On his new album “Superstratum” John Burke takes us on an epic voyage, from the depth of the earth and into space. It is yet another proof that John is one of the new superstars in New Age music.
A new generation of artists have entered the New Age music scene. They are young, talented and extremely dedicated. Names here are Ricky Kej, White Sun’s Gurujas, Nitish Kulkarni and John Burke. John’s last album, “Orogen”, was Grammy nominated last year. Given the obvious quality of “Superstratum”, this album is worthy of any award too. Keep on reading and you will see why.
From the core
The first you will notice is John’s playing style. «Superstratum» is not one of those slow, meditative piano albums. No, this is a work of art, and its creation demands a lot of power. John bangs away on the piano, which makes the listener pay attention.
The first track is called “Core”. It is a magnificent portrait of our planet’s burning center. The melody is multi-layered; there are quite a few surprising twists and turns. Playing this must be like an exercise, and the song is very positive and upbeat.
“Mantle” is something entirely different. The light drums and electric guitar are a nice contrast. The song has a cool and upbeat vibe. “Sea” is a voyage on rolling waves, and it is impossible not to be impressed by just how great the band is performing. The orchestral, neo classical style is amazing. “Earth” has a lovely atmosphere, not unlike the blue and green planet with the same name.
I must mention the beautiful cover. Here are the different segments presented. John obviously is inspired by classical music, where nature and the elements where an important topic. The song “Storm” illustrates this perfectly. Other inspirations are, according to John, George Winston and Ray Manzarek.
Then it is time to leave solid ground. John takes us for a trip way up in the air. “Flight” has a wonderful atmosphere, filled with youthful optimism. There’s nothing but clear skies. “Burn” brings the focus back on John’s piano. It is like the piano is being engulfed by flames, but John keeps on playing.
One of the best songs on the album is “Aurora”. It is a solo piano song with a wonderful flow, yet it is impossible to say where it is going to end. It is like it has a will of its own, or is controlled by the forces of nature. “Rift” is a bit darker, but it is not to last. The violins, flute and piano are joined by an ultra light drum beat and a chilled electric guitar. It is highly original and the 8 minutes are gone before you know it. The last track, “Boundless”, is a tribute to endless space. It is a feel-good song and the album ends on a high note.
In conclusion: John Burke’s “Superstratum” is a bold and ambitious recording. But that is never a problem when the artist delivers 100%. “Superstratum” is one of 2017’s best New Age music albums. Bravo!
Score: 95/100 – See how I rate music here
Make sure to visit John Burke’s homepage, where you can sample and purchase the album.
Selected tracks from “Superstratum” is now playing on New Age Stars Radio.