Jade Warrior

Way of the Sun

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Each of Jade Warrior's Island albums was a revelation, both musically and thematically. Floating World's exploration of the Japanese philosophy of Ukiyo, Waves' oceanic voyage, the ninth century Buddhist monk whose story is told on the B-side of Kites (and who takes airy flight across the flip) -- all were extraordinary expeditions into the Orient. Having conquered the East, Warrior now turned their Jade eye westward, toward Latin America. By this time, Jade were already moving toward a more orchestral sound, as Kites had evidenced, but Way of the Sun was positively cinematic. Within, the duo -- aided by a host of guest musicians -- created an incredibly vibrant set that quivers with emotion and life itself. Dawn announces itself with a clap of thunder on "Sun Ra," waking the earth's denizens from their slumbers. Birds soar into the sky, creatures large and small scamper through the meadows and woods, while overhead the sun majestically rises, all of which Jade bring to vivid life across both "Sun Ra" and "Sun Child." "Heaven Stone" and the title track are similarly interconnected, both thematically and musically, and tied to the spiritual beliefs of the continent's indigenous peoples, while broadly hinting at the coming of the conquistadors and their conquering culture. But even as the Spanish laid waste to the land and its peoples, they too would be changed by them, which is reflected by "Carnival" and "Dance of the Sun," songs melding together indigenous and Spanish traditions. The album ends with the haunting "Death of Ra," as the sun sinks below the horizon. Although Latin styles predominate across the set, Warrior weave in myriad other musical threads -- Eastern, jazz, surf, and more. The album itself was arguably Jade Warrior's best, their apotheosis, or at least their grand finale, for after its release, Island promptly dumped the duo. Drummers John Dentith and Graham Morgan now went their separate ways, and the Warrior were no more.

blue highlight denotes track pick