• Ark
  • Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

39
4.4 out of 5 stars
Ark
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$25.21 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
If you know the name Brendan Perry from somewhere, it is likely as one half of the male / female duo called Dead Can Dance from the 1990's. Sometimes labeled World Music in stores, no one else sounded like them. Many fans found it difficult to describe to other people what the band's music was like. People just had to hear it for themselves. I hardly know anyone who gave them a listen who wasn't instantly hooked. I have described them as the sound of ancient and mysterious cultures, music, and instruments brought back to life from the ancient past, and then mixed in a new modern way that makes it both timeless and relevant for today. Compelling and capable of lifting the spirit, the vocals from Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard were every bit as powerful and compelling as the incredible music they composed.

Since going separate ways, Lisa has done quite a bit of work as the now familiar and haunting voice we sometimes hear in various movie soundtracks, including Gladiator. Brendan put out a solo album called "Eye of the Hunter" some years ago. It was a beautiful album, though certainly a departure from what people were used to from the master song writer of Dead Can Dance.

Brendan is back again, this time with a new contract with Cooking Vinyl records to do even more albums in the very near future.

The newest album, Ark, gives us an absolutely amazing soundscape more reminiscent of his work in Dead Can Dance, but with some pleasant new surprises along the way. Playing this album will sweep the listener up into other worlds, while still maintaining firm roots in planet earth. The album is at times dark, sometimes exotic, sometimes pessimistic, yet remaining hopeful. While many of the songs provide significant commentary regarding world events, this album is anything but cold politics. It is also very much a personal and emotional album that draws us into the struggle of humanity.

It would be very easy for me to think of this as a new Dead Can Dance album, minus Lisa. However, if it were another Dead Can Dance album, I think it would probably be one of the strongest to date. As a fan of Dead Can Dance from the 1990's, this album is very fulfilling. It takes much of the familiar sound of Dead Can Dance, but adds to it, making the music even more dynamic with a more modern sound. Ark uses powerful drums, synthesizer and guitar work, combined with other more antique instruments (like the dulcimer) to create a unique and moving atmosphere you simply don't hear on pop radio.

Ark is what popular music should be like if pop music were more original, and if its lyrics were reflective of contemplative intelligence and the soul searching quest for truth and knowledge. This album certainly has a global soundtrack to support the album's global themes, whether they are politics, war, religion, environmental concerns, or the human condition.

I highly recommend Ark for anyone who has grown weary of the standard pop fare, and is searching for something new that will move and inspire the soul to greater heights.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I've been a big fan of Dead Can Dance for twenty (!) years. So naturally, I was quite excited to get hold of Brendan Perry's Solo album ARK. Let me say that I was a little concerned beforehand, when it was suggested by others, and the artist himself, that it would be a more "electronic" recording. From the very first listen though, the opening track "Babylon" blew me away. This album has been expertly recorded. Beautiful crisp highs, fully pronounced lows, the synth lines and awesome arrangements that we have come to expect from Brendan are all there. I LOVE this sound. The ebbing bass throughout my personally favorite track, "The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea" is captivating. Brendan's vocals and lyrics are perfectly crafted. The music on this album takes me away and makes me think of other things that I normally don't think so much about, just like the music from Dead Can Dance does. I don't know how to explain that, but last night I played this album whilst on the back deck of my home, drinking a lovely pale ale and watching the moon slowly cross the night sky. This music makes me want to do that. Just like DCD does. Enough said.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Long awaited, has it been more than a decade already since "Eye Of The Hunter"? In "Ark", Brendan Perry proves all his high level abilities as a composer, musician AND a singer (what a voice!). One man show, yes (he plays and performs almost everything himself) still there is no lack of musicality, inspiration and trance. Less acoustic and more rythym with beautiful and charismatic arrangements - Brendan Perry is a great song writer. (Who can forget the beautifully haunting "Don't Fade Away" - a live only recorded song from the late Dead Can Dance era). He talks about Love and everything that a human being should question, wonder and worry about nowadays, regarding Loneliness, (In)humanity, Isolation, Ignorance, but also politics and universal chaos we have come to (or forced to) live in and find our own way. Straight and simple lyrics with strong melodic lines in melancholy tunes; Brendan is a seeker, a sirious thinker and a poet in his own unique way. Of course this release makes you wanna go back and listen once again to all his previous works (apart Dead Dead Cance, unfortunately not to many). Would like to see how 'Ark' would work in a live concert (hopefully on a forthcoming DVD). Can't really make a pick but, 'Wintersun', 'Utopia' and 'The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" are really outstanding tracks which carry you away. This album worths a lot of listening and surely grows on the listener. Highly Recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Brendan Perry certainly has a way of confounding fans' expectations. After the demise of Dead Can Dance in 1998, just as that famed duo were exploring a percussion-heavy style with references to African and Arab music, Perry gave us an acoustic guitar, singer-songwriter solo album in EYE OF THE HUNTER. For years afterwards, rumours circulated that his next solo effort would come soon and feature the polyrhythms and global references that many awaited, but a decade of silence passed and was ultimately broken with ARK, something else entirely.

ARK is a dark, slow, brooding landscape of synthesizers and sequencers. All acoustic instruments on the album were played by Brendan alone and fed into a complex computer setup. The result, Perry explains, is meant to represent just how dependent we are on technology in this modern age, with potentially dehumanizing effects.
Perry's voice is in fine form here, just as solid as those early 1990s efforts like INTO THE LABYRINTH and the Tim Buckley covers that gained him a great deal of respect as a singer. Some of the songs here where he sticks to personal themes such as relationships or his fears for the future, have quite an emotional hit, namely "Wintersun", "Utopia" and "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea".

Besides the theme of the overwhelming pace of technological development, Brendan Perry also sings of political and religious disillusionment. Indeed, the first two songs are passionate statements against, respectively, US militarism in the Middle East and the false promises of politicians. The final track, "Crescent", is concered with religious extremism in what was once Mesapotamia, the cradle of civilization. Unfortunately, the album is lyrically something of a disappointment. Often noble sentiments are undone by clumsy wording and awkward delivery, e.g. "Sons and daughters of America, / you laid down your lives. / For the warlords of America, / not for your sake, not for mine."

So I have mixed feelings about ARK. Nonetheless, I'm sure anyone who enjoyed Brendan's work with Dead Can Dance and his initial solo recordings will still find most of this album musically worthwhile. (I suspect I may change this from 3 stars to 4 with time.) Furthermore, the occasional disappointments don't strike so deep when one still perceives that Brendan has it together vocally and musically, and I'm looking forward to whatever comes next.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD
A must for all DCD fans. Perry's voice (unbelievably beautiful as always!), the melodies, the arrangements... hypnotic! Eye of The Hunter was a marvelous album, but ARK is more powerful and (somewhat) less melancholic. All of the songs have luxurious arrangements and `ambience`. No doubt, one of the best albums of 2010... DCD lives on!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Brendan Perry is a man with a lot on his mind. For those of you familiar with the epic music of Dead Can Dance, you definitely won't be disappointed in the richly-layered tapestry of soundscapes that Perry has brilliantly envisioned on this ambitious second solo outing. And the fact that he is playing all the instruments makes it all the more rewarding. But truth be told, it's not really the music that takes center stage on this album, but Perry's profoundly personal commentary about life, war, hopelessness and the destruction of Mother Earth--a gift mankind has selfishly tarnished to his own end. Yes, we have made our burning beds, and now we must sleep in them.

Perry does not mince words when he alludes to the lies of peace; the ravenous man machine; senseless wars; empty causes; lost lives; cold-blooded reptilian politicians; materialism; global destruction; and the death of innocence. Perry is basically saying what most of us are probably already thinking--that the flame of existence is getting snuffed out at our own hands. But there is something much deeper going on here. Something much more personal--as if we are bearing witness to Perry's own internal demons as he single-handedly takes on the sins of the world in one last empathetic gesture.

Like "Leeloo" in Luc Besson's sci-fi cult classic, "The Fifth Element," Perry's extreme sensitivity to the world comes rushing through on this album, leaving us crying in the corner as we view our own destruction play out before us like bad theater in the auditorium of humanity. For like Perry, we feel invisible and numb--trapped within our own suburban hell, as we mindlessly and blindly live out our lives vicariously through our TV sets and on the Internet. For like the stars, our souls are dead and we don't even know it. So all we can hang onto is the illusion and lie of living, as the final curtain comes down on us.

If there is a glimmer of hope to be found in Perry's sobering vision, it is rooted in love, in mercy, in living the righteous life, and in the resilience of Mother Nature herself. For even if we end up drowning ourselves in our own greed, anger and ignorance, the seeds of life will once again rise from the dark earth to kiss the sun. Highly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 23, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I can not begin to tell you how much I love this album. Without knowing, if someone were to tell me that this was a new Dead Can Dance album, I would believe them. Every single song on "Ark" would fit perfectly well next to any song from the "Aion" and "Into The Labyrinth" eras of DCD. Of course, without Lisa's input there isn't quite the same vocal diversity, but I am perfectly fine with that. Basically, think of "Ark" as "Black Sun", "How Fortunate The Man With None", "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove", and "Carnival Is Over" spread out for an entire album.

O.k., I know that review assumes knowledge of Dead Can Dance. For those without that reference point, I can tell you that this is a very worthwhile buy. Brendan Perry has a deep an soothing vocal, that is almost hypnotic. It drifts in and out of the background with an echo that almost makes it sound like he is singing from another dimension. His lyrics are poetic, and those of a sophisticated songwriter. His song arrangements are a mix of traditional "world" instruments, with a very subtle use of electronics and synthesizers (that accentuate the songs, rather than distract from them). I can not talk up this CD enough. Now that I finally got around to buying it, I can already predict that I will be listening to it A LOT over the next several months. I can not believe it took me this long to buy it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD
For those who are disappointed with "Eye of the Hunter" here's good news. Perry's last work is an amazing legacy, trully breath taking and full of peak moments. What really amazes is that his new proposal took the best of his DCD unique style and reformulated it into a new offspring with beautiful electronic hues. The result: a record tributary to his musical roots in DCD but with new formulas without loosing an inch of it's primary essence. This album will surely take you into the most yearned and magic realms of the artist's creativity. A true "must have" album. Acquire it with no fear cause you'll treasure it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD
A treasure for all Dead Can Dance fans. Ark is the best solo creation from Brendan Perry; the front man of Dead Can Dance. As a solo artist, Brendan Perry's unique and beautiful sound is not left bereft by the absence of the band behind him. The sound is just as melodious and consuming as it ever was, if not more so. An excellent buy for any who appreciate the ambiance of a renowned vocalist.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
For those of us who enjoyed Dead Can Dance and Brendan Perry's first solo album, it's been a long wait for new studio material. Ark succeeds on all fronts and satisfies in many unexpected ways. Yes, Brendan Perry is an amazing singer and lyricist who can knock you back into you chair and make you listen more deeply than you ever thought possible. Yes, Brendan's influences are varied and combined in ways that sound totally new and modern. And, yes, Ark is worth the wait. Not only does this record bear up under repeated listenings, but I continue to hear new and dazzling elements in these subtle and brilliant compositions each time. Highly Recommended. A Desert Island CD if there ever was one.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Anastasis
Anastasis by Dead Can Dance (Audio CD - 2012)

Eye of the Hunter
Eye of the Hunter by Brendan Perry (Audio CD - 2011)

Departum
Departum by Lisa Gerrard (Audio CD - 2010)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.