The Best of David and Diane Arkenstone
David Arkenstone and Diane Arkenstone
2010 / Eversound
Review by Michael Debbage
Back in 2005 Eversound did a great job introducing the music of the other Arkenstone by way of releasing The Best of Diane Arkenstone. Five years later, the label has been given the task to revisit this concept though with a slight twist of focusing closer on the collaborations of both David and Diane. With no duplicate tracks, The Best of David and Diane Arkenstone makes a great companion album to the previously stated project allowing you as the listener to explore the more specialty projects of these two intriguing artists.
The album consists of sixteen tracks pulled from sixteen different projects largely from the Neo Pacifica specialty label where both artists have recorded multiple collaborative efforts. However, this does not stop The Best of David and Diane Arkenstone to also feature a few tracks from Diane’s solo efforts. More specifically, the album opens with the title track from her solo album Jewel In The Sun. Swirling synthesizers, pulsating percussion and vivid vocal chants puts everyone on notice that this adventure has already begun. “The Angel’s Voice” is also selected from Diane’s solo effort The Healing Spirit where her vocals are up front and center in an almost laid back operatic approach.
Otherwise, as the title suggests, the album focuses more on the collaborative musical travels of both David and Diane. One of those being “Seduction” from Echoes Of Egypt that utterly lives up to its title bringing in the exotica factor with an equal amount of mysticism. Speaking of the latter, this is best represented by the Native Indian theme cultivated on “Firefall” selected from the album Spirit Of The Canyons.
Fans of David seeking solace for his more mainstream musical efforts will be disappointed as this album is more representative of the road less travelled. However, the sweeping cinematic Celtic themes of “Arwen And Aragorn” and “The Spirit Of Excalibur” chosen from Middle Earth and Avalon: A Celtic Legend respectively may satisfy some of that hunger. Strangely, the Avalon recording was released under the moniker Enaid.
For those of you that enjoy the specialty projects of the Arkenstones but would prefer to have a well selected overview of their eclectic musical explorations and collaborations then The Best of David and Diane Arkenstone would be a perfect choice. It is also a stellar companion album for those of you that found pleasure from The Best of Diane Arkenstone with the label avoiding any duplicate material.
January 1, 2010
Review by Michael Debbage