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Golden Avatar - A Change Of Heart CD (album) cover

A CHANGE OF HEART

Golden Avatar

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.28 | 21 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Last week I reviewed a late 70's album by an obscure band ANANTA, and this one's a similar case, a vinyl I have very cheaply bought second-hand, charmed by the cover art. Surprisingly here are already five reviews for this Los Angeles based one-time act Golden Avatar. Another reviewer reveals that "a ton of copies" were sold at airports and streets -- by Hare Krishnas! So, we're dealing with a religious album.

The singer-songwriter behind the music is a guy called Michael Cassidy, who seems to have released religious music under his own name too. I'm not a religious person myself, but unless the lyrics are soaked with praising of Lord, I can simply ignore it and just listen to the music. Admittedly the Hare Krishna stuff comes through very openly on some tracks...

Musically this is somewhere between JACKSON BROWNE or JAMES TAYLOR (Cassidy's clean voice can be compared to them) and Steely Dan/ Stevie Wonder - like fusiony jazz rock with a wide cast of both rock and orchestral (ie. strings, reeds, brass) instruments and background vocals, and a large dose of happy, stage musical reminding spirit.

One of the most inspired and catchiest songs is 'Bhagavad-Gita', not so far from the orchestral tones of Renaissance of the time. 'Seers of the Truth' is a calm piece and quite beautiful as such. The 3-minute title track starts nicely in a modest way but grows into Hare Krishna choir singing. Mellow 'Swetadwip' is the longest at 8:15. I really like this one and I sympathize the David Crosby association of the earlier review.

Actually Michael Cassidy seems to be a very good songwriter (IMHO better than slightly boring Jackson Browne), as well as a truly pleasant vocalist. A bit less of the religious overtones -- the choir parts especially -- and this album would be a near gem (NOT in a progressive rock sense, mind you). 3,5 stars rounded up for nice front and back cover art.

Matti | 4/5 |

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