Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Gifted: Women of the World
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
This collection of 12 songs by nine female singers from around the globe encompasses musical styles from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. The emphasis is on soothing organic music, with notable examples including... more »
This collection of 12 songs by nine female singers from around the globe encompasses musical styles from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. The emphasis is on soothing organic music, with notable examples including the dreamy vocals of Anglo-Indian singer Sheila Chandra; the surreal "Incantation" by Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo, which is enhanced by electronic sound sculpting; the sensual Peruvian jazz of Susana Baca; and the album's liveliest tune, a Greek dance number by Eleftheria Arvanitaki. Gifted: Women of the World is seemingly targeted at listeners unfamiliar with these artists, and as a teaser for the performers' other work it offers a good mixture of songs, even if the energy level remains uniform throughout the compilation. A portion of the proceeds from album sales go to WITNESS, a group cofounded by Peter Gabriel that equips human rights advocates with modern technology such as video cameras to further their causes. --Bryan Reesman
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A stirring collection of female vocalists
Stuart Rice | Sacramento, CA | 08/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Gifted: Women of the World" is the much delayed compilation of female vocalists on the Real World label. Happily, the wait was well worth it. Featuring new material from Sheila Chandra and Yungchen Lhamo (two Real World artists), and excellent contributions from Susana Baca, Susheela Raman, and others, this album is an excellent, well-balanced trip through both world, and women's, music.Sheila Chandra, known for her esoteric, complex works, delivers the opening track. This suprisingly pop-focused homage is a remake of a earlier Tim Buckley song. The beat and instrumentation is beautiful, pure pop, with Chandra's gorgeous vocal tones gliding through wonderfully imaged music. Her other contribution is actually a well-executed remix of "Ever So Lonely." The remix gives the piece an electronica-edge that blends seemlessly with the original piece.Yunghchen Lhamo from Tibet turns in two wonderful produced pieces. Sam Mills, the genius production behind "Real Sugar" and "Tama", gives a nicely modern, pop/electronic backdrop to two beautiful traditional Tibetan pieces. Lhamo's hypnotic singing is complimented by Mills's production, and some excellent percussion and shakuhaci flute brought in by Joji Hiroto ("The Gate"). The meeting of minds produces wonderfully traditional, but modernly accessible tracks.Susana Baca is her usual radiant self, with contribution of two slow, seductive pieces. Her beautiful, languid voice, and South American percussion and guitar backdrops, produce the exquisite textures of musical strip-tease that stays on the very edge of proprietary. Eleftheria Arvanitaki (Greece) produces a similar dramatic effect in her "Sappho," a dark and meditative piece. Her rich, breathy voice plays within light guitar and percussion as she relates a tale of lost life and love.This is the first album of its kind from Real World. In its selection, and production, it rivals the work of Putumayo, who fundamentally revolutionized the focus on world female artists. For the world music afficiando, a lover of women's voices, and person with deep emotion wells, this album is the opening to a beautiful, seductive, and emotionally dynamic landscape."
It'll whet your appetite for more
Stephen Taylor | Chapel Hill, North Carolina | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only singer I was even vaguely familiar with when I ran across this disc was Eleftheria Arvanitaki, who is a truly mind-blowing Greek vocalist, surely one of the most impressive singers ever, male or female. As any Greek nationalist would tell you (rightly in this case!), Arvanitaki is unknown outside Greece only because she sings in Greek. Yet even apart from her, this disc was a total revelation. I've been looking for CDs by some of these artists ever since. I admit I was still most impressed by Arvanitaki ("Bodies and Knives" is an incredible song), but some other gems here are "Cardo o ceniza" ("Thistle or Ashes") by Peruvian jazz singer Susana Baca, Andalusian vocalist Estrella Morente's "Los pastores" (Lorca remembered this song being sung to him by his mother during his childhood), and "Assitan Mama Keita" by the Malian vocalist Baro.The tracks are alternatively dreamy and up-beat, but tend toward the sedate. I wouldn't call it exactly a "new age" recording, but there's definitely an indefinible ivory-smooth disco feel to Sheila Chandra's "Ever So Lonely", and Yungchen Lhamo's two Tibetan songs will appeal to most latter-day hippies (not me, though...). Something else interesting about this CD is how the language of the lyrics influences the melody of the songs. Arvanitaki's Greek struggles against the grain of the music: long, drawn-out words, electric passion -- basically, "detonation". This is also true of Baca and Morente's songs in Spanish and Susheela Raman's very American-sounding Sanskrit love-hymn (Raman is accompanied by a guitar here, which is a non-Indian instrument). Sheila Chandra, though, singing in English, just FLOATS on top of the music, and Lhamo's music, like her native Tibet, is, well, interesting but pretty challenging."
Only the human race...
Steven Cain | Temporal Quantum Pocket | 05/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...could be given such a beautiful planet, populated by such divine creatures as Sheila Chandra, Susheela Raman, Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Estrella Morente from such rich and diverse cultural backrgounds... yet spend all their time trashing the environment and fighting war after pointless war.This is a wonderful album and a joy to behold. I originally bought it for Sheila's stunnning version of the haunting Tim Buckley song, Song To The Siren, which I also have by This Mortal Coil (Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins on vocals).Yet having played the album through I was blown away to discover that there were literally no filler tracks. This is a wonderful collection of songs which includes some enchanting pieces by Yungchen Lhamo, which are simply intriguing.Highly recommended."