traditional Christmas feel.
This album was released in 2007, it's their ninth album and it also contains mainly songs written by Maddy and the Band with a traditional religious theme.
Some of the songs had been introduced during the 2005 Christmas live tour, but this is the first time they appeared in studio recording.
The result is a contempory reflection on the festive season. The album illustrates that in the modern world there is still time for contemplation, for peace, for quiet, for a carol and for Christmas.
The track "Wake up!" tells the story of the three wise men of the Christmas story. "Blue Pearl" is a profound visualisation of our place in life and the world. Other Christmas themed stories are found throughout the album. Maddy provides words for "the gift" and "the changing face of Christmas".
Not everything is contempory though, there are words credited to Anon from the 15th Century on "Bring us in good ale" put to a fantastic tune by Jub Davis. It is a good rousing traditional flavoured drinking song. There is also words by Henry Clay Work 1865 on "Ring the bell watchman" and Medieval words (Anon) on "Latin Latin"
Giles Lewis also contributes much to the composition of either words or music on this release.
Finally there is the track "Stuff". (7) This track was released as a single and was promoted during the Christmas tour 2007. It didn't get much media attention and didn't make any major impact on the singles chart. It is an original song. It is a novelty track. And its commercial novelty was that it featured the voice of Terry Jones (Monty Python). It's a long song with a lot of words and is all about a lot of "stuff" that comes with a modern Christmas. Its not one of my favourite tracks but it does give a fun element to the package.
Maddy gives us her wonderful vocals as usual and the Carnival Band play on a mixture of instruments such as Shawm, Clarinet, recorder, melodica, drums, djembe, double bass, guitar, mandolin, and Latin percussion.
The whole recording is a great Christmas album with a lot of originality and the sound is wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adding a new depth, 11 Feb. 2014
By 
Denise (Northumberland UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ringing The Changes (Audio CD)
Bought this around Christmas on recommendation of friend. Amazed to find it has the tempo of 'Steelye Span' a group I listened to many moons ago, but this doesn't detract from the music and wonderful words of the hymns. Am tempted to buy more.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ringing The Changes, 15 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Ringing The Changes (MP3 Download)
I enjoyed it. I am am a fan of Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band. They are always just that little bit different.
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