Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Candy for the ears, uplifting for the soul
on 6 October 2000
Yesterday I received my copy of Ronan Hardiman's new CD Anthem and I just have to write a review of it! What do I think of it? Its WONDERFUL! But anyone who has ever heard any of Ronan's music must already know it would be nothing less.
The album is very much similar in style to Solas , but with a few differences. First of all, the feeling it projects is very different. In general, the tracks on Solas seem designed for relaxation and meditation, and as such works very well... however, Anthem is not only very relaxing, but many of the songs create a very uplifting and joyful feeling that Solas didn't.
The opening track "Anthem" is a good example - this is typical Hardiman, with a good, steady beat, beautiful electric piano melody, and some wonderful female vocal work by Leslie Dowdall, with a very upbeat, joyful chant that makes me feel happy.
The next track "That place in your heart" is another departure from Solas - this is a real song with real lyrics (very thought provoking ones too) which is beautifully sung. This is followed by "Run Away" which has the distinct Solas sound with the usual piano and beat, with the lead vocals being very Enya-esque. Next is one of my personal favourites "Ready for Life", which isn't technically a song, but has some lyrics... there is something about the mood that this one creates that is hard to describe.... Maybe its just me, but this song makes me feel very happy for some reason, the lyrics, the piano melody...everything about it is just wonderful. This is real mood enhancing stuff!
To balance things, the next track "Salve" is a very brooding, powerful piece, which really stands out from the other tracks. This has a very symphonic sound, and features the male choir used for his Feet of Flames work. I have always been a great fan of what Ronan can do with the male choir (his work with them in Feet of Flames 2000 is fabulous - why cant we have this on CD, Ronan?) but he doesn't use them a great deal, which is a shame because they add a tremendous effect.
"Never" is a very Solas-ey track, in fact the vocals on it sound almost exactly like "Heaven" in places. Nonetheless, a very nice track. "Worlds Apart" is another great track, which also has the distinct Solas sound. Following this is "Ancient Lands", which is my personal favourite. There are no words to describe how brilliant this track is, its incredibly powerful, very well written, it really conjures up images of ancient lands in the East somewhere... this is also shown by his choice of instrumentation, sounding almost Egyptian in places. The male choir are used again on this in the second half, although I was a little disappointed because they don't seem to do much, their phonetic chanting is very limited, which is a shame because I have heard Ronan do wonderful things with them in the past. But the first part is without a doubt my favourite of all the tracks!
"Where are you now" has very good sound effects, conjuring up images of rainfall - this is a nice relaxing, sad piece, which turns into a fairly upbeat tune. The final track is a remix of "Heaven", but this time with full lyrics, and an almost gospel feel to it.
All in all a fabulous CD, if you loved Solas then you will love this. If you love good music you will love this. The only bad points are that there are only 10 tracks, which is a shame, because I feel they could have added his "Silver Swans" millennium piece, and maybe even "Dance of the Swans" from FOF2000, as that would fit in with the style quite well, I think!
So there's nothing left for me to say but BUY IT! You wont regret it! If you want your spiritis uplifting, this is just the music for you!