This absolutely marvelous and melodic album proved a delight to listen to, sing along with, and gives the listener an opportunity to relax in its rhythmic tunes, from the round-like refrains of Bolo Ram to the soft chant of Gayatri.
Bolo Ram consists of several distinct mantras, and begins with Wah!'s solo voice accompanied by the harmonium, then segues into a more up-tempo rhythmic praise tune with a jazz guitar and shaker, then into a more responsive choral effort complete with a men's choir and additional instruments. As the end nears, the chants grow slower and quieter, bringing the listener to a devotional attitude.
With Sri Krishna, Wah! gives us a more bluesy approach, not something one would expect for an Indian chant, but which works nonetheless. Also very reminiscent of the musical chants of the Hare Krishna movement in the 1970s (for those of us who happen to remember - and perhaps miss - those times of Flower Power and Free Love).
Shyam Bolo Jai and Durge are two songs of praise, the first to Krishna, and the latter to the Divine Mother. Shyam Bolo Jai is light, almost playful in its presentation, while Durge is more solemn, but still delightful.
The album ends with Gayatri, a light, flowing musical meditation on the three planes of existence -- mortal, immortal and divine.
My one complaint? Wah! presents one song in English - What She Has to Give - a light jazzy blues number that, to be quite frank, I really don't think fits in with the rest of the musical offerings. In spite of the fact that it's written about a saint from southern India, this song's style doesn't suit the up-beat pop devotional aspect of the album. However, for more of the jazz-blues music, check out Wah!'s Opium album. That's sure to please, too.
Wah! has traveled to many countries, notably India and Africa, and these places have influenced much of her music. She tours yoga centers, festivals, and conferences where she offers chanting, and stories and teachings to elevate audiences worldwide, as well as music from her other albums. In addition, Wah! has opened for Courtney Love, headlined the Cultural Arts Festival in Yuba City, and has appeared on VTV Vancouver Morning Television.
Wah! and her band present music with a blend of pop, reggae and world styles, well worth a listen at any time.
1. Bolo Ram
2. Sri Krishna
3. Om Mani Padme Hum
4. What She Has to Give
5. Shyam Bolo Jai