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Pure Moods

05/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Reviews

The "Pure Moods" series from Virgin is a real mishmash of styles and artists. Comprised of the like-named "Pure Moods" (one through four) and "Pure Moods: Celestial Celebration", the albums are linked by a feeling -- a "mood" I suppose -- but it feels more like a compilation someone threw together because he liked the individual songs.

The genres range from orchestral film scores, TV themes, electronica, world music, new age, celtic and celtic-influenced rock, soft rock, pop, lounge jazz, vocal as well as instrumental. The flow from track to track is often a bit jarring as it shifts beat, style, key and, well, pretty much everything else. I mean, take a look at the track sequencing for the second volume:

The Mummers' Dance - Loreena McKennitt
Montezuma - Cusco
The Cradlesong (DaWa) [mix] - Sacred Spirit
Nightingale - Yanni
Life in a Northern Town - Dream Academy
Zarabanda (Saraband) - Adiemus
Euphoria (Firefly) - Delerium
Weather Storm - Craig Armstrong
Teardrop [edit] - Massive Attack
Theme from Harry's Game - Clannad
Chariots of Fire - Vangelis
Breezin' - George Benson
Emily - Dave Koz
2 the Night - Ottmar Liebert
Beyond the Invisible [edit] - Enigma
The Mystic's Dream - Loreena McKennitt

"Pure Moods" definitely tends towards the easy listening/new-agey end of the spectrum with Enigma appearing six times and Yanni three, but then there's also the three appearances by Moby, two by Sarah McLachlan (although she crops up a third time as the vocalist in one of Delerium's three appearances) and two by Massive Attack, probably better known for their "trip-hop" style. It's not a typical collection by any means.

The saving grace here is that despite the scattershot selection, the five disks that make up the series are a compilation of great music by the original artists. There's barely a duff track on the collection, although some snorers like "Emily" from Dave Koz sure aim for muzak status. This makes for an excellent sampler, representative of a lot of superb musicians. Recommended.


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