Saturday, March 13, 2004

A forbidden place, aka, harem

I've finally come around to blissless' opinion about Sarah Brightman's Harem. And as Aaron Latham wrote in a similar sentiment:
Adopting a Middle Eastern flavor to enhance her blend of classical and new age pop, Sarah Brightman's Harem continues her experimentation with thematic discs that began with 1993's oceanic Dive. These themes, while never dominant or original, are simply meant to enhance her brand of crossover just enough to keep listeners interested in hearing her next project. Harem accomplishes that feat by shrouding new age pop songs in a thin Middle Eastern veil that disguises, but never completely covers, Brightman's true musical identity. It works well when she fully utilizes the theme, as on the opening title track where Brightman's fragile operatic voice is able to capture the traditional phrasing without sounding forced. But when the formula simply dresses up a pop/dance song like "The Journey Home," the results are less interesting and cross into territory already explored by the group Enigma and its worldly hits. ...
It's too bad that the theme and melody of the first minutes of the title track didn't extend to the rest of the album. But as a long time fan, it's hard for me to criticize her work. So, let's hope her next project will live up to her talent.

BTW, the music videos on the DVD disc is superb, as well as the filming of the photo shoots for the booklet insert. And the entrance page to the web site is just out of this world. It is nicely laid out, with great color schemes, and excellent composition. Wait enough and you'll see shooting stars across the sky and shimmering water near her feet.

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