"Virgin has certainly gone out on a limb with its new Pure Moods Collection (by the way, WTF? "Pure Moods Celestial Celebration" sounds like the kind of tea you'd get at the local co-op). While most of the choices are certainly not unexpected and still a little mainstream for my taste, they are a little more left of the middle than the last collection. There are some strange choices on here: "Building A Mystery (live)" is one of my favorite songs on the planet. I love it to death. But it just didn't quite blend with the rest of this mostly ambient disc. For the most part, this collection is lulling, comforting background music. "Here With Me" is, as always, pleasant, Moby's "Love Of Strings" proves that he's still got the touch, and the Dirty Vegas remix blew my mind away. (I cringed when I saw that "Days Go By" was on here. I hate hate HATE that song. The remix is actually very smooth and soulful, and not very techno-y at all.) The track that surprised me most, however, was Sarah Brightman's cover of "What A Wonderful World." Sarah's breathy voice combined with the simple, earnest lyrics created an almost CREEPY effect that sent shivers down my spine.I only had two complaints--first, the slightly repetitive nature of the Pure Moods series. This is the second compilation that "Euphoria (Firefly)" has appeared on, and the THIRD time we've seen "Weather Storm." This irks me, because Delerium and Massive Attack both have tons of great songs that make wonderful mood music. Even if Virgin was determined to take the "predictable" route, they could have used Delerium's "Terra Firma" or "Duende," and Massive Attack's "Exchange" or "Angel."As for the other issue I had with this compilation...Track 7. Ugh. Not a bad song, mind you, but a jarring note in an otherwise very mellow playlist. I was just winding down at the end of Polyphonic Spree's "Have A Day," dozing off, when suddenly my room was filled with a banshee wail. "AAAAMAAAAAAAAAADDDOO mio..." Perhaps if the tracks had been shuffled a little, and "Amdado Mio" had been the fiery first track, I would have been okay with it. As it stands, I skip the track every time I listen to the CD.So, four stars out of five. Virgin is improving, and I look forward to Pure Moods VI--whatever they decide to call it. Probably Pure Moods Mellow Yellow, or Pure Moods Oolong, or somesuch toodles."
What happened here?
Mark Lee | 07/12/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a fan of the "Moods" CD's since the first album, and each disc has provided a variety of beautiful soundscapes, ranging from ambient downtempo dance tunes to rapturous piano solos. Each album had me waiting eagerly for the next in the series, and though I was a little less impressed with Pure Moods IV since many of its selections weren't all that memorable, I still had high hopes for "Pure Moods V".But now I wonder...is this compilation really *the* long-awaited "Pure Moods V" or is it just an appetizer for the main course, which is coming sometime soon? Whatever it is, I hope it's not a bad omen for the future of the "Moods" series, because it's really a very poor mix considering it's from the people who used to bring the most popular New Age compilation of the 90's.The album is not a complete flop, first of all. Sheila Chandra's "Crescent Silver Scythe" is a beautiful song with poetic lyrics, and Moby delivers the same ambient panache he's always been famous for with "Love of Strings". Craig Armstrong and Enigma each provide a haunting atmosphere with "Wake Up In New York" and "Voyageur" (respectively), and the Norwegian duo Royksopp--quickly becoming one of my new favorite groups--adds a touch of class in "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From," with a bouncy beat but a laid-back instrumental background. The best track by far, however, is Sarah Brightman's version of "What a Wonderful World"; her angelic voice in the orchestral arrangement of the song is so beautiful, it's almost frightening.Those songs, however, are the only ones that even closely resemble a "celestial celebration" of some sort. Many of the other tracks are nice to listen to, but they get boring after a few listens--especially tracks 4, 6, 15, and 17. Those songs are almost a cappella, except for a very simple background harmony from one or two instruments. Other songs don't really seem to flow with the album; the peppy razzmatazz of "Amado Mio" and "San Antonio" is especially bombastic and overbearing, and although the remix of "Days Go By" sounds a lot better than the original version does on the Mitsubishi commercial, the lyrics are just too poppy for my taste. Furthermore, the inclusion of a live performance of Sarah MacLachlan's "Building a Mystery" is absurd--cheering fans? Audible microphones? Loud guitars and drums? This is a "celestial celebration" we're talking about?What irks me the most, however, is the blatant lack of creativity in the choices of three songs in particular. The first song, Dido's "Here With Me," features Dido's sexy vocals and makes for a nice opener...but it's so overplayed, it practically qualifies as a mainstream song! Plus, it's been in so many other compilations, from chillout records to the "Love Actually" soundtrack. And then there's Delerium's "Euphoria", which we've already heard on "Pure Moods II"; sure it's fun to dance to and even more fun to have it blasting from your car speakers late at night, but doesn't Delerium have *some* other hit we haven't heard from the series yet? And finally, we have Massive Attack's "Weatherstorm". I *love* MA and this song, but this was featured on "Moods II" *and* "Instrumental Moods"! I just don't understand; why couldn't they have chosen a song from their newest album, "100th Window", which is mostly ambient instrumental work anyway? And when's MA's other instrumental masterpiece, "Heat Miser", ever going to get the attention it deserves?This disc may mildly be worth checking out if you're completely unfamiliar to the series, but it doesn't provide nearly as much of a "celestial celebration" as I wanted it to. And by looking at the previous work done by the people who brought us this compilation, I don't see how it has any right to the "Pure Moods" name."
Not the best in the series
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 05/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Pure Moods" is the original chill out series in my opinion. I think Virgin records started the chill out/downtempo movement when they released the original "Pure Moods". I have all but the second volume. I recently bought "Celestial Celebration" today when I found an unused copy in the used cd bins today. I still wanted it despite the fact that most of the songs just happened to be older than dirt. C'mon, a live version of "Building a Mystery" or "Here With Me"? How many times do I have to see "Weather Storm" (Massive Attack) and "Euphoria" (Delerium) on a chill out cd? Get it together folks. These songs are predictable and tiresome. I like them but not that much. Get a clue from the folks at George V Records. They know how to put together a good chill out cd. I found Charlie Hunter/Norah Jones' interpretation of Roxy Music's "More Than This" utter garbage. It is bloody boring. Although the song is a couple of years old, I love Craig Armstrong's "Wake Up in New York". I love Evan Dando's deep voice. The song is incredible. I was suprised to hear how well Joss Stone's "The Chokin' Kind" fit so well on this compilation. It wasn't what I was expected to hear but it is a wonderful song from this up and coming star. Not fond of the Polyphonic Spree track. Just couldn't get into it. The other few highlights on this utterly bland and predictable cd is the tracks by Sarah Brightman, Sheila Chandra, Eva Cassidy, Dirty Vegas, and Cassandra Wilson. I so hope the folks at Virgin Records gets their heads out of the sand and start listening to REAL chill out music and put together a compilation that isn't the disappointment as "Celestial Celebration" turned out to be."
David Quinones | 09/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for meditation or tranquility from daily stress I recommend not only this CD, but the entire collection. I have all the Pure Moods collection and keep buying more New Age music. I feel I've invested my money in good music. I listen to pretty much anything from soft music, Rock, Salsa, Calypso to Dance-Techno music, but when I don't feel like listening to loud music, I listen to these CD collection, specially on a Sunday to reconnect with relaxation to start another heavy woking week. Also, if you like gospel, I'm sure you'll love these even though is not quite gospel music. You just reconnect yourself spiritually in this material world."
Not Bad at All!
New Age Expert Wannabe | USA | 05/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Celestial Celebration is not a bad CD and a worth follow-up in the Pure Moods series. I still think Pure Moods 1 is the best however the others in the series are still good and worthy of purchasing. The flow on this CD is a bit puzzling at time because some of the styles contrast somewhat but to some that might be considered a strength. Some strong artists and tracks on this CD from Delerium, Moby and Massive Attack. All in all not a bad choice and nice to listen to. Other great CD's include Blank and Jones Relax, Digital Moodz "Levitation" & "Metamorphosis" and Conjure One "Extraordinary Ways"."