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Album Review: Wings II: Return to Freedom
Cover image of the album Wings II: Return to Freedom by 2002
Wings II: Return to Freedom
2009 / Galactic Playground
65 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
The year 2009 has been a very eclectic year for 2002 that have polarized their musical leanings starting off with the very progressive album A Word In The Wind only to return to their mellow roots courtesy of Return to Freedom. The reaction to their latest creation will likely be divided with some viewing this as a step backwards and others welcoming the Copus’ return to what they do best with their mellow madness. No matter what your preference is, be ready to adapt and retune your ears as Randy and Pamela deliver a more ambient musical blend that is drenched in luxurious warmth and softness.

After facing the setback of their former recording label disappearing, 2002 returned to the comfort zone of self promoting their album on Galactic Playground Music. Their way of doing business was also extended to their music as Return To Freedom will take you back to their impressive 1997 release Chrysalis which essentially established the flagship sound that has become 2002. It was at this time that Randy and Pam were beginning to bring a little more structure and melody to their ambient and spatial music and Return to Freedom relives that era.

The album begins with the gorgeous title track that has all the bells and whistles that we can expect from 2002 including the chimes, swirling but soft synthesizers complimented by Randy’s beguiling guitar work. The song is followed by the mysterious “Memory Of The Sky” whose melody brings to mind a less energetic “Free To Fly” from their prior album, only this time shrouded in a very slow and purposeful state that will leave you floating in the air without the assistance of any altered state of chemical dependency.

Return to Freedom clocks in over 64 minutes with a total of 10 tracks that all run over 6 minutes long. The musical theme is much less structured than some of their recent material, and seems very purposeful in allowing you as the listener to escape the complexities of life. It seems the deeper you get into the album cuts the more spatial it becomes allowing to you to just drift away to your own personal escape. Though the loose structure returns on “Athena” with Pamela’s reserved flute work bringing out the melody without interfering with the ambient theme. If you really prefer the spatial theme that they seem to be exploring, fast forward to the cosmic “Stillpoint” that would be a terrific soundtrack for an evening of stargazing.

2002 geared us up at the start of 2009 with A Word In The Wind and have now done the complete opposite courtesy of the healthy dose of relaxation therapy via Return to Freedom. No matter where your preference may lie on the 2002 music rainbow, the results are still the same...a musical delight of colors, shades and hues to escape from the routines and worries of a typical day.
March 27, 2010
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Michael's Favorites: 2009
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