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Boomkat Product Review:
Signing to a major label - even one of the calibre of Real World - seems to have been a mixed blessing for Hannah Peel. On the one hand there’s no denying the epic sense of scale that seeps through the orchestration, arrangements, the recording, mixing, mastering - everything sounds incredible, flawless (the Paraorchestra - a unique ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians - are clearly top tier). But on the other hand, is flawless what you wanna hear? Add enough sheen and things start to feel a bit hollow.
So while 10 minute opener 'The Universe Before Matter’ taps into a similar spot as Arve Henriksen’s still entirely untouchable 'An Opening Image’ (swear down, is there a more low-key influential piece of music in all of contemporary classical / film music, Arvo Pärt excepted?), and ‘Passage’ is effortlessly moving with its Max Richter-esque alignment of fleet-footed brass and glacial strings, it doesnt take long for things to take an overworked turn, 'If After Weeks Of Early Sun’ is more or less indistinguishable from something you might hear on Strictly.
There are moments on this album that are just inarguably great, but - not gonna lie - that's a bit of a buzkill.