Love Is the Only Prayer
Originally released by New World Music, 'Love is the Only Prayer' is an exotic extravaganza of an album... an eclectic magic-carpet ride into various musical, literary and mystical spiritual traditions. The marvellous (and epic at 16 minutes) title track which opens the album finishes up as a kind of trance-like dervish dance,having begun life as a modest, minimalist melody, and evolved through incarnations reminiscent of pieces by Jean-Michel Jarre and Phillip Glass, incorporating a sunq quote by the poet Southey along the way. Later in the album, one can find Latin choral chant, a dash of Shakespeare, Italianate opera, overtones of Christian and Islaamic mysticism, a pinch of Spanish guitar, tender spiritual love-songs, and stirring instrumental and rhythmic episodes... as well as poignant, improvised, more classically romantic piece for cor Anglais and strings, which closes the album... The swan-like 'An angel watching over you'. The music is spirited, bittersweet, joyous, melodic and reflective by turns, embodying a perfectly unique, transcendent alchemy, and an alluring, echoing invitation to immerse oneself in the message embedded in the title. Asher is joined on this album by classically trained singer Susanna, and by Phillip Ball (tenor). It was produced with James Asher, himself a successful new-age composer who's soundtrack work has also featured many times on TV or in films.