Ostara * Secret Homeland (cd 2000 osterraed)

Ostara is the new incarnation of Richard Leviathan and Timothy Jenn who made name with the well-known neo-folk band Strength Through Joy. Ostara seems to be a continuation or evolution that couldn. t bear the same name.
In some way you can say that Ostara is the next step in neo-folk music or at least a modern and more accesible version of it. Some songs sound a bit like the previous band, while most songs have a lot less of the ‘classic’ neo-folk sound.
A big difference for example is the way the strikers are used. Another point is the use of a slide guitar. Most remarkably -though- is the way the percussion is used. Especially the last element gives this cd the ‘poppy’ sound that you may have heard off. Also the way of singing often adds to this. Then there are female backing vocals at times. Anyway, whereas some songs are still pretty neo-folkish, other more sound like romantic popsongs which is something that you may have to get used to.
I have heard this cd a couple of times when I write this review. I like it better than the first time. Secret Homeland is definitely a cd that has to grow on you. I praise the courage to reach so far for the borders of popmusic and surely think highly of the progressive urge of this release. Why should World Serpent neo-folk. always sound more or less the same?
Still, Secret Homeland is not too much of my taste. I think it is alright, but not smashing. Some nice songs, some less nice. <23/6/00><3>
Well, I feel like something has to be added. The songs of Secret Homeland keep haunting around in my head which makes me put on the cd once in a while. Every time I play it, I like it better and now I’m up a point that I actually really like Secret Homeland. Also I keep hearing new things in the background and nice melodies that had passed me before. This seriously is the first time that it took me so lang to appreciate a cd. I usually can tell if I like something after one time playing, sometimes I need two or three times of playing, but seldom have I to adjust my opinion. Here I do have to, a little, so with a new date, comes a new rating. <19/8/00><4>

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