The pre-release buzz about 2002’s first recording on the Gemini Sun label was that Pamela and Randy Copus had pretty-much reinvented 2002 with a bigger and more powerful sound. The ethereal vocals, sweet flutes, and the feeling of floating in vast open space are still identifiable as 2002, but A Word in the Wind
is much bolder and less spa-like. I always thought 2002’s releases on their previous label were beautiful, but there was a substance and “meatiness” that I felt was missing. It is now obvious that the less-restrictive and more artist-friendly atmosphere of their new label has set them free musically and creatively. A Word in the Wind
is a two-disc set containing an audio CD and a DVD that contains the music with accompanying visuals by Pamela Copus. I kept thinking that if the DVD had come out in the early 1970’s, it probably would have been called “trippy” for the swirling colors and montages of photos with overlaying graphics, but this is high-tech artistry at its finest. The visuals intensify the musical experience, providing an exceptionally pleasant hour of musical respite.
A Word in the Wind
begins with “1054 A.D.” This prelude opens with a two-minute drone that is mysterious and hypnotic. Enter some heavy percussion, an uptempo beat, and those wonderful choir-like vocals 2002 is known for, and off we go into brand new territory. The voices and flute are playful and inviting as the almost militaristic precision of the percussion takes on a more serious mood. The title track has a more Middle-Eastern sound. There are many layers to this piece, with voices, Indian instruments, heavy drum, strings, and plenty of atmosphere. “Spirit Moves” is more like classic 2002, although the rhythm is much stronger than most of their earlier work. “Promise of the Ocean” is one of my favorite tracks. Flute, piano, voices, and a pulsating beat create a mood of serenity and beauty. “Free To Fly” could become the signature song of the new 2002 and is undoubtedly the most radio-friendly track on the CD. I also really like “Rain Dance,” which draws you in with its big, cinematic sound and then envelops you in rich sonic colors that swirl and carry you away. The middle section picks up the pace with a strong rhythm and a hauntingly beautiful flute. Pamela’s voice and Randy’s piano take over, and then the guitar comes in. Eventually, all of the “players” are involved. A little bit prog rock and a little bit new age, I love this sound! “The Singing Stone” returns to more of a drone that is dark, mysterious, and powerful. “Seven Rays” finishes the 12-song CD/DVD with a Native American flavor that is both enigmatic and haunting.
To hear and see more about the “new and improved” 2002, be sure to check out the samples on their website, 2002music.com
. I think you’ll like the changes as much as I do! CD/DVDs and downloads are available from 2002’s site, amazon.com, and iTunes. Recommended!