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New Zealand Re-Release


This review only covers those tracks not included on the UK version of Pure. For all other tracks, please see the Reviews section in the 2003 archive.

Complete track listing (bold denotes additional tracks not included in the UK version):

Main Disc

1. Who Painted The Moon Black? 2. Beat Of Your Heart 3. Never Say Goodbye
4. Dark Waltz 5. Heaven 6. In Trutina 7. Across The Universe Of Time 8. River Of Dreams
9. Wuthering Heights 10. My Heart And I 11. Benedictus 12. Hine e Hine

Bonus Disc

1. Pokarekare Ana 2. Amazing Grace 3. The Mummers’ Dance
4. Mary Did You Know? 5. Silent Night, Holy Night 6. Away In A Manger

Across The Universe Of Time

There are songs whose beauty grabs you instantly and others that take a little while to grow on you. For me, this song falls into the latter category. The first time I heard it, I found it pleasant enough (although that may only have been because of Hayley’s sensational voice) but nothing special. When I had heard it three or four times, I began to really like it. When I listened for, perhaps, the tenth time I absolutely adored it and, from then on, it became one of many personal favourites.

The introduction has a mystical sound to it and the instrumentation generally is interesting. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is supported by viola, cello, guitar, harp and cimbalom (a large Hungarian member of the dulcimer family), which, in places, can be heard quite prominently. Hayley’s vocal commences with a delicate “dee-are-ree-ra-ree-ra-dee-dum” theme, which somehow promises something enchanting. Every time Hayley sings is like the first time – you are entranced as she thrills, excites and yet pacifies you with the beauty of her gorgeous voice and here, when the main lyric begins, you are compelled to listen closely. I was so blown away by her voice that for some time I forgot to take notice of the meaning of the words or how the melody would unfold which may explain why I had to listen many times before I began to appreciate the beauty of song itself. It was worth the wait for it is quite lovely.

When the sea falls from the shore
As the light sinks low, will I see you any more?
As the rain falls from the sky
Can I bring you back from a distant lullaby?

Show me your vision, the story begun
Two lights are rising and burning as one.

The words are simple and beautiful. They seem to tell of a dreamlike wistful desire for a lost loved one, perhaps one who only ever existed in one’s imagination: “…. I have known you well, yet I’ve never seen your face….” Yet this is not a sad song; it is a song of hope, ending as it does with “… but I know that I’ll see you again, and I know that you’re near me….”

My Heart And I

This very gentle song begins tantalisingly slowly. The shimmering melody floats gracefully throughout and, when sung by Hayley, would surely melt the coldest heart.

My heart and I have wandered aimlessly
Beneath the weeping willows searching for the sun.

As always, the song is sung with such emotion. Doesn’t it just make you want to embrace and comfort her? The song has such a delightfully soothing quality that it deserves its place on this outstanding album.

The Mummers’ Dance

Imagine a good film throughout which you sit back, relax and enjoy it. That is how I enjoy most of the songs on the bonus disc. Now imagine the film is the sort that has you sitting on the edge of your seat to avidly take in every detail. That is what this song did for me from the very first note.

When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

Straight away this lyric declares it comes from the folk genre, which has always been a great source of musical pleasure for me and is probably what grabbed my immediate attention. To hear Hayley sing such a song should not have surprised me as she has said she wishes to perform all kinds of music…. but it did! And what a wonderful surprise it was and, oh, does she do it well.

During this song I thought I detected a hint of an American or perhaps an Irish accent, which others tell me they didn’t notice. I can also imagine this song being sung by Steeleye Span but, to my knowledge, they never did. The acoustic guitar which dominates the introduction plays a chord sequence typical of their style and the rhythm of the chorus is accentuated by the unusually heavy drum beat (for Hayley’s normal style anyway) on the second and fourth beat of the bar.

We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day.
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay.

Hayley has completed a musical circle with this song: From true classical, via songs from the musicals (as heard on her earlier self-titled album) to pop and now via folk back to classical again. If anyone ever doubted it, Hayley can sing anything. And she does so magnificently.

There is only one thing puzzling me. Why, oh why was this song omitted from the UK version? Perhaps Decca would consider releasing it as a single as a follow-up to ‘Wuthering Heights’. I’m sure we could all think of one or two others to go with it. For my money you could do no better than ‘Across The Universe Of Time’ and ‘Who Painted The Moon Black?’ Our Hayley would surely dominate the pop charts for months.

Mary Did You Know?

The introduction is peaceful enough to be that of a lullaby. Backed only by guitar, piano, bass and drums, the arrangement demands that the listener focuses on nothing but Hayley’s voice which, as is the case with so many songs, is strong yet serene – an apparent contradiction which only Hayley can achieve.

Silent Night, Holy Night

Perhaps the most well known of all Christmas Carols, Hayley delivers this song with such grace as is typical of her style. The key change before the final verse breathes new life into the melody. To hear Hayley sing this makes you wish it could be Christmas all the year through.

Away In A Manger

With the same minimal instrumental backing as the last two tracks, Hayley’s voice seems to project right into the room. The song (and therefore the double album) closes with a delightful if brief vocal flourish; ‘oo-ooh’ following the end of the last verse. Somehow this serves as a vocal equivalent of Hayley’s delightful little wave which is so often seen as she leaves the stage at the end of her concerts.

This magnificent double album and the other CDs I have by Hayley are my only possessions which do not have a place of their own in my home. You see, there is no point putting them away because, within hours I am getting them out to play them again…. and again…. and again…. ad infinitum. And so they live on the table beside the hi-fi…. Or better still, in it!

Roger Mansbridge


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