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Album Review: The New Romantics
Various Artists
Cover image of the album The New Romantics by Various Artists
The New Romantics
Various Artists
1998 / Hearts of Space
73 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
This compilation of previously-released material on the Hearts of Space label has a very cinematic feel to it. The artists included are Mychael Danna, David Darling, Constance Demby, Bill Douglas, Gino D’Auri, Kol Simcha, Raphael, Paul Sauvanet, Oystein Sevag, and Tim Story. Very classical in approach, the selections range from melodic (David Darling’s “Minor Blue”) to ambient (Mychael Danna’s “Sky 7”) to ethereal vocals (Bill Douglas’ “Heaven in a Wild Flower”).

My favorite piece is Constance Demby’s “Ocean Without Shores”, a piano concerto of sorts with soaring electronic accompaniment and embellishment - I hit “replay” over and over with this one! It masterfully conveys the power, majesty, and peace of the ocean. Raphael’s “Joy of Forgiveness” is also gorgeous with its effective duality of acoustic piano and electronic accompaniment. David Darling’s “Minor Blue” is also very stirring with both bowed and plucked cello. Mychael Danna’s “Sky 7” is a pastel daydream set to music. Bill Douglas’ “Heaven in a Wild Flower” is a shimmering choral work, but I found it frustrating that I could only understand a few of the words; I guess I’ll have to find William Blake’s poem to satisfy my curiosity!

Despite the varied artists, this CD has a cohesiveness that many compilations lack. My only objection is the inclusion of one piece that is almost sixteen minutes long, Paul Sauvanet’s “Land of the Angel”. I have no problem with the piece itself, but it seems long to the point of being a bit irritating when the rest of the CD flows so well. The purpose of most compilations is to evoke interest in several artists at one time by presenting a sampler of various works, and this CD has certainly done that for me. Very enjoyable as a backdrop or the main event - an exceptional compilation!
September 9, 1998