2012 / Galactic Playground
Review by Michael Debbage
2002 have been at somewhat of a crossroad in recent years. Back in 2009 they released the very prolific and progressive A Word in the Wind which may have also somewhat splintered the fan base. It was an extremely creative and wonderful production that deserved much more open minds and patient ears than it actually received. As a result, 2002’s follow up Damayanti was a return to the safe harbor of what one would expect from 2002 resulting in a delightful but nevertheless safe recording. So where does that leave us with Believe? Willing to spread their wings and fly in the face of adversity, 2002 once again risked their undisputed class act reputation and took some risks with their beautiful music focal point being their heavenly vocals. And the results are nothing short of breathtaking that should leave you being a believer in the creative wonders of 2002.
Yes we have heard their swirling strings, pulsating percussion, and flirtatious flute work and even the occasional vocal song, but this time around 2002 make the latter their focal point. Of the ten tracks presented, six of them are covered in virtuous voices and we are not just talking about their lush harmonic work. This time around Randy, Pamela and even their daughter Sarah present us with impressive lead vocal performances throughout the album. The results are immediate as the opening title track begins with a glorious slow paced piano driven melody layered in strings that slides us into Randy’s vocal performance in a key slightly higher than we are use to. Nevertheless the results will quickly remind you that you are in for something very different. Add Pam and Sarah on the chorus and the results are memorable and moving. Randy takes on the lead vocals again on the more progressive “Chain of Life” that also includes native Indian percussive work and Sarah’s lead chants interlinked with Pamela’s mystical flute work. Plain and simple this is a magical musical moment.
“Dreams of Peace” is another vocal performance and is more of what you would have expected vocally from 2002 in the past. Nevertheless, its performance is breathy and spacious giving you a moment to transfix on a meditative moment. Meanwhile, “Ready to Fly” has a somewhat Enya influence with a bouncy and optimistic keyboard arrangement with Pamela and Sarah presenting a pure vocal performance. In complete contrast, “Yeshua” is very to the point with a terrific rhythmic instrumental and vocal interplay with Randy’s striking guitar work. This track would have sat very comfortably on their prior production A Word in the Wind and deserves to be listened with the volume cranked up.
The vocal performances are interlinked with equally impressive and inspiring instrumental composition the first being “A Dream Creation” featuring Pamela and Randy’s musical flirtations courtesy of their flute and guitar performance. Equal to the previously mentioned includes 3 other tracks as well as the thirst quenching “Oasis”.
Believe reflects the latest creation from the beloved musical duo 2002, whose angelic artwork to the celestial compositions will make you a believer in their uncompromising creativity. With their swirling strings, pulsating percussion and flirtatious flute work all in place, 2002 have integrated six inspiring and slightly progressive vocal tracks to their latest creation. If you liked "Free to Fly" you will love the celestial earthly feel of Believe, so much so that you will defy gravity and feel free enough to fly with the angels and truly believe.
January 1, 2013
Review by Kathy Parsons