The Changelings Astronomica
Grade
A-
 
Also Try
Dead Can Dance
Enigma
Enya

It's really hard to nail The Changelings down with a simple description. Their music is a fusion of ambient, classical, Middle Eastern and even Baroque/Romantic that seems to shift in focus with each new album. Performing with keyboards, guitars, citar, hammered dulcimer, violin and viola, they produce an ethereal sound that's augmented by some of the finest vocal work. Each piece has an almost casualness to it, while still maintaining a level of emotion. At times, you can heard vast influences, ranging from Dead Can Dance to Enigma and Enya.

The Changelings have an "old world" flavor to their sound. While they mix it up with some gothic sound to their music, on the whole, their sound revolves around more classic tones and working with less traditional, mainstream instruments and sounds. Regeana Morris' vocals are magnificent in quality and tone. I find myself mesmerized by her voice, especially in tracks like Parallax and My Shadow, Your Ghost. Damon Young's vocals on Olympus Mons are likewise well performed and very reminiscent of Dead Can Dance.

While each song has their own pace and persona, you can tell that once again that have a theme to the album. Orbit is slow and enchanting with a well played organ and percussion combo that sets a fine background to the vocals. Veils of Gold is a magnificent piece with some fine stringwork and a rousing chorus of sharply harmonic vocals layered with some powerful percussion and strings. Mata Hari shows strong Middle Eastern influence without being overbearing about it. The instrumental Hypersleep is a fine piece that seems to capture most of the feel and sound of the album in one collective piece.

And, to break up the pace, they even perform Syd Barret's See Emily Play, which feels more mainstream than the rest of the album, but still is performed well and shows signs of Pink Floyd's influence on the act.

If you find yourself looking for an album that shows lots of talent and promise, this is what you need to get. The Changelings always seem to be looking forward, while hanging onto musical concepts of the past. Fans of many genres of music should find something in this album. It's neither overbearing or loud and rude for the sake of it. There's no mainstream radio singles here. But, there are a lot of great performances and a fine show of talent to be enjoyed.

- - Kinderfeld

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