The album begins with the gorgeous title track that has all the bells and whistles that we can expect from 2002 including the chimes, swirling but soft synthesizers complimented by Randy’s beguiling guitar work. The song is followed by the mysterious “Memory Of The Sky” whose melody brings to mind a less energetic “Free To Fly” from their prior album, only this time shrouded in a very slow and purposeful state that will leave you floating in the air without the assistance of any altered state of chemical dependency.
Since when do you associate pulsating percussion with distinct synthesizer and electric guitar embellishments with 2002? Think now as this coming February Pamela and Randy Copus will present to the listening public their latest musical endeavor, “A Word In The Wind.” While the sweet ingredients of 2002 have been placed on a low calorie diet it has been beefed up with a progressive edge that we have not yet heard from 2002 until now and the results are mind blower.
The introduction to the new and improved 2002 begins immediately as the album opens with a mesmerizing 80 layered single A flat note chant that immediately shrouds “1054 AD” in a mystical cloak. The elongated two minute introduction is expounded upon with the infliction of pounding percussions and keyboard embellishments that at times almost sound like bagpipes. The mystery is then complemented by the more familiar woodwork of Pamela Copus as well as the swirling harmonic vocals of the duo. The spiritualism continues with the title track prominently featuring Randy on a bass sitar known as a tambura accompanied by a Middle Eastern chant almost beckoning us to a call of worship or meditation. Once again the slower but thumping percussion work is prominent with Pamela’s flute dancing to the rhythms. And if that suits your fancy skip forward to the progressive “Mirage” that prominently features Pamela Copus on flute doing her Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull interpretation, flirting and courting with Randy’s atmospheric electric guitar work. Outstanding! There is more of that found on “Trismegistus” which plays tribute to the law and order of the universe.
The album, however, is not completely veiled in mysticism. For those of you craving the more established sound will love the mid paced lazy “Spirit Moves” with similar themes presented on “Promise Of The Ocean”. Better yet, check out the wistful “Dreaming Cloud” that features Randy tinkering ever so lightly on the grand piano with minor string and flute embellishments. It is the most organic track to date but unfortunately it is less than two minutes long but it certainly leaves you craving more.
On a more commercially viable note, 2002 has also written two of their most accessible songs to date, though they have very contrasting styles. “Free To Fly” takes the more mainstream route with the lush harmonic vocals of Randy and Pamela that also include liberating lyrical content. Driven by an infectious drum loop and ambient keyboards this song will take you sky high. Given the correct promotional push this could be 2002’s first hit single. For completely different reasons there is the equally likeable “Raindance” that will shower you in elements of rock driven by the Randy’s more abrasive synthesizer and rhythmic guitar as he once again dances with the contemplative flute work of Pamela who is at the top of her game. Along with the impelling percussive beat you will be hard pressed not to dance to this song.
Go ahead and turn up the volume and let your hair down.To add to the audio passion of the compositions, Randy and Pamela deliver their creations in an open and detailed 5.1 DTS Digital Surround format that simply intensifies the entire audio experience. The album is also augmented by the visual eye candy of an accompanying DVD that is largely the blood, sweat and tears of Pamela. Though it is her first formal exploration into the visual world, she has effectively integrated live high definition footage and delicately intertwined it with animation and graphics effects that have the potential to send you on a time travel to the yesteryears of several historical eras.
Though “A Word In The Wind” may have some familiarity, for the established fan it is time to blow up your preset expectation of the Copus duo. Meanwhile, those of you that may have dismissed their safe guaranteed hit formula that has kept them as an almost permanent resident on the Billboard chart, come revisit 2002 in 2009. “A Word In The Wind” is bold uncharted territory for 2002 and despite the higher “octane” musical retuning, the risk taking has resulted in an inspiring musical experience that will take you to all four corners of the earth and back again. ~ Michael Debbage