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


Shakti With John McLaughlin


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

4.14 | 103 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I should preface this by saying this is my first experience with the indo prog/raga rock genre and Indian music in general and only the second band I have heard that isn't from Europe or North America (the first being Koenjihyakki). With that in mind I have to say I have to say "Natural Elements" is a fantastic album. Unfortunately, I'm really quite confused (in a good way) by this music and find it near impossible to provide a comprehensive track-by-track review of this album.

I first heard "Mind Ecology" here on PA and that was enough to convince me to get this album. It is constantly going every direction at once. The more I think about it the more the song astounds me. The percussion and most of the violin, lead guitar, and other stringed instruments are incredibly fast-paced while not being the slightest bit frantic. Meanwhile the background guitar provides a few mellow chords every now and then, which despite the relatively few notes/chords it plays manages to calm the whole song down. Constant interplay of tempos and the fact that I have no idea what I should be feeling makes this song like nothing I have heard before. It's extremely fun. 10/10

"Face to Face" is a toned-down response to the opening track. Some comparisons can be drawn between these two songs but I don't think there's enough to be upset about. It's like the two songs are both discussing the same thing but from different perspectives. 7/10

"Come on Baby Dance with Me" is a short and fast piece that has plenty of joy to spare. 8/10

"The Daffodil and the Eagle" is a folky piece that is the most violin-centric piece on the album. 8/10

"Happiness is Being Together" is an upbeat piece of Latin music given an Indian edge which makes it incredibly interesting. 9/10

"Bridge of Sighs" brings a blues flavor to the album. 6/10 "Get Down and Sruti" seems to be a combination of tracks 1,2 and 4 while still having its own identity. There's a big focus on the percussion in this song but I find it unimpressive for the most part. 6/10

The aptly-named "Peace of Mind" is a peaceful and mellow sort of a goodbye for the album. It knows "Natural Elements" is over and hints at sadness while not being overtly so. 8/10

I think that if you like any one song on "Natural Elements" you will probably like the entire album. I recommend this as an intro to the genre because it's accessible and representative of the genre.

TheCaptain | 4/5 |


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