Open Sky

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As prolific a new age composer as Anugama is, it's not surprising for him to make the occasional misstep. That said, Open Sky (distributed through Nightingale in the U.S.) isn't a total loss. But unlike later Anugama releases, it undercuts its relaxing qualities with antiseptic, largely synthesized instrumentation. Opener "Sky Dance" is dominated by sighing keyboards and a canned rhythm section that weigh down its otherwise airy feel. "Open Sky" rebounds a bit, offering soothing birdcalls and an almost whimsical flute melody; unfortunately, the simplistic electronic percussion of the opening track returns for "Waterfall" and the impossibly jaunty "Travel On," which seems to approximate the lilt of Fleetwood Mac's "Hold Me." While a few later moments are able to conjure images as mellow as the watery rainbow cover art, they aren't enough to save Open Sky, which can't decide whether it wants the listener to lie down and relax, or dance around to lighthearted new age.

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