Monday, July 15, 2024
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Sarah Brightman - Dive


Overall: (?)

Classical Pop

Highlights: Captain Nemo, The Second Element, Once in a Lifetime, La Mer

Dive is a milestone for classical crossover, despite it not really being classical. It marked the first of the ongoing collaboration between Sarah Brightman and German producer Frank Peterson (one of the creators of new age group Enigma). The influences from Peterson's visions of chant, electronic and chill out music are easy to recognise on this album. Indeed, there are not really any chants in the same way Enigma had them, but the opening track 'Dive' and other conjunctioning songs such as 'Cape Horn' and 'Siren' are definite indicators with their ocean sounds and whale vocalisations.

Dive is a result of two artists trying to find a footing with a particular sound, and you may call this album a trial and error before finding what was right in their following album Fly (the song 'A Question of Honour') and then implementing that blend of classical and pop for their second follow up Timeless. What they did get right for Dive though, is a tradition that Brightman still practices today, which is to link all of her material on an album with a common theme. In this case, it is the ocean.

Despite the Enigma influence, this album is still a pop album as opposed to a new-age one, and the album is filled with pleasant enough sounding mid-tempo ballads with the odd dash of power (though never operatic) that Brightman was and is capable of - 'A Salty Dog' is a prime example of this. But none of the songs are particularly memorable. 'The Second Element' and 'Once In A Lifetime' have some replay value, and may, indeed, be your justification for buying this album but the rest may well pass you by with the exception of a jarring, irritating track that is 'Johnny Wanna Live'.

This is by no means a ground breaking album with ground breaking songs, but it's a pleasing listen and would make some great background music whilst you're working or pre-occupied with other things. If you have a great interest in Brightman's music, this is a good source to understand her roots with Peterson who went on and continued to experiment with different sounds. If you want an album of theirs where they had eventually found stability, try Eden or La Luna.

Track Listing
1. Dive
2. Captain Nemo
3. The Second Element
4. Ship of Fools
5. Once in a Lifetime
6. Cape Horn
7. A Salty Dog
8. Siren
9. Seven Seas
10. Johnny Wanna Live
11. By Now
12. Island
13. When It Rains in America
14. La Mer
15. The Second Element II

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