Soul Flight - Review
Soul Flight is a musical collaboration of two very talented artists. Carolyn Short contributes her spellbinding instrumental soundscapes with Mitra Kostamo's stunning angelic vocals for this collaborative album. There is no information available as to the future of this project, if this is just a one-time offering or if a new career will be born out of this work, but whatever the case, we have something that, while not necessarily falling into the gothic ethereal genres, should still be pleasing to fans of hauntingly angelic musical soundscapes.
The album is presented in a cd jewel case with minimal liner notes including a short biography of each collaborator. The vocalizations are not really expressions of any solid lyrics, but more like sounds of the soul expressed in a way that human language cannot really utter. Carolyn's instrumental compositions become as much the vocals as Mitra's siren-like voice becomes just another instrument in the layers of synthetic tapestries. Including eleven tracks along this spiritual thematic clime, the ambience rolls in thick around the listener as each track wends it's way through the album.
While at first listen many themes may sound the same, each lends a subtle unique element to the album that while remaining homogenous and thematic, varies enough to maintain the listener's attention quite well. While my personal styles and preferences would prefer more actual lyrics and vocalizations of the lyrics, the combination of instrumental layers of organ, strings and other electronics and synthesized sounds provide a stunning background for Mitra's soaring vocals. Tracks like "Come To Me" and "Awaken" are very neo-classical and reminiscent of Bach's "Air on the G-String" as the strings really come out on these tracks.
The first real variety comes in the form of the third piece "Be Still My Heart" with almost tribal elements of something maybe from the South Pacific and accented high vocals. As we move into "Autumn" and "Winter" the coldness envelopes the listener as more ambiental and New Age styles come out, while the fans into the darker ethereal music will appreciate the addition of the pipe organ on "Autumn" and the piano on "Winter". These tracks once again show how the subtle differences come out, and even more so with "Dive In The Ocean" with the organ once again playing a major roll in this track that surprisingly mixes well with the ambient soundscapes of ocean waves rolling in.
As the album continues to move along the overall style of this duo is definitely apparent and through a couple of tracks at this point the music becomes best listened to as meditation or background music that is relaxing and de-stressing. At this point the album begins to wind down and we're brought to the finale and my favorite track on this disc. "Alleluia" speaks volumes for these artists and includes the closest thing to traditional vocals, while only repeating layered harmonizations of the title over and over again on top of a beautiful background of subtle instrumental music, it wraps up the album perfectly and for this track alone I would recommend this album.
With that said I think this is a great project that will please fans of Enya and other related artists. I think the final track shows how great they can be with a little more traditional vocals mixed in, but other than that I really wouldn't change anything else.