Thanks a lot to phazormaster and nanx for gratitude.
I continue to upload AA collections
Audio CD (June 18, 1996)
Original Release Date: June 18, 1996
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Grp Records
1. Columbia 4:50
2. Homecoming 5:42
3. Chance Meeting 3:50
4. Lazeez 5:50
5. Mr. Chow 3:15
6. Same Road, Same Reason 4:15
7. Casino 6:08
8. Something She Said 3:57
9. Jamaica Heartbeat 3:56
10. Catalina Kiss 4:24
11. Reference Point 4:23
12. Hearts In Chains 3:22
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have been an Acoustic Alchemy fan for roughly 10 years. I had almost all
of their stuff and loved it, but for some reason sold it (why oh WHY?) to
make space on my shelves. I think I will buy my collection back someday.
Looking back, I don't know why I gave my AA collection to a CD discount
warehouse. This is a great band.
I digress. I apologize. I just got this album yesterday and I love it.
Having seen Acoustic Alchemy perform live in person, I can agree with a
previous reviwer. The energy they have onstage makes all the difference. It
is one thing to listen to a recording, and another entirely to hear then
play live and in person. ARCANUM to me captures that live energy very well.
It may bias me that the cuts on this CD happen to be some of my favorite AA
cuts in any case. I like the fact that in some places, electric guitar is
used in some of the songs in place of the keyboards that are found in the
original cuts of the pieces. It gives the song a different energy and feel
altogether while retaining the melodies we all know and love. Particular
standouts for me were Mr. Chow, Reference Point, and Homecoming, and I
cannot forget Casino. The version found here of that cut may be to my mind
the best of the three that I know of. In fact, to me, the version of CASINO
found here alone was worth the purchase of this CD just on it's own. It may
not be that for you, but it was for me. I do want to get one thing
straight, however, and that is this. Just because I mention these tracks
first does not mean the others are weak. Catalina Kiss is a great cut too,
and Jamaica Heartbeat and Hearts In Chains actually grew on me more as I
heard them done here. All the tracks here really are excellent.
In short, if you are unfamiliar with Acoustic Alchemy, you can GET familiar
with them with this great, energetic emotional CD. The original studio
versions of the cuts on this album will give you a "cleaner" studio sound
and feel, but really the tunes are the same, and in some cases BETTER on
this album, which gives you the raw energy, enthusiasm, spontanaiety, and
power of a live performance, but without you being distracted by crowd
noise and cheering. For nearly 20 years now, Acoustic Alchemy has gone
strong as one of the best bands in contemporary instrumental music (despite
the sad passing on of founding member Nick Webb in 1998 due to cancer. Rest
in peace, Nick. We miss you and know that from above you are smiling down
to know that your work and dream lives on). If you don't know them, this
may be a good place to make their acquaintance. Once you do get to know
them, you may be in the mood to get more of their stuff. It could be the
beginning of your being a big fan of thiers for a long time to come, just
like it was for me, starting all the way back in around 1994. If you do
pick this up, or any of their CDs, I wish wish you many many hours of
happy, satisfied and contented listening. God bless you and yours, always.
Peace to all readers of this review.
I give this CD only 3 stars because I'm not sure why this CD was released.
Half of these selections are repeats from Acoustic Alchemy's previous CD's.
Half are fresh. So why was it not called "Greatest Hits Plus"?
Not a bad release and the guitar playing is flawless. However, I recommend
their earlier CD's "The New Edge", "Blue Chip" and "Against The Grain" as
far superior to this one. I feel that "Arcanum" was just an extra release
to drum up extra revenue for GRP Records.
This is a band which I dearly love. But as much as one may enjoy their
albums you know nothing of this group unless you've seen them live in
person. The energy and sheer excitement they can produce on stage can be
frankly exhausting. In person there is a dynamic range to their music which
doesn't seem to come through in their recordings. This album comes the
closest to those performances. Compare these versions of Casino and Lazeez
to their original recordings and you'll see what I mean. My greatest wish
is that these guys will someday produce a live double CD so everyone can