Reviewed by Jonathan Widran
AOMUSIC gets the drums booming and guitars jangling at the outset of “Kuimba” - a track that beautifully traverses the landscapes of new age and world fusion - before Stockley’s lovely soaring voice crosses a bridge to a hypnotic choir singing an anthem in Swahili about singing and dancing till the sun rises. The dreamy, mystical title track blends deep ambiences with male and female lead vocals switching off to convey the essence of unity and home. The spiritual vibe is enhanced with a distant flute and the soothing harmonies of children. The gentle hypnosis continues via flowing, then soaring ethereal voices and light percussion textures on the Swahili language track “Sisi Ni Moja,” while “Ha Le” ambles along as an acoustic guitar driven folk song before the tribal rhythms amp up and voices swing and sway in a mix of Polynesian, Zulu, Xhosa, West African, Japanese and Hebrew (perhaps the most inspiring vocal mash-up ever!).
Hokulea wraps with yet another fanciful linguistic excursion, this time the Hindi language, in which a lush and innocent young female voice invokes the Divine Source in prayer; as God enters, the choir chimes in with a hopeful, solemn plea for the peace to stay and love to manifest. To the uninitiated, AOMUSIC presents world music in dynamic ways that truly reflect our common bonds as human beings. Longtime fans will enjoy the fresh, unexpected nature of what evolves, like a musical form of the Olympics, into a spirit of global cooperation and celebration of life.
– Jonathan Widran, Music Connection
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