Jon Anderson

Angels Embrace

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While many Jon Anderson fans knew he had it in him to do something very light and airy and perhaps even without vocals (Olias of Sunhillow essentially led the way), the fact that it's something this light and airy is likely to come as a bit of a shock. Anderson presents the listener with a soundscape made up of long, sustained notes and drifting chords, a construction in which the few melodies present take minutes to work through -- there's far more in common with the Hearts of Space catalog here than with much of Anderson's prior work, though the Vangelis influence is to be felt, too (especially on the quarter-hour "New Eire Land"). Another surprise is the mainly instrumental nature of the album -- Anderson takes very few vocals. Daughters Deborah and Jade pitch in along the way without much incident. On the whole, Angels Embrace sounds something like a lost Jon & Vangelis album, or Brian Eno in a frothy mood, and just like good background music for meditation, spiritual navel-gazing, and general situations where the alpha waves need a decent boost.

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