Update: See the Grammy winner here.
It is always hard to guess who will win a Grammy. It is never about quality alone. Quality itself is also hard to measure. Which of these fine album is really the best?
The nominees for the 2014 Grammy for New Age music are:
- Brian Eno – Lux Label: Warp Records
- Peter Kater – Illumination Label: Mysterium Music
- Kitaro – Final Call Label: Domo Records, Inc
- R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman – Awakening The Fire Label: Canyon Records
- Laura Sullivan – Love’s River Label: Sentient Spirit Records
This year there are no real favorite – due to the strong names in the above list. Brian Eno is always a name to notice. Also, it is Kitaro’s 15th nomination, Peter Kater’s 9th and R. Carlos Nakai’s 9th too.
I am a big fan of Kitaro, and has been for 25 years. Yet I didn’t much care about his album Final Call:
The environmental treats are real and we all have to do our part. It will take drastic measures. Kitaro had a meeting with Professor Shibata at Kazan Observatory at Kyoto University, nature photographer Toshio Ushiyama and the staff at Nagoya Science Museum, who all showed him just how bad the state of the earth is. This is the inspiration behind Final Call.
With such an important message – and with a cover artwork showing melting ice (if that is not a political statement, I don’t know what is) – I was expecting powerful melodies and dramatic arrangements. After all, this is what Kitaro is famous for. Instead we get 10 beautiful, laid back songs. It is not before the very last track, Solar Eclipse, we get a track that communicates the drama that is unfolding in the world around us. And then the album is over.
Laura Sullivan’s album Love’s River is nice;
Just by looking on the titles you can sense what Laura Sullivan has in store for us; To wish on a dandelion, Snowfall on water and Moonlight Passage. It might seem a bit sugar sweet, but it really isn’t. The album is as fresh as a summer’s day.
Love’s River is not for everyone. If gentle ballads are not your thing, you should look somewhere else. But the album has much to offer for any piano music fan. If you want a beautiful soundtrack to brighten your day, Love’s River is a perfect choice.
But among artists of this caliber she will need a lot of luck to win.
R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman have in Awakening the Fire Review given us a great album:
Firstly, Awakening the Fire has an interesting sound. In terms of mastering, the drums are very loud and many times overpowers the gentle flute. That is actually a nice effect, since the drums not only hold the rhythm – but is like a shamanic tool. It has a very hypnotic quality.
Awakening the Fire is one of R. Carlos Nakai’s best albums. I’m sure this is not the last album he and Will Clipman work together on. The album is highly recommended.
But my favorite this year is Peter Kater:
It is exciting when established artists do something unexpected. On the Grammy nominated album Illumination, Peter Kater ventures deeper into New Age music territory than ever before. The result is four fantastic tracks, perfect for moments of healing and clarity – to quote two of the titles.
My estimates for the Grammy in New Age music 2014 (chance of winning):
Peter Kater: 1/2
Brian Eno: 1/2
Laura Sullivan: 1/10
The Count Down to the GRAMMY Sunday has started!!