Sunday, August 21, 2011

CD Review – Damayanti, by 2002

Husband and wife Randy and Pamela Copus literally make beautiful music together as the Billboard-charting New Age duo 2002, whose latest album is an enchanting masterpiece of musical fantasy and mythology.

Although the music is inspired by and serves as a soundtrack to the Hindu story of the love between Princess Damayanti and King Nala, it stands on its own as a brilliant work unto itself. The sweeping, cinematic themes are worthy of an epic motion picture.

Randy’s guitars, basses, and piano, Pamela’s harp and flutes, and the duo’s keyboards and multilayered, multi-tracked voices come together to create some of the most lyrical music in the New Age genre – or any genre, for that matter.

The sparks really fly on the second track, “Flight of the Swan,” with Randy’s luminous lead guitar and Pamela’s angelic flute weaving a pristine, ethereal melody, resulting in one of the most breathtaking tunes ever recorded. The song is as graceful as the subject of its title, and as cool as an ocean breeze.

Other standout tracks include “Cycle of Time,” with Randy’s liquid guitar and Pamela’s flute again creating sonic magic; “Divine Encounter,” a heavenly ballad with smooth, buttery rhythm guitar and dynamic percussion; and “Time Stands Still,” a soaring, triumphant conclusion that conjures both the solemn and euphoric strains of classic film composers such as John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and James Horner. Movie scores of the last twenty years have been severely lacking in originality and have been neither memorable nor iconic. 2002 could easily fill that void and make movie music vibrant again and restore the cinematic experience to its former glory.

My favorite tracks notwithstanding, the entire album is captivating from start to finish. The particular story that inspired the music is enthralling and brought to life as only Randy and Pamela can bring it, but the music stands apart on its own and has the ability to create unique stories for each listener and serve as the soundtracks to those stories. The song titles are elements of Damayanti and Nala’s story, but they also aptly describe the feel of the songs themselves.

I could go on, but no words are really sufficient or necessary to relay the wondrous essence of this music. It really needs to be heard and treasured. I would be surprised if there were any soul that could not be moved by this album. It truly is one in a million.

--Raj Manoharan

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