Secret Garden have two claims to fame. The first is that they won Eurovision in 1996 with the most certainly not europop song Nocturne (featured here, track one, on the album). The second is that they wrote the song 'You Raise Me Up' (which they admit was based on 'Oh Danny Boy') which is a much loved power ballad recorded by many many artists including the Irish star Brian Kennedy. I came across this album by accident at my local library, looking for some celtic influenced easy listening - and this is it. I loved the album so much I bought it the very next week, and when I found out recently when I played the disc there was a murmer on track 2 I bought another copy here on Amazon.
There are some wonderful melodies and harmonies in Dreamcatcher, and the celtic feel the singer and composer create with their session musicians is a joy to hear. This is a classical-feel chill out album of a high order.
Tracks are :
1. Nocturne (slow moving, choral, eurovision 96 winner) 2. Prayer (beautifully gentle, almost sublime track, wonderful vocal choral harmonies) 3. Moving (upbeat violin and celtic drum) 4. Dreamcatcher (sparse feel, mournful, with piano and violin) 5. Sigma (vocal tones leading to choral tones over a bed of violins) 6. Song from the Secret Garden (sombre track, piano and astringent violin) 7. Sona (male and female voice, gregorian chant undertones, used for as theme for BBC TV's Prisoners of Conscience series.) 8. Passacaglia (strong themic feel, violin adagio, feels like a film soundtrack) 9. Elan (sounds like a near exact homage to Riverdance) 10. In Our Tears (slow piano and violin track, reflectful) 11. Celebration (drum beats build with oboe, recorder and whistle, catchy and anthemic) 12. Heartstrings (sounds like the J R Hartley Fly Fishing Yellow Pages advert, piano and violin) 13. Steps (quite an expansive spacial soundscape, more upbeat, more harmonies) 14. Adagio (classical feeling track, quite sombre violin and chords) 15. The Rap (upbeat, irish jig-like, with low whistle and uilleann pipes) 16. Hymn to Hope (piano and violin and uilleann pipes, slow time) 17. Lore of the Loom (modern soundscope, nicely upbeat, catchy tune, leaves you smiling) 18. Dawn of a New Century (builds anthemicly, dialogue over, with grand vocal choirs, good track)
In summary, Dreamcatcher is a mixed bag of music, modern with classical undertones, but with a strong spiritual core to it. Prayer being the absolute favourite for me, I happily listen to the whole album through each time. It's a great album to meditate or take time out to. It relieves stress, and it leaves you feeling good afterwards. I know - it has done so for me on dozens of occasions!
And the good thing is, you'll likely find it a bargain to buy here on Amazon.