REVIEW: Mediaeval Baebes - "The Rose"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Take a step back to another time to a world replete with fair maidens, courageous knights and kingdoms full of gold. The 9 ladies of the Mediaeval Babes are modern day Bardic minstrels who stay true to the full essence and feel of the Renaissance and romantic period with a touch of world-beat influences. Their latest release, The Rose, utilizes the archetype of the simple flower to explore the parameters and many layers of love in all its beauty and eventual devastation, which has been a timeless link for mankind down through the ages.

The extensive tracks are sung in a variety of languages and these lasses pour emotion into each one, from uplifting to introspectively mournful lamentations thereby defining the intent and meaning without the cumbersome need for comprehending the mere words. This stellar work simply shines with old world instrumentation and brilliant vocal harmonies.

If everything old is new again, the Mediaeval Baebes are simply a stunning example and reminder of why the Renaissance period holds such essences of magic, mystery and romance in the collective unconscious of modern day people. They simply wrap themselves in the attire of the day with a wink towards salaciousness, creating a panoramic vision where the listener can be enraptured and brought to a fantasy world long since past, yet stunningly apropos for these modern times.

Medieval BaebesThe opening track, I Am Eve, gently sizzles with essences of Pagan rounds and chants layered with gentle percussion. Glass Window steps back a few paces with traditional medieval flutes that belie the verdant landscape and simplicity of a gentler time. Slay Me Suddenly is an a cappella track that resonates with the angelic beauty of the female voice, as though from the confines of a large abbey.

The title track, The Rose, is actually the shortest at 1:04. Simple high notes of a xylophone tingle as though creating the soundtrack of a budding blossom as it kisses the morning sun. A gentle singular voice carries the track to yet another level of development and then we are brought into a more complex structure of vocal harmony and percussion. Without understanding a word of the song, the delivery essentially brings us on a journey of introspection of the heart through the burgeoning of love to the bittersweet essence of finality and memory.

The Medieval Baebes are certainly not the first group of artists to explore the beauty of the days of yore, however their passion and creativity simply shimmers to a point where one not only hears music, but also envisions the time period in all its splendor.

This body of work glistens with subtle magical enchantment that is brought about by women who are true artists in every sense of the word. Despite the arcane simplicity and ease with which they create their music, one must nod toward the group's collective cohesion and vision to transform fantasy into reality via the medium of sound. Even with the group "image," each artist maintains a strong sense of style and individuality while not overshadowing any singular member. When all is said and done the major star of the lineup is the music itself, something the Baebes are fully conscious of and seem intent to maintain and respect.

Buy The Album
Buy The Rose

Contact Information:
Post: Mediaeval Baebes Ltd., PO Box 17886, London, N19 5WH, U.K

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