by Deva Premal
White Swan Music


This new CD by Deval Premal is good, but it doesn’t rise to the level of her previous album, The Essence. Her current work is better as background music, and sounds like a cross between Kenny G, Bruce Hornsby and Robert Gass (with a female voice).

I have to wonder if Premal and her music partner, Miten, are falling into a formulaic music rut. Like their other CDs, Premal and Miten have taken Sanskrit mantras and set them to contemporary melodies and rhythms. As always, Premal’s voice is lovely; but the vocals lack the passion of the previous album. Jai Uttal’s brief supporting vocals on the song “Om Ram Ramaya” is the most intriguing part of the whole album.

On several songs, the obvious electronic drum machine tracks get boring, and it sounds like they looped the vocals, too. Some of the songs could be well resurrected by techno DJs, speeded up and embellished as club tracks. The piano work on “Shree Ram Jai Ram” is a highlight and was done by Kit Walker, who has previously recorded for Wind-ham Hill.

Fans of Premal will probably still want to buy it, if they want a complete collection. It’s nice massage music; but for chanting or foreground music, try the earlier “The Essence” first.


RATING: 3 Broomsticks

» Originally appeared in newWitch #02

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