Label: Ear MusicNature’s Light is Blackmore’s Night 14th album and six years since the release of their last studio album All Our Yesterdays. I can say to those that would ask “Was it worth the wait?” I would say it was. I would also add that this is some of their best work to date. Musically it is mostly what one would expect from the band and lyrically, and with the title, they are coming from a new age and nature premise.
The idea behind the title of the album and what you will find in the tracks will enlighten the spirit. The thoughts of nature being the true queen in all its glory with the changing of the seasons. And all of the natural occurrences around us that should be appreciated every day. For instance, I stepped outside on this rainy day to let our dog out and I was watching a beautiful cardinal chirp and jump from branch to branch, going higher each time, and then over to the next tree. Simple things, but so enjoyable to watch nature at work and all the gifts she presents to us daily. I choose to take it all in with a great appreciation and joy. This is the kind of lyrical content and accompanying music that validates all of those feelings and keeps things in proper perspective. I do not need music to remind me of the wonder and respect I have always had for Mother Nature; however, it certainly is a nice reaffirmation of how important and blessed I am to be alive to enjoy it all.
Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night are an amazing husband and wife team. To open the CD booklet with all of the lyrics and to see the picture of Ritchie looking up at Candace smiling is a wonderful thing. How many pictures has anyone seen with him smiling? He is one serious man and I get that. It was just nice to see that kind of loving interaction between the couple.
“Once Upon December” kicks things off and gets the proceedings started. There is an entertaining mixture of world-rock-new age that unfolds, and it is something that always makes my heart smile and invigorates my spirit. The following track “Four Winds” is full of the color and energy that only Richie and Candice can coax out of their supporting casts and instruments. And it sure sounded like an upbeat choice for a single release, currently they went with the title track, which is just as good.
“Feather In The Wind” comes at you with a much faster pace with high energy, it is what I would call good mood music. My definition of that in this context would be that it makes my feet tap and puts a smile on my face.
There are two fantastic instrumentals on this album as well. “Darker Shade Of Black” features some fiery leads from Richie, which I always appreciated and some non-verbal vocals that are very high and heavenly. The heavenly part does not go along with the title of the track but that is what my ears heard. The other remarkable instrumental “Der Letzte Musketier” (translated The Last Musketeer), features Richie with an atmospheric bluesy electric guitar run which is supported by a rock-solid rhythm section. This was my favorite track from an overall musical perspective without any vocals. It reminded me of some of the leads Richie would play on all of those great Deep Purple albums, which I still treasure after all these years.
Getting back to nature, “The Twisted Oak” reminds us all of “Finding the peace of mind I have left behind.” If you stop and think for a minute how true that is, don’t we all leave behind any peace of mind we may have gained once we are back to the daily grind of work and stress? These are well thought out lyrics with a magnificent blend of music to drive home the answer with a resounding yes! This leaves no doubt in my mind as Candice sings - all in the glory of “Nature’s Light.” So, check out that light that is brought out in everything that surrounds you.
“Wish You Were Here (2021)” is another bluesy track with Richie setting the music afire with some fine six-string work to support the beautiful vocals. “Going To The Faire” is light and airy like a renaissance fair where you can step into a portal of time and let the worries of life melt away for a day. In that timespan you can enjoy the fact that “spring as sprung,” as Candice sings in only the special way that she can delivering the message in a song.
“Second Element” closes out the recording with some beautifully played acoustic guitar and yet another electric guitar run to remind us all that Richie Blackmore is one of the greats and that still has the mojo to deliver when needed.
Nature’s Light is a welcome return for Blackmore’s Night and will surely be enjoyed by fans all over the world. They have over a quarter of a million followers on the Spotify platform alone so far. This is one album you simply cannot miss this year. For a variety of music and uplifting lyrics, this is one of the best of 2021 and will remain a favorite for me throughout the year.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 25, 2021
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