I like this very much. Pleasant, easy listening. Good to have on when the family is home, instead of NPR, to create a pleasant and conflict free background.
Strong research, weak Mannheim Steamroller
Ashurra | Kirkland, WA United States | 07/30/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Every reviewer of this disc seems very quick to point out that it won a Grammy. I find that strange, because most everyone knows that a Grammy is rarely an indication of the quality of music, and is instead an indication of the number of sales. And we should all know that just because the public loves it doesn't mean that the music is all that spectacular. Such as it is, this is an album that has a lot of thought put into the backstory of each track. The research is interesting and humorous. I can't help but think that more emphasis should've been made on the music. Musically, none of the organic sounding Classical Rock of the first four Fresh Aire albums is present. Rather it continues in the same vein as Fresh Aire 5 and 6. Except for the orchestra sounds strangely muted; so perfect as if it was played through a midi player. In fact I get that sense over the entire album. It sounds as if it was created on a computer instead of in a recording studio. Which would be an accurate pronouncement; this is Chip and his Toys gone overboard. The result is some interesting themes (and more forgettable ones) that have the same sound to them despite changes in the instrumental arrangements. And the songs don't have the impressive hooks, simplicite beauty or rolling gait that his early work had. It all sounds conservative; as if the music itself is 40 something...Which is really what it is. Even as a big fan, I began to notice towards the end of the decade the magic began to disappear. The music has declined, even if the thought behind it has gotten better. But if you're like me, you'd much rather buy a CD for its music than its liner notes."
"perfection through sound - Chip Davis via Mannheim"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 11/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What has American Gramaphone and Chip Davis accomplished with - "Fresh Aire 7", aside from the previous six of this series? For one, the opportunity to explore the legends and allure of lucky number seven...must be something to this number, as this album brought Chip his first Grammy Award. Let's look at the word "Alchemy"...meaning "the art of the land of Khem" began in Graeco-Roman Egypt. One of its major goals was to seek perfection by union between spiritual and material phenomena. The changing of metals was simply an indicator, as Chip has changed the world of music as we once knew it.The entire CD is outstanding, must mention the effort to give an audio display for "SEVEN COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW"...use of octaves, tempo, instruments give off this array of sound, like no other you've heard, or ever will. This segment is one of the highlights you'll remember and think about, and think about, and THINK ABOUT!Total Time: 46:48 on 13 Tracks...American Gramaphone 5007...(2000)"
Intuitive Research and Great Composition
M. Ecclefield | Seattle, WA USA | 10/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is so beautifully crafted and put together, it is no wonder it won a Grammy award. The album begins with "Conjuring the Number 7" (very intelligently, I might add) and starts with seven notes in a scale played on a piano. As you get to the seventh note, the music stalls for a second then blasts you with an awe inspiring wave of synthetic and acoustic textures which in turn transforms into classic "Deck the Halls" bass and drums (you'll have to listen to the song to know what I mean). The second song, "Sunday, the 7th Day" utilizes "The Call of St. Hubert" (which is a hunting song played on french horns) as its base. This song takes it a bit further and adds a completely new section to the song as well as drums."The 7 Colours of the Rainbow" is a song with so much research and hard work built into it, you know it has to be good. And it is! Listen to this: This song is in 7/4 time, is performed with 7 instruments representing the 7 colors (not including drums), harmonizes with nothing but Major 7th +2 chords, written in the key of the seventh note (B Major), using the frequencies of the 7 colors corresponding to sound frequencies and lasting 7 minutes. The result? A song that I have declared, "The most relaxing song in the world."The 7 C's is simply the playing of the 7 C's on a piano. (lasts 28 seconds)The fourth song, "The 7 Metals of Alchemy" is a very upbeat, fast-paced song with plenty of synthesized elements, and string ensemble arrangements, not to mention those electric drums. It does give the listener a sense of mysticism and wonder while listening to it.The 7 Chakras of the Body is a seven piece suite (the biggest suite on any Fresh Aire album). The first Chakra is about physical sensations and begins with a series of percussion instruments in different pitches sort of just scattering around a big room. It comes together in the end and works its way into the second chakra which is about human mating (it is actually in 3/4 time, this gives the listener a sense of a "speed up and slow down, up and down" motion). The third Chakra represents power and strength. You certainly get those feelings from this song. There is very little electronic elements in the piece, it is mostly made up of the orchestra. The 4th is about unconditional love and it is obvious. A slow and melodic piece, it will definately make the listener want to snuggle up with that special someone.The 5th is a choral piece sung by the Cambridge Singers. It based on a poem by Chaucer written in Middle English with a sampled bell from the University of Nebraska, Omaha ringing throughout the piece. The 6th chakra is about the abilty to see beyond. The song is made of synthesized texture, the sampled bell from UNO, the strings and the choir. This song is made of two primary parts. The first one begins with a ringing bell which sounds like the Space Mountain theme from Disneyland which later includes the choir. The second, a choral display with synthesized elements backing the strings which gives the melody to a solo cello. Finally the song wraps up and leads into the 7th and final chakra. The 7th chakra represents the mind and/or the intellect. It begins with what sounds like a cassette tape being fastforwarded through the player. This is representative that the mind is a very busy place. The song is face-paced and mystical like "The 7 Metals of Alchemy" and finishes with the choir singing different inversions of the Dm, Dm7, and other Dm chords while that sampled bell rings seven times in D.The last but not least piece on the album, "The 7 Stars of the Big Dipper" sounds from the title like it is to be a space-like song, but in fact it sounds like a theme from a family movie in which a grandfather is showing his grandson the skies through a telescope for the first time. In fact, that's the feeling Chip Davis wanted to get through, and he does it very well.Like I said the album is well worth the Grammy Award, continues to be one of my most favorite Mannheim Steamroller albums to date and I hope Chip Davis decides to do another with the same magnitude of the research and great composition this one has."
I loved most of the Music on this!!!
Christian Fan of Comedy | Deer Trail, CO USA | 09/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really enjoyed the sound of the music on this C.D., when I listened to it, like I'd feel like dancing to. It had pretty good rock dance music on it. But if you look into the "Fresh Aire 7" C.D. book, it has got some weird stuff in it, like medieval false-religious stuff. Like a picture on the first song page of a Crystal-ball with a magic '7' glowing out of it meaning the song "Conjuring the Number 7". The music really didn't much resemble a crystal-ball summoning an object. It mainly sounded like a dance in a gym. But the end and beginning of it where it made these tingling sounds with these certain introments kind of did sound like you were conjuring from a ball, though.
Plus, having black-magic coming down out of a statue of Alchemy holding metals meaning "The 7 Metals of Alchemy" looked kind of suspicious, and the way that the beginning of the song, where we hear these electric drums kind of sounded like the weird false-religion.
Also, the picture of a inside human form person in the shape of a person who is doing Yoga, which means for "The 7 Chakras of the Body" is also weird, and is false-religious. Those three did seem like witchcraft. Every other picture was OK to look at though and use imagination for, but those three song-pictures looked sick and questionable to the thoughts; which I have a strange feeling about. Another thing weird on this album (which was actually rediculous) was that it had a song on it called "Sunday the 7th Day". That is weird, because Sunday is not the 7th day of the week. It happens to be Saturday that is. But, all of the other titles were great for the other songs, but three of them were a little suspicious in the mind.
Most of this album has classical-rock music on it, except for "The 7 Colours of the Rainbow", "The 7 C's", "Chakra 1", "Chakra 4", Chakra 5", and "Chakra 6". Those mostly sounded like deep-in-the-mind searching and relaxation songs."Chakra 1" sounded like a basketball just bouncing around an empty basketball gym, then it runs into "Chakra 2", sounding like someone was zapping a device. Also, some of the Chakra songs sounded like a quire of women and men trying to sing a chorus in tongue, plus, compete with each other. (which must be the "Cambridge Singers.") On 'Chakra 5", they sounded a lot like they were doing the same thing they did on the Sirens song "The Singing Contest" from 'Fresh Aire VI.' Except that "Chakra 5" sound more like they were speaking more up in latin tongues, instead of only in vocals. Other songs that also had the Cambridge Singers in them made me imagine invisible angels singing from clouds in the sky (especially as if it was Autumn, and above the pretty trees, the sky was having high, cirrus clouds with the east or west fading sun reflecting them from more southward each direction), but the rest sounded calm and made me imagine feeling restful while listening to them, and made me feel like the kind of music that a person could have a nice, comfortable Massage while listening to. Some of it, the calm songs (that didn't have the singers at times or at all) even reminded me of the beauties of Autumn twilight and dawn when it is totally clear outside, and the ground is the only thing that is dark, with the pretty Autumn trees reflection the greenish-yellow horizontal light. All the rest of the music on there sounded like music that you could just dance to in a night celebration of something, even if some of the strong classical songs meant some weird stuff.
The picture I loved the most on the "Fresh Aire 7" book is the one of the big dipper. That one is very pretty, being right above a twilight sky over some juniper trees. Plus, the one of the rainbow is pretty, but I think that the Big Dipper one is the best, and it is the best relaxation song on the album."