Medicine Woman is one of Medwyn Goodall’s most successful series. Album number five, called Transformation, is now out – and it marks the return to the style of the first two Medicine Woman albums, which were released in 1991 and 1998. Transformation shows that the medicine woman still has her healing powers intact, and her services are just as needed today as in the 1990s.
It is rare to find music that has a distinct sound. But Medwyn Goodall’s Medicine Woman definitely has a uniqueness that can be heard – from Invocation on the first album to this year’s Transformation. This series contains some of my all time favorite New Age music songs, like Farewell to the Darkness, Hymn for the Loss of Innocence and Solar Waves. For me, these songs are as heartwarming as a cup of magical tea.
Wonderful Sounds of Nature?
On Medicine Woman 4 – Prophecy 2012 (2009) Medwyn used modern synths as lead instruments, while Transformation is a return to the world of warm, analogue sounding synths (to a certain extension of course; it is mixed in his 2014 set-up). As a longtime fan I appreciate his efforts.
The first you’ll notice with this album is the heavy use of nature sounds. Between (and sometimes inside) each song, and as a 18 minute long bonus track, is the sound of wind and rain. Readers of this page will know that I’m a big fan of nature sounds in general, but they must always be used with utmost care. If not, they are just studio cut & paste. A tasteful example from the Medicine Woman series is the intro to the Farewell to the Darkness song as mentioned above. Though I have very mixed feelings about how Medwyn uses nature sounds here; they sound just about OK, but why are they here in the first place? Is the good medicine woman on a jungle expedition? When looking at the album description, Medwyn says: “The CD benefits from a bonus track of pure rainforest sounds so you may enjoy the 1 hour approx.” To me, that sounds like a filler. But all of this is of little importance; when the songs actually start they are as magical and healing as before. It doesn’t weaken the franchise.
The album starts with the song Sun Dew. Its light and friendly atmosphere makes you relax and breath more easily. It is obvious that the medicine woman has arrived and the healing process can start. The title track Transformation is a two-part, total 15 minute long song. Here Medwyn uses guitars, pan pipes and synth leads that we remember from his albums of the 90s.
The best song on the album is Wanderer, thanks to its magnificent melody and amazing build-up. This is Medwyn Goodall at his very best, and the 9 minutes seems to fly away. Also the song Sky Watching deserves an honorable mention.
Transformation shows that the medicine woman still has her healing powers intact, and her services are just as needed today as in the 1990s.
I must mention that this is the first Medicine Woman album that does not have a painted picture – but a photo montage – on the cover. From comments on Facebook I see that I’m not the only one missing a colorful artwork of the lady with her magic healing powers, like the four previous albums in the series.
In conclusion; Transformation is a great addition to the Medicine Woman series, but it does not take the series further like Prophecy 2012 did. It is more of a back to the roots album (or should I say back to the nature?), with a few memorable moments.
Score: 90/100 – See how I rate music here.
Play the album on: