Although the woody sound of the South American pan flute is unquestionably lovely, that sonorous prettiness (along with its attendant associations with Native Americans and other aboriginal peoples) is exactly what has led it to become such a new age cliché over the last couple of decades. Its use on the opening "A Tall Tree" merely serves to remind the listener of how many other records have used this pleasant but limited instrument in exactly the same way. Track two of the all-instrumental Forest Dance introduces the pennywhistle, the Celtic equivalent of the pan flute in its unfortunate overuse. Luckily, after those two tracks, the album moves into less formulaic arrangements. Most of the songs are built primarily on ex-Shadowfax violinist Charlie Bisharat's fluid playing and Allen Hinds' classical guitar filigrees, with songwriter/producer Dan Siegel's piano serving mostly as a chordal base. Like the rest of the Colors of the Land releases, Forest Dance is primarily mood music of little intrinsic melodic interest, pleasant enough but not particularly exciting.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason