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Shakti With John McLaughlin - Natural Elements CD (album) cover

NATURAL ELEMENTS

Shakti With John McLaughlin

 

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

4.07 | 89 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

obiter
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This review comes from a standpoint of confessed ignorance: I have no knowledge of Indian music.

Mind Ecology bursts with frenzied exuberance and yet it has a mesmeric repetetiveness. McLoughlin's playing is superb. face to face provides another virtuoso performance from McLoughlin. Apart form the superb acoustic playing of McLoughlin the underlying complexity and beauty of the rhythms is the most striking feature.

Come On Baby has a different vibe. As with all the tracks on the album, there is a very tight integration of the guitar, violin and percussion. The percussion follows the lead far more than would be the case with western music.

The daffodil is quite bitty: some passages are excellent although at times the violin sounds a bit screechy for my ear.

The music is intense and complex. At times I find it all abit too much. I realise this all the more when the tempo drops the intensity abates and there is a moment of relaxation. I reckon my reaction is probably due to ignorance and lack of exposure to this genre.

Happiness is an easier listening track. Lots of extremely fast guitar work (as we expect from J McL) and more particularly screechy violin. This one sounds a bit more western with only a smattering of Indian influence.

I love Bridge of Sighs. It has a groovier mellow swing to it. A pleasant break for my ear. Get Down has a slightly more upbeat rhythm and one that is again easier to my western ear. Not a great deal happens here but there are some lovely intricate percussion breaks at one point with an extremely quick and intricate vocal style which follows the percussion. Not to be missed.

Peace of Mind rounds off the album. It is the mellowest track by some margin: romantic in style and dare I say it very calming and peaceful: does exactly what it says on the tin.

This is not a genre with which I am familiar but that said I would have to recommend it to those like me who are dipping their toes in: you really have to give this one an listen and decide if it is for you.

obiter | 4/5 |

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