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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Yochk'o Seffer - Magyar Etno – Magyar Etno is a collection of mostly solo pieces by this renowned jazz saxophonist. Seffer creates melodies in the folk style of his native Hungary, and uses these as starting and reference points...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues