Since antiquity the whereabouts of the legendary island Atlantis has been discussed. From Plato to Francis Bacon and into today’s world, it has been a frequent topic for both scientific research and art. Atlantis is also the topic for an album by Clifford White, which was released in 2010. Here he gives the listener a fresh perspective on the old myth. Indeed, after 65 minutes of music you feel that Atlantis has risen from the ocean and become a place in your mind you can visit and revisit again and again. So hang on, and enjoy the voyage!
Atlantis is a popular theme in New Age Music. Most prominent is David Arkenstone’s Atlantis: A Symphonic Journey (2004), but also Alex Herr’s synth classic from the late 1980s Atlantis Arising comes to mind. And now we can add another strong album to the list!
I was excited when I heard that Clifford White’s new album would be about Atlantis. The reason is because his previous albums concerning water are among my all time favorites. The collection An Island Called Paradise is a like a trip to a magical and relaxing island, and I make sure to recommend it as often as I can. Selected songs from it are also among the most popular on our channel New Age Stars. We must also not forget that Clifford White is used to myths and great histories; The Gods Of Olympus (2009) was an album worthy of gods.
So with this in mind I put Atlantis on my iPhone and started my musical journey.
The album opens with the title song, which starts with the sound of waves, a quiet piano melody and then something I can describe (bear with me here) as a Vangelis / Chariots of fire-like synth pluck-beat. Which is always a welcome effect! The larger-than-life strings are also here, illustrating the grandness, the light and magic of the underwater world. The song has a very nice melody, and a calming atmosphere.
Track 2, Catacombs, takes the listener even further down – into a darker world, with a faster beat and nice dripping sounds. After all, the tale of Atlantis – like the real-life story of Pompeii – is first and foremost a dramatic story. If Atlantis hadn’t disappeared, there would be no magic; what you can’t ever see, find or reach is to man always more exciting than what is readily available. Isn’t that so?
I am fascinated by the way Clifford White changes sound from one track to the next, while the tracks still blend perfectly into each other. An example here is track 6, Time Tunnels, which is lounge in style. It has a jazzy freshness. Then it is track no. 7, Edge of the Ocean, which is laid back, has a bossa nova beat and a Vollenweider-ish electronic harp melody. This makes the album into an interesting listen.
There is no monotony or repetitiveness.
Again it is tempting to refer to Vangelis – both in style and in craftsmanship; Track no. 8, The New World, has the force of Conquest of Paradise, and lots of White’s usual magic too. The new world unveils itself before your inner eye.
Atlantis is like a box of surprises. The album closer is Exodus; an upbeat, bright piece. Here I must compare to Jean Michel Jarre’s classic Fourth Rendez-Vous. It shines bright, illustrating the overwhelming power of the Exodus.
As you can see from the references; White is here delivering a top notch album, and will once again find himself on the year’s top lists of new age albums. Atlantis is here as real as it will ever get. Bravo!
Score: 90 / 100
Sample the album on Clifford White’s homepage.