Serenity Relaxing Spa Music by Aqua Purha is a massive collection of music. It consists of nothing less than 101 tracks, or a total of over 6 hours music. It is currently a best seller on iTunes in several countries and I suspect that the $ 9,99 price tag has something to do with its success. After all, we all like to do great deals and get value for our hard earned money. But is it any good as a New Age music release?
I remember with horror when the CD format was young and the first big packs of classical music were released. For the price of one Deutsche Grammophon release you could get 5 or more CDs with classical masterworks recorded by unknown orchestras. The quality was usually mediocre, both in terms of audio and artistic qualities. More is really less, I thought back then. Serenity Relaxing Spa is a bit like those “buy 1 get 5” offers. Not because it is a fundamentally bad release, but because there are so many albums that have much more to offer. There is little unique material here, no personality. Just notice how the sounds of nature seems “splashed about” on many tracks. Most artists try to find the natural flow of the sample before adding layers of piano, strings or other arrangements.
The album is divided into sections. I like the way the album covers almost all aspects of relaxation music. Here you find meditation tracks, music for yoga, pilates, static noise and even classical music like Bach’s Air, Für Elise and Ave Maria. These are taken from Michael Silverman’s Canon in D album. But the tracks, also the non piano tracks, are all surprisingly short (3 to 5 minutes). I get a feeling that the goal is to squeeze in as many themes as possible to get wider search result on Amazon and iTunes. There is also limitations in having a 101 track album released within the boundaries of the CD format. If it was a pure digital product songs may have been longer.
I’ll end where I started; Serenity Spa is not a bad release. It is a big pack of background music at a nice price. But I think there is better value in buying one truly great album than a less-than-great, 5-in-1 release like this. Hopefully the album’s success will inspire people to check out other releases in our genre. Though deep down I fear that this compilation confirms the New Age music stereotypes many people have.
You can check out the album on iTunes here.
Score: 72 / 100