September 19, 2020

FourScore

By Kristi Kates | April 1, 2017

Enya – The Celts – Reprise
It’s back, and on special edition vinyl this time, such good news for fans of the consummate new age performer. Classically-trained on piano, Enya’s instrumentals teamed with her distinctive vocal stylings are perfect for these Celtic-themed tracks sung in both English and Gaelic; some of the songs arrive carefully, setting down paper-thin layers of faintly alien sounds one atop the next (“Dan y Dẃr,” “Triad”) while others bring in the more familiar-sounding melodies of Irish pipe (“The Sun and the Stream”) or harp (“Epona”). It’s a pretty collection all around. ***

Vangelis – Rosetta - Decca
You know Vangelis’ music if you’ve ever watched the 1982 movie Bladerunner, on which his electronic score was as important a component of as the striking scenery and skilled actors. The cool thing is that much of what Vangelis was doing in the ‘80s still works today, as he translates his own origin sounds to this new era of electronica music. The first track, “Origins,” serves as a welcome mat to the vast scores included here, from the shifting dynamics of “Philae’s Descent” all the way to the closer, “Return to the Void.” **1/2

Ellie Holcomb – Red Sea Road – Full Heart
Holcomb manages to be both inspirational and plainly relatable on this sophomore effort, which leans more toward pop-age while still sticking to her positive and thoughtful messages on tracks like the hopeful “You Are Loved,” “He Will,” and (of course) “We’ve Got This Hope.” The album’s songs were inspired by some difficulties Holcomb was working through, and that personal, thoughtful approach is heard in each carefully-structured, encouraging verse and chorus. ***

Mark Mothersbaugh – Mutant Flora - Mutato
This pairing of art and music from the Devo multi-instrumentalist is a one-time release for Record Store Day, on which musicians serve up special albums and singles to celebrate vinyl sales. Mothersbaugh’s contribution is not just one, but six different multi-colored “splatter” vinyl records in a sharp foil-stamped slipcase, and the music inside is even more unusual, as it contains 12 sonic representations of Mothersbaugh’s Mutated Flora artworks for your thoughtful, artistic, slightly challenged listening. **1/2

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