Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
As good as ever
on 14 September 2010
If you don't know Blackmore's Night it is a band formed by former Deep Purple guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, and his wife Candice Night. Along with an ever changing line up of `minstrels' they play renaissance style music, and when playing live they perform in period costume at castles and the like. Very popular in Germany and surrounds which can offer a range of that style of venue, and is an excellent evening's entertainment. They have a formula, and as per the old adage - `If it ain't broke, don't fix it.', so this latest release is very similar to all of their others, and I for one applaud them for it.
Autumn Sky is a mix of traditional and self penned numbers, vocal and instrumental, with a couple from outside writers, which while good, are the weaker tracks on the album.
For some reason Europe and the US have different cover art work. The US got the better deal.
If you know and like the band's previous work it is more of the same. If you are new to Blackmore's Night this album is typical and as good a start point as any. Highly recommended.
Track by track for those looking for more detail.
Highland - Not the best choice of opener as it is the weakest on the album. One of those by outside writers. Over produced and what sounds like a drum machine. No, they wouldn't, would they?
Vagabond (Make A Princess Of Me) - Intro very similar to Purple's - Soldier Of Fortune. Goes into a lilting hypnotic piece and it is not just the lyrics that make it sound a bit like their song Queen For A Day.
Journeyman (Vandraren)- If this is not a drum machine then Squire Malcolm Of Lumley and the techs need to do something to stop it sounding like one. Features Ritchie's signature electric guitar tone. English lyrics by Candice Night but for some reason not included in CD booklet.
Believe In Me - self penned slow number, acoustic to electric as song goes on. Maddeningly familiar melody to the start of the chorus, but at time of writing can't place. Anyone help?*** Only quibble is that Ms Night at times sounds as if she has been taking elocution lessons to hide her native American accent behind posh English. The same is true a few times throughout the album and she is better without it.
Sake Of The Song - Another Blackmore/Night composition, mid tempo good guitar work as always. In concert I am sure the title line will be one for the crowd to shout out. This segues into...
Song And Dance (Pt II) - Full pomp instrumental version of above, booming drums and various pipes a bit like a fast Irish march.
Celluloid Heroes - The old Ray Davies/Kinks song. Good song done well, but just out of place with the other material, even if you are old enough to remember all of the people mentioned.
Keeper Of The Flame - Self penned up tempo, all the elements those familiar with the band will know, even one of Ritchie's favourite licks. A crowd pleaser.
Night At Eggersberg - One of Ritchie's `solo' gentle acoustic guitar pieces. I love them.
Strawberry Girl - Acoustic waltz time, lyrics of fields, meadows and sunshine.
All The Fun Of The Fayre - Up tempo, the instrumental section has a Middle Eastern feel which would be at home played on an oud. Another crowd pleaser with a space for them to shout Oy Oy. If you've seen the concerts you'll understand.
Darkness - A traditional song. Flutes and acoustic guitars. An unusually prominent male harmony vocal with Candice, and her own voice double tracked. Segues into ...
Dance Of The Darkness - Instrumental version of above, shawms prominent and the big drum sound again. Good electric guitar and a chance for the bassist to show his stuff, again no doubt with live performance in mind.
Health To The Company - With such a title I was expecting a rousing drinking song and was surprised to find a slow reflective acoustic piece. Traditional song but lyrically similar to Dandelion Wine from the Ghost Of A Rose album.
Barbara Allen - Traditional song but with an arrangement that builds up. This is the one song where the `elocution lesson' accent should have been used but wasn't.
*** Solved. It is The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern