Acoustic, Female vocals, Folk
"After the odorless "All Our Yesterdays", Blackmore's Night is back with a "Nature's Light", balanced and warm, radiating a saving optimism."
CHILDERIC THOR (17.05.2021)  
(0) opinions from our readers (1) comment(s)

Let's start with the things that annoy (a little) because, even if we venerate Ritchie Blackmore and the band he leads with his muse for almost twenty-five years now (more time than he spent in Deep Purple!), "Nature's Light" is not free of some reproaches.

After almost six years of discographic silence, period that the guitarist occupied to reanimate Rainbow for a mitigated result, we were entitled to hope for more than this meager delivery of ten titles among which, two covers of Blackmore's own repertoire! We would have preferred to discover two new additional tracks rather than these rereadings of 'Wish You Were Here' (already a cover in the beginning) and even more this 'Darker Shade Of Black', magnificent instrumental by the way, but extracted from the previous record and proposed in an identical version.

Another grievance to put at the passivity of this opus, the sound recording seems to be of another age. Impervious to the current techniques, the man in black would be inspired to entrust the production of his albums to an external producer and not only to the faithful Pat Regan, who has been assisting him behind the console since "The Battle Rages On" of Deep Purple. Finally, more anecdotal, the cover could have been drawn by a four years old child...  The booklet is fortunately more successful.

After these reservations, let's admit that the successor of "All Our Yesterdays" (which didn't offer much of anything new) is a pleasant surprise. Of course, the couple doesn't forget at any moment the style that made their success, that is to say this Renaissance pop that is sparingly zebra-striped by the electric protusions of the master, but this return to business, after the rainbow parenthesis, distils much more charm than "All Our Yesterdays".

Each title is chiseled in the manner of a goldsmith's work, set with unforgettable melodies that immediately stick in the memory. In this, "Nature's Light" revives the spirit of "Shadow Of The Moon" and "Under The Violet Moon", a fair comparison that is confirmed by the place occupied by Candice Night, behind whom Ritchie fades. The album is the delightful sheath of his crystalline voice that has never ceased to gain in depth and emotion over time, as evidenced by the wonderful pieces that are 'Feather In The Wind' or 'The Twisted Oak'.

Discreet, his companion is not however in rest. And as always, we watch for the (too rare) releases of his legendary Stratocaster. Four tracks are adorned with his electric print recognizable among thousand. Alongside the already mentioned 'Darker Shade Of Black', which could easily have been included in a Rainbow album, and 'Wish You Were Here', 'Der Letzte Musketier' is a surprisingly bluesy instrumental, a nod to one of the first bands Blackmore played in in the 60s (The Musketeers). But there is especially the immense rock ballad 'Second Element', a cover of Sara Brightman, which closes the album in beauty, a perfect fusion between Candice's vocal power and Ritchie's intact playing, as dark as it is racy.

Finally, without reaching the level of "The Village Lantern" or "Secret Voyage", "Nature'Light" reconciles us with Blackmore's Night after the odorless but pleasant "All Our Yesterdays", a balanced and warm opus radiating a saving optimism. Will this return seal the end of Rainbow or will the minstrel juggle with his two projects? Knowing his tortuous and unpredictable character, no one can predict it yet... 

More informations on

01. Once Upon December
02. Four Winds
03. Feather In The Wind
04. Darker Shade Of Black (instrumental)
05. The Twisted Oak
06. Nature's Light
07. Der Letzte Musketier (instrumental)
08. Wish You Were Here (2021)
09. Going To The Faire
10. Second Element

Candice Night: Chant / Cornemuse
Christina Lynn Skleros: Chant / Flûte
Claire Smith: Violon
David Baranowski: Claviers
David Keith: Batterie
Mike Clemente: Guitares / Basse
Ritchie Blackmore: Guitares / Mandoline, Hurdy Gurdy
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(1) COMMENT(S)    
Donc 6 ans après un "All our Yesterdays" un peu décevant, revoilou notre guitar-héro préféré avec ce"Nature light": bien que la formule folk médiéval/chants traditionnels soit toujours le cœur de l'œuvre blackmorienne, j'ai noté quelques résurgences du hard-rocker de ma jeunesse : les deux instrumentaux et le final ( second élément) m'ont rassuré ( en fait j'étais pas vraiment inquiet !)sur son incroyable maîtrise à 76 ans du son inimitable de sa Strato ! En fermant les yeux, j'ai senti l'arc en ciel poindre le bout de son manche dans de belles harmonies et gammes lyriques, non, le vieux briscard n'est pas mort, qu'on se le dise...(de toutes façons,il est déjà immortel !!)
À écouter,si possible, dans la voiture en roulant sur les routes lozeriennes, entre monts et vallées, au détour d'un ruisseau sauvage et d'une forêt enchantée...
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