Sunday, February 12, 2006

Austin Johnson
Beyond Words by Bobby Mcferrin
I listened to Bobby Mcferrin's, "Beyond Words." As I first started listening to this album, I realized that I was in for something quite different. In comparison to other jazz vocalists and artists, he is quite unique. In addition to using no words, the instrumentation seems to contrast the traditional instruments used by other artists.
The album begins with an ecclectic African-like feeling. The music induces a feeling of euphoria and relaxation in the listener. It is amazing how Bobby can evoke so much emotion in the listener without using words. In place of words he uses syllables and unique choral harmony to express his emotion and message to the listener. I would venture to guess that Bobby is influenced heavily by African tribal music. Much of the CD is composed of non-traditional rythms and accents. One cut that expresses this the most is, "A piece, A Chord." The piano is often on the offbeat, contrasting the singers and the drum. This cut is my favorite on the CD. Another favorite of mine is the last track of the CD, "Monks/The Sheperd." The song flows very much like water, transitioning ever so slightly and smoothly.
I would definitely recommend this to sommeone for relaxation and educational purposes. I could easily fall asleep or study to this music but I would not normaly listen to this if it were were any other purpose.

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