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Best of David Arkenstone

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David Arkenstone 12/5/2005
Best of David Arkenstone feels a little hurried. It only draws from five of the new age giant's Narada releases, including three selections from 1987's Valley in the Clouds and two songs each from Another Star in the Sky (1994) and Quest of the Dream Warrior (1995). There's no liner information to speak of, and its ten tracks all appear on the two-disc Arkenstone compendium from 2002, Visionary: The Ultimate Narada Collection. This means the set's probably meant as an Arkenstone calling card for listeners drawn in by his Grammy-nominated (and richly imagined) 2004 release, Atlantis: A Symphonic Journey. Which is fine, because it works well as such an abstract. Opener "Valley in the Clouds" establishes Arkenstone's flair for mixing gentle rhythms with mysticism, while "Under the Canopy"'s woodwinds and faraway nature effects travel on a pleasant South Pacific breeze. "A Thousand Small Gold Bells" (from the 1993 Narada compilation Earth Songs) is tranquil but for its triumphant, cymbal-smashing chorus break; your point of view suddenly shifts to a sweeping aerial shot of the Himalayas. Other Best of David Arkenstone highlights include the plaintive ballad "Another Star in the Sky," "Magic Forest"'s swirling synths and wordless vocal, and "Southern Cross," which might feature the set's strongest melody. Arkenstone devotees will already have everything here. But for anyone just discovering him, it's a nice primer. ~ Johnny Loftus
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  1. # Song Length
  2. 1 Valley in the Clouds PT3M29S
  3. 2 Under the Canopy PT4M18S
  4. 3 Night Wind PT3M42S
  5. 4 Another Star in the Sky PT4M47S
  6. 5 City in the Clouds PT6M22S
  7. 6 The Temple of Vaal PT5M33S
  8. 7 The Magic Forest PT5M21S
  9. 8 A Thousand Small Gold Bells PT6M3S
  10. 9 Ancient Legend PT3M54S
  11. 10 The Southern Cross PT5M14S

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