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Album Review: A World Away
Cover image of the album A World Away by 2002
A World Away
2018 / Galactic Playground Music
45 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
A World Away is the eighteenth full-length album from 2002. Originally a duo (Randy and Pamela Copus) and now a trio (with daughter, Sarah), 2002 still has one of the most distinctive sounds in new age music. They released their first album, Wings, in 1992 and went on to release several albums on the Real Music label before going independent with their own Galactic Playground Music in about 2009. Early albums had the layered vocals that give 2002 an easily-recognizable sound, but most of those vocals were wordless and served as an angelic choral background. As Sarah has taken a bigger role in the group, her vocals have become more prominent as well lyrical, telling the story of the music with words as well as ethereal sounds.

On the instrumental side, Randy Copus plays piano, electric cello, guitar, bass, and keyboards. Pamela plays flutes, harp, keyboards, and a wind instrument called a WX5. Sarah plays Celtic harp, violin, baritone ukulele, piano, and Irish whistle. The three artists provide all of the vocals on their recordings, with Sarah and Randy singing in both the foreground and background. Their voices are recorded many times and layered to create a "virtual choir.” In a nutshell, this album tells a “cosmic love story” of two spirits traveling together through different times and places, becoming separated, and finally, after a long search, reunited. The purity of Sarah’s voice brings additional emotional depth and poignance to the lyrics. Six of the ten tracks are vocals and four are instrumentals.

A World Away begins with “Dream of Life,” which starts the story at a point where the lovers have been separated and a search has begun. I love the lines: “I would hold the stars and still the winds of time to be with you.” Although tinged with sadness, this song really soars! “Finding You” is a dreamy yet haunting instrumental that features piano, acoustic guitar and violin as well as synths. Randy Copus takes the lead vocals on “To Live Again,” a touching song of loneliness and searching for a lost love so that life can be complete once more. “Butterfly” is classic 2002 - buoyant, soaring and emotional. “Memory of Tomorrow” expresses powerful emotions in a mysterious instrumental that features harp, cello, violin and keyboard orchestration - a favorite. “We Are Always” is a gorgeous instrumental that overflows with love and contentment - another a favorite! I also really like “The Space Between,” which is more piano-based. “Strings of Your Heart” is a bittersweet song of reunion and abiding love, bringing this lovely album to a close.

So, if you have been a fan of 2002 since the beginning, A World Away shows this enduring group moving in a somewhat different direction without losing their distinctive sound. If you’re new to their music, check this one out first and then work your way back to see how this group has evolved over time. A World Away is available from 2002music.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.
November 6, 2018
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