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White-Out Conditions Import

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 2, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Re-issue of the Classic Arctic Ambient Pop/Rock Release.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 2, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Crammed Disc Belgium
  • ASIN: B00009LI7V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Bel Canto Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bel Canto, from Tromso Norway (above the Artic Circle), is making beautiful music, and no body in America has seemed to notice. Combining ethnic beats and instruments from around the world, with Anneli Drecker's haunting and whispy vocals, Bel Canto delivers "icy-cold" moods and "wintery days" to us through their music. This is a great album.
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Format: Audio CD
White-Out Conditions is the shiver-inducing debut LP by Bel Canto. Their music at this point has a very cold, electronic feel to it, heightened by lyrics describing the barren landscapes of their Norwegian hometown. The selection of songs is somewhat uneven, ranging from dark ambient electronic to more upbeat new wave tunes. But what makes Bel Canto's sound stand out is their use of medieval-like strings as well as Anneli Drecker's seemingly unlimitless voice. Definetely buy this if you like Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance; maybe get it if you like Delerium and Siouxsie; avoid it if you're adverse to arty European music.
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Format: Audio CD
Hailing from Norway, Bel Canto is a group with a unique blend of musical ideas that creates something fresh and wonderful. For a debut, White-Out Conditions reveals a remarkably strong songwriting affinity within the Drecker-Jenssen-Johansen unit of Bel Canto. Anneli Drecker is the band's most distinctive quality...she's a lovely, ethereal vocalist who develops quite a unique sound on later albums. Geir Jenssen and Nils Johansen create serene tapestries of electronics along with flutes, mandolins, and dashes of eclectic ethnicity for variety. (More diverse instrumentation would also come on later albums.) Over the layers of synthesizers, Drecker creates melodies with her singing, and the cool gentleness of the overall musical effect is absolutely enchanting. The lyrics are simple, but conveyed through Drecker's voice they gain an unusual dimension of feeling, like on "Without You" where the solemnity of the song is powerfully expressed by Drecker's sweeping vocal style. The big highlight for me is "Upland," a brilliant work of electronics with striking melodic progressions and haunting vocals. The playful "Agassiz" evokes a folk-dance, with Drecker's feisty vocals cooing with infectious liveliness. The wonderful vocal melodies in "Blank Sheets" and the dramatic "White-Out Conditions" also make for great music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The title track is the best of the lot, by far. None of them are bad, but none of them are really as memorable as the title track either. There is a good instrumental near the end and the opening track is interesting, although somewhat repetitive. The electronic sounds may appeal to someone who likes Depeche Mode's Black Celebration, although these songs are more austere. Vocally, there are shades of early Elizabeth Frazier, although without her whimsical tendencies. The vocalist really does have a unique sound. The album does have a cohesive mood, which is wintery.

The band's best album is Birds of Passage, an album which also reminds me faintly of early Depeche Mode (i.e. A Broken Frame). Shimmering Warm and Bright also has a magnificent song (Unicorn), a good one (Spiderdust), and probably at least one other good one that I can't recall at the moment. I also suggest the fantastic song "In Zenith" and the good "Tiptoe Through the Jungle" from the Magic Box album (unfortunately, all of the other songs on that aren't good). I was not impressed by anything on Rush.
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