The Emerald Way
2006 / Real Music
Review by Michael Debbage
Who can forget one of Hollywood’s most memorable movies, The Wizard of Oz, and its bedazzling world of fantasy and adventure? As the characters weave their way along the colorful yellow brick wall to Emerald City they face many challenges along the way. Yet, as a group, Dorothy and company supported each other throughout their journey. The same can be said for The Emerald Way and its soft, serene and silky arrangements that will keep you secure through your everyday difficulties.
As always, 2002 deliver the goods. The parallels to Enya have always been present, largely due to the ethereal multi layering of both the musical and vocal approach that this duo brings to their creations. But considering 2002’s utterly consistent high quality output and Enya’s rather disappointing release this year, it would appear that the First Lady of New Age may want to secure some tips from 2002 who continue to impress.
The last few projects have seen some lead vocal experimenting however with the exception of the opening and closing bars of “Remember Now” the duo let their instruments do all the talking. As always, the unique concoction of flute, harp, acoustic guitar and coats of swirling keyboards are ever present. In fact, the title track is a great place to enjoy their unique merging of several instruments. The song begins with an extended spacious ambient theme that then launches into the soft acoustic strumming of Randy’s memorable nylon guitar strings. The themes are repeated via the more upbeat and bouncy closer “Secret Shores”. This time Pamela’s flute plays wistfully alongside the guitars and the gentle rhythms of the contemplative keyboards. This particular composition presents the listener with ultimate ingredients that makes 2002 ever so enjoyable.
The even more spatial ambient themes can be accessed via the moody and pensive “Soul Door”. The flute is showcased yet never at the expense of being condescending. Once again it is the intent of this duo to bring peace and tranquility to the listener. Showboating is just not their style. The same can be said for the stripped down “Timeless” that prominently features the piano.
2002 joined the Real Music label over ten years ago and have never failed to deliver top quality material. So much so that they could offer a guarantee or your money refunded if not satisfied and still remain profitable. From that aspect, The Emerald Way continues on that fine assurance. Considering their track record it would be no surprise that a decade from now 2002 would continue to be not only the flagship artist of Real Music but also the outright leading artist of the New Age Music industry.
January 8, 2006
Review by Kathy Parsons