Iona with the All Souls Orchestra — Woven Cord
(Alliance Music 1901802, 1999, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2000-10-01
Two live albums in a row? Yes, but this one is a bit different, adding orchestration to create a new dimension to the Iona sound. Iona, of course, are one of the most unique and surprisingly successful modern hybrids, combining pop, Celtic music, symphonic rock, and a contemporary Christian vibe, a mixture that could undoubtedly be something far worse in less capable hands. Iona never fail to elicit goosebumps, and they are here better than ever, backed by the All Souls Orchestra, to rearrange a number of their songs at a concert recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in London, May 29th 1999. Iona succeed on so many counts — sheer talent (all of them really, but Joanne Hogg's voice is beautiful beyond words), elaborate and rich arrangements, great compositions, and yes, this band can fire it up too, with tremendous instrumental sections. They prove yet again that in the right hands, pop / symphonic rock can be a devastating musical form. The orchestration only helps to add to the dynamics, making this a rich feast for the ears. Another highly recommended album by one of Britain's finest symphonic rock units.
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