BLACKMORE’S NIGHT – Dancer and the Moon
Now for the latest from Ritchie Blackmore and partner Candice Night. ‘Dancer and the Moon’ offers up the type of folksy, medieval pop rock you might expect from this act. First off, the production is crystal clear. Those who haven’t checked in on Richie in years will be delighted to hear that not only are his skills still up there with the best in the business, but he has learned how to take a back seat and work with the mood of the song rather than subjecting the listener to interminable 15 minute solos (guess who still has a chip on his shoulder from those disappointing 70’s Rainbow live albums?) What impresses most about the guitar work is the range of styles displayed – folk, jazz, rock, blues, and more, electric and acoustic, all carried off with masterful aplomb.
Candice has won awards for her vocals and demonstrates superb control and a mature knowledge of how to ply her craft. For me though, there is something missing in her voice – some lacking timbre or character that means it doesn’t appeal or work emotionally. Perhaps it is too polished – too perfect?
With a career spanning 50 years, Ritchie knows what he is trying to achieve and how to go about getting the desired results. Ultimately though, ‘Dancer and the Moon’ is a Disney castle. It is too clean, commercial and contrived for my liking. I prefer this kind of thing done in a rougher, more authentic fashion (check out Circulus to see what I mean). My feeling about this album is that it is more suitable for over 50’s who run shops that sell crystals and sage and Americans in search of a musical link to the olde worlde than for the metal community.