Stephen J Anderson
World Music, 2012
Spirituals is a collection of tracks with predominantly African musical influences. Yes, this is world music, with lots of soothing vocals and sweeping musical crescendos that are rather stereotypical of that genre. Nonetheless, everything sounds very good to the ears.
The best track, to me, is the first song on the list: African Skies. It starts off on a strong, dramatic note and it’s all soaring peaks and dramatic duet of vocals from there. The whole thing just sounds epic, like a story told through the vivid imagery evoked by the music, and the end result is just striking and memorable. Most tracks of this kind tend to have vocals that lean towards a calming, airy sort, but this one has some expressive vocals, hence making it the stand out track.
However, the other songs are pretty good as well. Some of them are purely instrumental, while others have vocals, but they all manage to be evocative and full of atmosphere. I’ve been playing them in a loop during the evenings for a few days now and I have to say, they do help me feel a little calmer before bedtime, heh. Needless to say, that helps with the sleep too. I paid $7 for this album, so it’s a pretty cheap form of therapy!
At any rate, at the time of writing, the whole album can be found and listened to for free at places like Bandcamp and SoundCloud; I paid for the album nonetheless because it’s the least I can do for Stephen J Anderson.
So yes, Spirituals is a very lovely aural trip, no extraneous medicinal stress reliever necessary, and my nerves are so much happier for that!