This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular tracks and multimedia computer files.
Personnel: Krishna Das (vocals, harmonium); Janaki Kagel (vocals); Kat Dyson (acoustic guitar); Lili Haydn (violin); Gerri Sutyak (cello); Jeff Beal (trumpet); Benmont Tench (piano, organ); John McDowell (synthesizer); Benji Wertheimer (esraj).
Recorded at Rick's Cafe, Hollywood, California, 2003.
Krishna Das continues his spiritual albums, mixing Indian inflections with a Western base (which comes in the way the songs are constructed, often owing a lot to folk music). Produced by Rick Rubin, this has a wonderful, full sound with some excellent touches, like the emotional cello on "Sita's Prayer." It's a very slow album -- the pieces blooming gradually like flowers -- intended to give its pleasure over time rather than in a single play. While this is obviously a commercial venture, it's also a labor of love and devotion. And make no mistake, it is a truly lovely disc, accessible in its structures (in fact, "Shri Hanuman Chaleesa" would be a rock song if it had a drum kit) and its style, thanks in part to Rubin and his experience. This would be excellent as a meditation aid, but it also transcends that to become a fascinating listening experience throughout. Das sounds like Tom Waits without the voice cracks, which is no bad thing -- his voice is somewhat hypnotic, as befits the music he's making. The underlying sample (a processed voice?) on the last track adds texture to what's really a country song in disguise, altering it completely. A record that's an experience in every possible way. ~ Chris Nickson