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Kori Linae Carothers: The Journey

Album Notes

In the '80s, many rock critics went out of their way to bash the new age genre. But in the 21st century, it seems like they don't even bother bashing it -- it's like they're oblivious to its very existence. Regardless of all that, new age has carried on -- and some of the more intriguing new age recordings of the '90s and 2000s have indicated that it is best to judge new age on a case-by-case basis, instead of making sweeping generalizations about the genre. Kori Linae Carothers' The Journey wasn't among the more ambitious new age releases of 2005, but it isn't a bad album, either. Carothers specializes in new age piano, providing soft, gently pensive instrumental mood music that is likable enough, even though it isn't in a class with the recordings of -- just to give one example -- Babak Afshar, one of new age's more imaginative, risk-taking figures. Carothers doesn't take many risks; instead, the composer/producer opts to soothe and comfort rather than challenge (not that one automatically rules out the other). Had The Journey come out in 1988 or 1989 instead of 2005, some rock critics probably would have gone out of their way to rail against her for not sounding anything like the Jesus and Mary Chain or the Cowboy Junkies (just as they railed against Bon Jovi and Whitesnake for not sounding anything like the Jesus and Mary Chain or the Cowboy Junkies). But in 2005, the only people who were aware of this CD's existence were the new age diehards -- and those diehards found that while The Journey is not a mind-blowing masterpiece, it is a pleasant footnote in the new age piano field. ~ Alex Henderson


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