The Sacred Well
2002 / Real Music
Review by Michael Debbage
The peaceful soothing ethereal multi layered music of 2002 is both tranquil yet moving and that has made them a permanent resident of the Billboard charts. The Scared Well represents an effective overview of the lifespan of 2002, bringing most of their elements onto one disc. In this world of high-speed lifestyles one can enjoy the restoration and enchanting powers of their music. And there is no better place for the uninitiated than this very disc.
Much in the tradition of Enya's densely layered keyboards, the writing partnership of husband and wife Pamela and Randy Copus has brought a wealth of well-written compositions. The music gently restores but is never dull or boring. Their freshman offering Wings arrived on the music scene back in 1992 and was followed up with Savitri in 1995. Neither album set the world on fire. In fact, it was not until Chrysalis, their debut on Real Music, that the music began to take shape. Chrysalis showed some signs of melody as well as greater diversity with their musical instrumentation. The album added the flute and acoustic nylon guitar bringing a greater layer and substance to their sound. 2002 metamorphosed from background music to a melody that could be enjoyed without the sense of being over-cluttered or distracting.
This pivotal album was released back in 1997 and since then there has been no turning back for 2002 who have gone on from strength to strength. The true beauty of this writing partnership is that while the music has become more accessible, they have never strayed too far from their original musical form of quietude and peacefulness. On a personal note, Land Of Forever was released prior to the birth of our second child who battled bouts of colic. With no escape or reprieve in sight, this particular disc kept our sanity and allowed us to temporarily exit the world we had unexpectedly been thrown into.
So how well does The Scared Well cover the impressive career of 2002? Overall quite effectively, though strangely there are no selections from either Wings or Savitri. While such an inclusion would have diluted the strength of this compilation musically, from a documentation point of view it is the weak link of the album. It would have also allowed the listener to clearly see the progression and development of this union. But a minor oversight nevertheless.
For fans of 2002, there is some new material created especially for this album. Such a track is "Stardust" that kicks off the album. With a bouncy keyboard arrangement that brings to mind Enya's "Orinoco Flow" without the annoying "Sail Away" chorus, this track is quite typical of the pleasantries we have come to expect from this duo. The other new composition is the closing track "Full Circle" that opens with swirling keyboards and some wonderful nylon acoustic guitar work with a touch of the flute for the chorus. Add a string-driven bridge and it is no wonder these guys refuse to leave the Billboard chart. The material is simply gorgeous and has become synonymous with their lush work.
Elsewhere there is "City Of Peace" and "Kindred Spirit" that were only previously available on other Real Music compilations. The latter represents a tribute to their former label mate Hilary Stagg who recently passed away. The song is angelic with a prominent use of the harp and sultry vocalization that is also a 2002 trademark sound.
Otherwise, this is a well-represented profile of the mysterious and magical duet with at least one or two tracks from each of their last 4 CDs. And they show no signs of digressing. For those of you that are unfamiliar with 2002, it is time to invite yourself into the delectable world of meditation in a contemporary package. Surrender yourself from the hustle and bustle of this current world - it is time to give your soul a reprieve from today's worries. Allow 2002 to refresh you in their flourishing and blooming arrangements to bring you a sense of calmness and renewal.
April 20, 2002