All Our Yesterdays
2015 / Minstrel Hall Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
I really loved Blackmore’s Night’s Dancer and the Moon (2013) and was looking forward to reviewing All Our Yesterdays. Maybe I set my expectations too high, but this one misses the mark for me. It’s well done and fun to listen to, but the magic just isn’t sustained this time. Candice Night is in glorious voice and her original songs are passionate and earthy, but overall, the album is a little disappointing. Although I liked two of the three cover songs ‘way back when (I wasn’t familiar with “Moonlight Shadow”), they seem kind of silly now. Linda Ronstadt’s version of “Long Long Time” was heartbreaking back in 1970 (I still have it on vinyl!), and Night’s vocals are gorgeous, but the lyrics sound more than a little desperate now. In a similar vein, “I Got You, Babe” was cute and charming back in 1965 when Sonny and Cher made it their theme song. It suited that dynamic duo perfectly back then (Sonny Bono wrote it), but now? There are a few songs that are in a Renaissance style, but several lean more toward prog rock - possibly a fountain of youth for the now 70-year-old Ritchie Blackmore, long believed to be one of the best rock guitarists ever.
All Our Yesterdays begins with the title track, one of the better vocals. It starts with a slow intro that bemoans that life has changed and become less carefree. Night’s voice grabs you by the heart and makes you feel her pain, and then she cuts loose with the lively main theme backed with a simple accompaniment on violin, drum, and guitar. “Allan Yn N Fan” follows with a jaunty instrumental that will have you up and dancing a jig. Blackmore’s electric guitar is a little bit startling among the medieval instruments, but it works. “Darker Shade of Black” evokes memories of Procol Harum back in the day of big instrumental tracks among the rock songs. Violin, operatic vocals, cathedral organ, acoustic and electric guitars, and percussion make this quite a show-stopper. Okay, so far so good, but then the next three tracks are the covers, and those pretty much kill the momentum for me. After those, “The Other Side” returns to a more Celtic style that highlights Night’s vocals. “Queen’s Lament” is an effective slow acoustic guitar solo (with wordless vocals in the background), but I have to admit that I keep expecting it to lead into “Classical Gas.” “Where Are We Going From Here” is a big production number that overpowers Night’s voice to the point that it’s hard to understand the lyrics. I really like “Will O’ the Wisp,” a lively ballad with a driving beat and some great fiddle playing! My favorite track is the haunting “Earth Wind and Sky,” which allows Night’s voice to be front and center with minimal back-up that serves to enhance the beauty of the lyrics. “Coming Home” is a danceable anthem that brings the album to an upbeat close.
All Our Yesterdays is available in several formats including vinyl and CD/DVD combo; I have the CD version, so I don’t know what is on the DVD. It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and many other music outlets.
October 31, 2015
Review by Michael Debbage