Holiday CD Review

02005-12-06 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Holiday CDs

Ottmar Liebert:WINTER ROSE – MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE HOLIDAYS/Spiral Subway Records

Flamenco/new age guitar star (and former Bostonian) Liebert offers some heady instrumental meditations on the season. He touches on a few traditional carols (‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and a pretty ‘O Holy Night’), but a lot of this is very serious, complex, original material that is sometimes just too dry. But it should appeal to people looking for something different.

This review by Steve Morse appeared in the Boston Globe this month. Steve has had a lot of nice things to say about me in the past, but this quote baffles me a little. Very serious? Complex? Too dry? What exactly does that mean? It seems to me that there is a serious side to this holiday and there are already plenty of upbeat versions of Jingle Bells out there – including the one I recorded years ago…

From an email:


RE: “Holiday CD Review”… “but a lot of this is very serious, complex, original material that is sometimes just too dry. But it should appeal to people looking for something different.” Huh??? “Complex” AND “dry”??? “Appeals to people looking for something different” AND “dry”??? Sounds contradictory to me. This is what bugs me about critics… but then I can’t say that I would be much better at that job. Anyway, what I love about Winter Rose is that it IS different! I’ve been listening to it constantly and I’m not tired of discovering new nuances each time! In contrast, at this time of year every time I leave the house I’m bombarded with “jingle bells…”, “deck the halls…”, and “pa-rumpa-pum-pum…” – and about the tenth “pa-rumpa-pum-pum” I suddenly feel the urge to strangle somebody!!! So thanks for doing something different! By the way, I also would have to disagree with “heady” and “very serious”. Yes, much of it is very emotional and moving… but how “serious” is it when you take “O Little Town” and mix in a little “Tijuana”?! Or some of the other traditional songs where you take little improvisational detours – that’s just FUN!

I can’t imagine how hard it might be to review 10-20 holiday CD in a few days… and as the old saying goes: there is no such thing as bad press. If I had read Steve’s review I would buy the album, because it does sound interesting!

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