River of Stars
2000 / Real Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
If this album was any smoother, it would slide right out of the CD player! Fans of ethereal, uplifting instrumentals and wordless vocals will be in heaven with River of Stars. The melodies are very simple and repetitive, but are beautifully fleshed out with guitar, flute, synthesizers, and piano. Many of the tracks also have twinkling orchestra bells, which are evocative of the “sounds” stars might make. A sweet, gentle mood runs through the whole CD, and the production is impeccable. River of Stars is perfect for relaxation or a quiet dinner. There are no rough edges or jarring chords - just a lovely flow of peaceful tranquility.
The title track sets the gentle mood for the album, and the other songs don’t stray far from this setting. My favorite track is “Starwalkers”, probably mostly because the piano carries the slightly melancholy melody. In the liner notes, it says “Throughout time many people have believed that when our life upon earth ends, we rise into the Heavens to become a star. Our departed loved ones and ancestors thereby eternally watch over us.” The flute and voices lend a soothing, dreamy quality, and this piece is “melancholy” only in comparison to the rest of the album.
The artwork for River of Stars is exceptionally nice, and the liner notes give the stories of the stars from different cultures. If you are looking for a gentle musical massage, this album is for you!
February 2, 2002
Review by Michael Debbage