Alan Stivell


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From the cover alone, it's apparent that this is a new Alan Stivell, more hi-tech and up-to-date, and not the Breton troubadour of old. But, just in case you're worried, the harp still features on the back cover, so not everything has been abandoned, and most of the song titles are still in Breton. But this definitely is new; Explore is a disc where there's plenty of programming to backup Stivell and make the record thoroughly modern. That could be disconcerting. But, remember, this is the man who first electrified Breton music, making it into folk-rock all those years ago. What he's doing here is simply an update of that, although he's older now. Yet he doesn't sound it here. He dives into the music (all the pieces are his compositions, with nothing traditional) and submerges himself in it, to his full credit. And it's surprisingly successful, thanks to often imaginative programming by Sebastien Guerive. Stivell even samples one of his earlier CDs for a cut here, an intriguing turn of events. Ultimately, this is a record that's very aptly titled, since it does take Stivell into new territories. But he also sounds invigorated by it, and maybe the next record will see him delving even deeper into this new area.

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