Gandalf — To Our Children's Children
(SI Music SIMPLy 66, 1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01
Please spare me the preachy environmental awareness lesson; few things annoy me more than socio-political cause lyrics on top of otherwise excellent music. Once upon a time Gandalf created beautiful soundscapes of cosmic proportions using synthesizers and natural instruments, a natural and flowing music that subtly called to mind the beauty, sensitivity and wonder of nature and the environment. With this latest release, the music has been reduced to a mere backdrop for lyrics that say far less than his music would say on its own. Granted only about half the tracks here feature vocals, but the instrumentals are, for the most part, merely interludes to link the vocal tracks. Singer Tracy Hitchings has appeared on the last few Gandalf albums; she is a belter, a powerful and expressive vocalist, but perhaps too overstylized for the music at hand, and if the idea is to draw attention away from Gandalf's music and focus it on the lyrics, then I suppose it succeeds. Nonetheless, I think that earlier instrumental releases like More Than Just a Seagull or To Another Horizon were a lot more satisfying than this.
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