There aren’t that many winter themed albums in our genre, but the few we have are generally very good. For artists it usually make more commercial sense to make a standard Christmas album. Jon Richards’ Midwinter, released on the MG Music label, is inspired by Folk, Celtic and Medieval music. It captures the magic of winter; It is like you can feel the snow falling around you.
Jon Richards’ new album is bit like Enya’s And Winter Came (2008) in the sense that there are some Christmas songs here, but they are well hidden. You can listen to Carol of the Bells and Yuletide without getting into a Christmas mood – so the album can last all winter season.
Winter is Coming
Midwinter is a gentle album, without many effects. It demands that you really listen. But when you do you’ll notice the beauty and complexity in Jon Richards’ arrangements. It also has a lovely acoustic sound.
The album starts with the piano melody Across the Seasons. It is a nice and positive intro to the album. Freya starts with a female voice singing quietly (I suspect it is a sample, since there are some noticeable hissing in the background). The melody has the simplistic qualities of Medieval music. It is a feel-good song. Carol of the Bells and Yuletide follow in the same style.
On Brighid’s Flame is all about guitar. It is a playful melody that makes you want to play some guitar yourself. The over 6 minute long Ember Days is like a small EP in itself. I love the complexity and elegance of this song. Other great melodies here are Gaudete and Winterlight.
In conclusion: Jon Richards has given us a great winter themed album. Midwinter is a collection of heartwarming songs, perfect for relaxation or dreaming. If you for instance are sweating under a tropical sun and need a breath of fresh, winter air then this album is just what you need.
Score: 91/100 – See how I rate music here
Sample the album on MG Music.