Luka Bloom

Between the Mountain & the Moon

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On Keeper of the Flame, Luka Bloom offered interpretations of a number of other artists' songs. The success of the project hinged on the odd choices, such as the Cure's "In Between Days" and ABBA's "Dancing Queen." On Between the Mountain and the Moon, Bloom presents his first set of original songs in four years. While the earlier album utilized an acoustic sound, this album, while mostly acoustic, broadens its arrangements. The spoken poetry and vocals of the sonically expansive "Monsoon" will remind one of a folk Peter Gabriel, while the excited percussion of "Perfect Groove" evokes a contemporary Irish jig. Bloom seems in an optimistic mood on Between the Mountain and the Moon, singing about love in "Moonslide" and "Love Is a Place I Dream Of" and the power of nature in "Here and Now." A touch of pensive melancholy enters "Gabriel" and "Soshin," but this is only a passing mood. If this album ultimately seems less satisfying than Keeper of the Flame, it's because many of the songs lack strong melodies. Bloom may put more effort into his lyrics than the average contemporary Celtic performer, but the songs lack a distinctive quality to separate them from the songs of his peers. Still, Between the Mountain and the Moon features Bloom's rich voice, and will be welcomed as a good, if not great, album by fans.

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