Nature's Light

Blackmore's Night

Minstrel Hall Music, 2021

http://www.blackmoresnight.com/

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/19/2021

In general, there are no surprises with Blackmore’s Night. If you scoff at Renaissance faires and cringe at medieval instruments, this is not likely to be your cup of tea.

However, for those with a sufficiently developed (quirky?) sense of musical appropriateness, Blackmore’s Night has been merging medieval balladry and rock guitar for 24 years and 11 albums, and they do it pretty darn well.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Nature’s Light” is no exception. Competent to excellent musicianship? Check. Candace Night’s precise, breathy vocals, a bit like Stevie Nicks had diction lessons? Check. Ritchie Blackmore cutting loose occasionally and rocking out? Check. There’s nothing particularly new about “Nature’s Light” – then again, one can argue there doesn’t have to be. They’ve found their groove, they’re happy in their groove, and their fans are happy. Life could be much, much worse.

Highlights of the disc include the rich, dark, almost Carmina-Burana-ish instrumental “Darker Shade Of Black;” “Feather In The Wind;” which is a cheerily upbeat throwdown with insistent percussion; “Der letzte Musketier (The Last Musketeer);” which shifts gears abruptly from a Jon Lord-style organ intro into a smoky blues-rock breakdown and makes it work; and a harder take on Sarah Brightman’s “Second Element” is quite lovely.

There are a couple of places that fall short – on “Nature’s Light”, I’d rather they used actual horns than synthesizers who are trying to be horns and mostly failing, and “Wish You Were Here” drifts from honest pathos into maudlin on occasion.

The fact is, no one has ever passed a law that says a musician has to keep pushing the envelope, reinventing themselves, trying something new. There is a place in the world, a cherished, enjoyable place, for musicians who find out what they like and do it, having fun the whole time. Blackmore’s Night’s Nature’s Light may not tread any new ground, but the ground it does tread is mostly covered with flowers.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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