BLACKMORE’S NIGHT – The Village Lanterne

BLACKMORE'S NIGHT - The Village Lanterne


Release date: March 17, 2006

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After the success of the last studio album, 2003’s Ghost Of A Rose, a collection of their most romantic stuff in 2004, and finally, the highly anticipated DVD release last year, Castles & Dreams, the more than ever respected guitar player, Ritchie Blackmore, and his family (adorable wife Candice along with the usual that comes with a marriage — yes, the mother-in-law) waste no time in continuing to build up what is Blackmore’s third band at a gold/platinum level. It seems as though whatever this man does, it has the word “success” written all over it, and listening to The Village Lanterne, it’s easy to conclude that the moody Englishman has hit another jackpot.

Style-wise, The Village Lanterne brings nothing new to the table, providing you have been clever enough to follow this band for a while, that is. The album sounds like it has been created with a looser approach than previous efforts, although Ritchie has no problem bringing out the electric side of himself for more than just one song, and you get the impression that this CD – much like the others – is another labor of love… but this time even more so, because the overall feel is that Blackmore enjoys more artistic freedom and self confidence than ever before, as this band is now well-established and has nothing left to prove. Don’t hold your breath for a reunion of any kind, folks -– there is simply no need for one …

As expected, because every Blackmore’s Night CD has a lot of it, The Village Lanterne is an album with diversity. You will find up-tempo acoustic songs, ballads, and romantic numbers like “Faerie Queen” (which reminds you of the beyond beautiful “Catherine Howard’s Fate” from Under A Violet Moon before the dance-around-the-bonfire-ending), songs with electric guitars — “I Guess It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” and the overly brilliant remake of Rainbow’s “Street Of Dreams” -– not to forget the new version of “Child In Time,” and the usual bar-song: “Old Mill Inn,” where Blackmore celebrates his love for a beer or two (no, no further insulting indications or accusations -– you should all find out why His Moody Majesty enjoys spending time in Germany …).

So why is a CD that has just more of the same so friggin’ good, you may ask? Simply because of its incredibly strong songwriting (and wise picks of old classics/cover songs) -– and like mentioned, the capability and interpretation this couple has to transmit their lifestyle and passion for old music to the masses, all done with Candice’s contagious smiles and her husband’s wit. Of course, the ones about to explode their lungs in hope for that silly reunion, will probably not greet the remake of “Child In Time,” but this version proves that it’s not about the singer, but the song, and it has a great build-up where the goosebumps are getting rather busy -– before the, again, dance-around-the-bonfire-ending in “Mond Tanz.”

“Streets Of London” is an old classic that your teacher might have forced you to sing at school way back, but with this version, all those old and indeed traumatic memories of the song are long gone. “Just Call My Name” (on last year’s single called “I’ll Be There {Just Call My Name},” so it’s hard to be precise here) is another potential hit, along with the mentioned “Street Of Dreams” –- but it is believed that Mister Blackmore no longer cares about hit material, if he ever did …

A little inner peace and happiness awaits the ones smart enough to pick up a copy of this CD. In fact, Blackmore’s Night has the potential to create world peace with their music, and that isn’t such a bad idea … then again – you won’t find churches or castles big enough to hold their audiences, so maybe next time you will read a negative review of this duo and their gems here at Metal Express Radio, in order to keep things under control? Nah, doubtfully …


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