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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Time Passengers
Time Passengers
Image © 2001 New World Music
 
 

(29 July 2001) Initially discovered by Musical Discoveries in 1998, F.R.E.U.D.'s Time Passengers (review), has been re-issued with up-to-date liner notes including excerpts from our review on a new label (New World Music (UK) NW-498, 2001). F.R.E.U.D. is Cora O'Donovan (lead vocals) and Ingo Hauss (keyboards). The duo are supported by a vast number of supporting artists.

The songs range from the highly accessible and almost pop-sounding "Worlds Of Wonder" to the bluesy "Skies Above Loveland" to the dreamy, almost Gothic, heavily instrumental texture of the title track. Arrangement and production are rich throughout with equally influential treatment of the deepest bass and highest flute. Synthesizer is used to wonderful effect to lay a rich foundation for Cora's stunning vocals. Choral elements blend into the instrumentals in several non-lyrical passages.

"Euphoria" is an upbeat and melodic new age track heavily laced with vocal energy, synthesizer, guitar and bass. Combined with Cora Donovan's multi-tracked lead vocals, the choir is used to great effect to produce a very rich overall sound. Although remaining vocal-led, "The Miracle Of Moona" demonstrates the diversity of the group's instrumental talents with a more extensive display of string passages provided by guitar, violin and piano. Synthesizer effectively links the instrumental elements of the almost epic-production together. An almost dance-oriented track called "Eternal" further explores the band's diverse range of talents. Here dreamy multi-tracked vocals carry above percussion- and bass-provided rhythms. Both choir and whispery vocals are used to create the overall sound.

"Fairyland," like "Worlds Of Wonder" is a highly accessible, almost pop-sounding track with lead vocal equally balanced with instrumental and rhythmic backing. Instrumental bridges feature very delicate acoustic guitar and wonderful keyboard passages. The chorus has quite a hook. Perhaps the most powerful string session on the album can be heard in "History Of The Sandman" which features both violin and piano. An almost-Gregorian chant provides a rich bass texture to the song.

With a chorus that reminds us in structure of a lullaby, the 6:48-long "Sleep" is one of the more Enya-sounding songs on the album in the way the backing vocals and instrumentals underscore and support the lead vocals. Brief whispy narrative passages within the song join instrumental bridges to connect the choruses. This is a stunning song that most fully illustrates Cora's vocal energy and Hauss' composition skills. The album concludes with two instrumental-based tracks almost absent of vocals. Natural rain sounds are produced electronically to effectively support the relaxing theme of "Rain Temple" while the church organ completes the temple effect. "Minuit" begins with a highly industrial texture delivered with simulated air traffic control radio traffic before the synthesizers take over the song.

Although we were attracted to this album way back when by it's Enya-like qualities, clearly the group have done a lot more in their eleven debut album tracks. Time Passangers is a truly excellent new age album—and a wonderful discovery—that illustrates tremendous diversity of a new ensemble of talented musicians. We are informed by the producer that a second album is in the works. Stay tuned to Musical Discoveries for information on it. Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order this album from amazon.com here. As it was when initially reviewed here, F.R.E.U.D.'s Time Passengers remains a classic. Worth a trans-Atlantic journey, it is a must listen!

 
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