Exposé Online banner

Stella Maris — To the Promised Land
(BSC 398.6717.2, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

To the Promised Land Cover artIt can be difficult to review something like this latest offering from Germany’s Stella Maris. The musicians sound so sincere and believe in what they’re doing, and put a great deal of craft and thought into the product. But it’s just frankly no fun, except for possibly someone really into the New Age genre who’s willing to accept a lower standard of originality and interest than the general listener. The basic elements are tech-ed up world beats (along the lines of mellow Afro Celts), female vocals (along the lines of Enya), and tons of keyboards. It’s basically Adiemus with less orchestration. Multi-instrumentalist Dirk Schlömer is the mastermind behind the project, joined by a few other players and a variety of female vocalists from around the world. Unfortunately, Schlömer himself takes a few turns at the microphone, and his personality-free delivery does not help make the insipid lyrics tolerable. The women generally fare better, especially when the lyrics are in French or Latin or Spanish. But it’s all so trite and unimaginative that no amount of production savvy can rescue. Yes, we all know that peace in the world is better than war, but if you want to say that in a song, you have to bring something to the table other than the blatant declaration. In the game of cross-cultural musical fusion, there are too many good examples to waste time on bad ones, no matter how well-intentioned.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Stella Maris

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Oysterband - Here I Stand – Oysterband (originally The Oyster Band) has been making music in their own unique and developing style for more than a decade. I would hesitate to call them a post-punk equivalent of Fairport...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues