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'Erased By The Dark'
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'The Heart (Save Me)'
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Empire Of The Undead
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HARDWARES

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night)

(Lava/Republic Records)

Reviewed by : Aaron Small
Rating : 9.0

After the 2009 release of Night Castle – which was an unwelcome departure from the magical Christmas music TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA is best known for – the group led by producer, composer, and lyricist Paul O’Neill has returned to what they do ever so well with a new batch of soon-to-be holiday favourites. Mainstays Jon Oliva on keyboards, Al Pitrelli and Chris Caffery on guitars, and Roddy Chong on violin, are all firmly in place for this must-have, five-track EP. Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night) begins with a pair of instrumentals: ‘Winter Palace’ and the title track. Much like the absolutely brilliant ‘Wizards In Winter’, both new songs are instantly recognizable as TSO, and immediately kindle the festive spirit in young and old alike. ‘I Had A Memory’ features inviting vocalist Erika Jerry echoing “Hallelujah” and urging everyone “to trust like a young child believes.” Tim Hockenberry takes the microphone on ‘Someday’, resulting in unavoidable goose-bumps and teary eyes, as he pays the most loving tribute to his parents. Wrapping it all up is Georgia Napolitano singing ‘Time You Should Be Sleeping’, the most classically-tinged – and least seasonal – number of the set. Dreams Of Fireflies is long overdue, as TSO’s last soundtrack to the time of year highlighted by decorated trees and candy canes came in 2004 with The Lost Christmas Eve. Clocking in at just less than 15 minutes in length, the EP unfortunately ends all too quickly; but this is definitely a case of quality over quantity. Merry Christmas everyone!



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