Keith Duke - Sacred Pathway

Published Wednesday 25th May 2005
Keith Duke - Sacred Pathway
Keith Duke - Sacred Pathway

STYLE: Celtic
RATING 3 3 3
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13000-2689
LABEL: Kevin Mayhew 1490145
RELEASE DATE: 2004-05-01
RRP: £14.99

Reviewed by Phil Thomson

In search of the contemplative, there can hardly be a name more synonymous with the Celtic tradition than Lindisfarne. The very sound of it awakens the mystery, wonder and imagination of an ancient, yet living faith - which is more than can be said for this album. Most of the texts are by David Adam, so that isn't the problem. Quite the reverse: with his time-honoured lightness of touch, the lyrics express yet again the depth of feeling we have come to expect from this form of worship. It's the music: I was hard pressed to find something which stirred my Celtic sensibilities, except, possibly, "Total Immersion", a track in memory of Beryl, organist of St Mary's, Holy Island. And it's the singing of Celtic Voices, which is at best, uncertain, at worst, totally unsuited to the genre. Their sound is vaguely Baroque, at times pompous, a kind of meditative Gilbert and Sullivan, but certainly not Celtic. The most rounded song, "Desert Waters", still leans towards a restrained aria vocal, though it does draw us into the drama of the lyric. That apart, this is a lost opportunity for invention, offering us production and arrangement ideas set 40 years ago, as if producer Richard Lewis suddenly discovered he had Tibetan singing bowls, bowed psaltry, djembe and bhodran to hand and barely knew how to exploit them. Without the considerable weight of flautist Dave Fitzgerald, taking this particular Celtic pathway is asking a lot. I have a feeling that the subtle music of Keith Duke has been poorly served. The one instrumental, helped along by a rather subdued Fitzgerald, barely rises above ambient. If you have ever gone to sleep during a prolonged prayer time, this might help.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Christ Be Near [Listen]
2. Traveller's Prayer [Listen]
3. Resurrection Song [Listen]
4. Come, Holy Dove [Listen]
5. I Will Tread The Earth Lightly [Listen]
6. You Are The Maker [Listen]
7. Be Still [Listen]
8. Total Immersion [Listen]
9. Desert Waters [Listen]
10. On The Breath Of Wind [Listen]
11. Let Life's Rythms Flow [Listen]
12. Lighten Our Darkness [Listen]
13. Saviour Of My Soul [Listen]
14. Funeral Blessing [Listen]
15. Deep Peace [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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