The legacy of new ages leading band 2002 continues on with this brand new release entitled Clouds Below, the band have gone back to their roots for this fascinating and quite beautiful collection of songs, and it with the greatest pleasure to sojourn with them for the next 10 tracks of utter joy.
Our opening gambit is the classic Soulmate, a sumptuous full of flavour track that literally takes one on a journey of souls, a light energy transports the listener to a heavenly realm, as we almost take a journey to there to meet our soulmate, if ever a piece of music could be described as new age, this is it, beautiful flute, flowing piano, gentle strings, it’s simply transcendent in all of its manifestations.
The soft styled creative piano on Glimmering Hope softly takes us by the hand and leads us onward towards a dimension of open possibilities. The melody here was so very beautiful, and the soft orchestral movement equally so, then a most illuminating and breath taking beautiful moment with the violin dropped into our laps from the stunning KeyReel Razkolenko, the performance and its calming fluency was literally idyllic.
Landing is one of three singles that 2002 had released during 2022, and all may I add were incredibly successful for them, this one specifically has an almost haunting reverie to its manifestation, its emotive refrains pull the listener into a world of tranquillity. There is a wonderful proud and powerful sense to this track that give us that delicious special moment when the hairs stand up on your arms, on this deliciously measured, but incredibly ambient offering.
This next song though is something truly special, I had the pleasure many years ago of watching the movie Bladerunner and listening to Loves Theme from Vangelis, City Blue has such a familiar tone and flow to it, and reminds me of that great creation completely, here 2002 allow us to drift around the city one last time in the early hours of the morning, this in my view is a masterful composition, and one that I keep finding myself coming back to time after time, ah that sensual jazzy motif, and just a little more of Ryan McCulogh on Saxophone please.
As we reach the mid-way marker the harp greets our arrival with glee, the softness and sensitive cadence on First Light of Dawn was amazing, the slight Celtic influence also created another level of class for us to enjoy, this is one of those blissful, feel good tracks that one can simply not do without.
A tentative step into the second half of the album will have us passing the doorway marked The Flight Home, this is classic 2002, those flowing chords, drifting harmonies and vocalisations, and the soft but up lifting crescendos, all go to make an arrangement that is as gentle and as a soft bed of angel feathers to lay upon.
The 3rd single I eluded to earlier is this very song, and entitled Clouds Below, for me, this is probably the most ambient creation ever brought into existence by 2002, this is a sublime piece, a work of moving art, the spaces within this song to explore and just float are something truly special, one with ease could literally just be drifting on the thermals way above the clouds on the wings of an eagle with this piece.
We are now moving into the deeper waters of the album and as we do so we are greeted by a song blowing across the mind, that musical manifestation is called Air and Light, this is an atmospheric moment of sheer bliss and harmonic brilliance, the different layers and depths within this crafted opus are sheer genius.
However the penultimate track off the album entitled Riding the Current would be one of my personal favourites from the release, containing a light percussive element, and the creative and deeply attractive build and progression, Randy Copus on guitar here also produces some of the most tender tones of his career, in a track that has an intelligent depth and flow to its construction.
We end this bliss-filled journey with a track that calms the mood and relaxes the senses and entitled Everyday Miracles. Harp never sounded better and that Celtic lilt at the end of this album just makes the moment even more special, this concluding track is almost a lullaby in composition, and being so, is simply the perfect way to end the release, let’s not also forget the beautiful work on violin by James Song, this added a perfect bed of pleasure with which to drift off to.
Clouds Below by 2002 is the band back to their instrumental roots, it’s a delicate album that is bathed in lush colourful tones, yet its overall cadence is simply transcendent and serene. Clouds Below by 2002 is a 10 track collection of musical art, that every new age fan must at all costs have in their collection, and as soon as possible, as this new release is one of the finest examples of truly good new age music that I have heard for many a year.