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World Music CD Reviews New Age & Avant Garde

MEDIÆVAL BAEBES

By Ben Frandzel
Published February 17, 2006

The Rose
Nettwerk America

The Mediæval Baebes is a group of nine women singers and instrumentalists who have developed, as the name suggests, a neo-mediæval style setting poetry in Latin, middle English, Mediæval French, German and Italian, and have added Mediæval Welsh and Russian to the mix for this release. Although there is considerable skill evident on this release, the Babes are more into the spirit of the Middle Ages than a scholarly approach, and this lends their work a freshness and exuberance. Their vocal harmonies are tight and polished, with a beautiful, open sound, and the music is forceful and engaging, with hints of Celtic and even New Age styles. There’s a bit too much reliance on drones that is at first intriguing, then a little tiresome, and creates a sameness across some tracks. Otherwise, this is a sharply polished and energetic release by a group with a highly individual approach to music making.