miércoles, 30 de diciembre de 2009

Bobby McFerrin - Circlesongs (1997)

The last album I purchased by Bobby McFerrin was "Medicine Music", in which he explored everything from Latin grooves, to old time Spirituals, to celestial choral chamber music. Since the release of that album--which I adored--I've not listened to any of McFerrin's subsequent albums. "Circlesongs" jumped out at me because of its freestyle nature, and I wasn't disappointed. Some of the other reviewers have rated it fairly low because of its repetitive nature; it's the chant-like feel of each of the song cycles that gives the album its depth. Listening to how each piece is built and morphs into something different brings "Circlesongs" its charm. The African influences are there, but the feel is less constrictive, more New Age (though I hate the term, it makes sense here!).

Circlesong One introduces the listener to how an improvised riff can build on itself to become a fully realized piece of music; the chant is deceptively complicated with its 7/4 rhythm, and McFerrin's voice weaves through subtle chord changes and layers. Circlesong Six is the real masterpiece of the album, with its heavy beat and rumbling bass--think "hip-hop meets Gregorian chant". It's with this song that Voicestra becomes one lovely, strong entity--I think it's here that the African influence is heaviest, with that good old call and response.

The album as a whole is a seamless tapestry, with each voice a gorgeous thread. Anyone who thinks of Bobby McFerrin as the "Don't Worry" man needs to listen to this.

By Sharmin McGown (Amazon)


01- Circlesong one.
02- Circlesong two.
03- Circlesong three.
04- Circlesong four.
05- Circlesong five.
06- Circlesong six.
07- Circlesong seven.
08- Circlesong eight.



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