||“Epic and dynamic, ‘Divine Tides’ is a musical feast for the soul” – Dyan Garris, New Age CD
We all have an energy flow within us – our divine life force – that is much like a pulsing tide, undulating with the rhythms of life. We are alive.
As well, humanity shares a sacred oneness, an interconnectedness, a truly divine tide, that courses through, in, and around us all, embracing us in an everlasting universal hug. So, no matter where we are or what culture we come from, we are eternally connected through a cosmic flow that is undeniable.
“Divine Tides” the new album collaboration from legendary, 5-time Grammy® winning drummer and percussionist, Stewart Copeland, and Grammy® winning Indian music composer and environmentalist, Ricky Kej (“Winds of Samsara”), brings together a richly hued fusion of musical tapestries featuring a variety of artists from around the world.
As I write this review, the album is currently a Grammy® nominee for Best New Age Album, and it is easy to see exactly why that is so. The album can be described as a musical feast for the soul.
The 9-track, “Divine Tides,” was produced by Ricky Kej, Stewart Copeland, and Lonnie Park. There is a musical diversity here that supersedes cultures. There is an intention in terms of “world” music, to bring humanity together.
Ricky’s musical work retains the enchanting esthetic of his Indian roots, which is evident here. The album opens with the wonderful, “Wonders of Life,” co-written by Stewart and Ricky. A wealth of rich percussion by Stewart Copeland includes crotales, China bells, timpani, spin gong, and cymbal tree. Keyboards, violin, sitar, strings, flute, and pretty, wordless vocals round out the mix. The piece has a strong Eastern/World vibe – as does the whole album – and is quite enjoyable.
Following is the epic feeling, “Himalayas,” another piece co-written by Ricky and Stewart. More lovely vocals and choral vocals again, give the song a distinctly Eastern flair, along with sitar, flute, violin, harp, keyboards, and the perfect percussion by Stewart.
An exquisite flute performance by Ron Korb opens the song, “Our Home.” Ron is one of the best flute players on the planet today, and that is evident here. The string arrangements, keyboards, and percussion are all wonderful, and the sweet, wordless lead vocal by Sangeeta Kaur – easily one of the best sopranos on the planet today – is magnificent and memorable, as is the Indian vocal by Nandini Srikar. This is a great cinematic song, and a favorite on this album.
Part of what makes this album so enchanting, is the array of percussion instruments Stewart has used here. “The Art of Devotion” features Balinese Ceng Ceng (cymbals), octobans (tube toms), and drum set. The piece has a strong, rhythmic beat, along with keyboards, vocals, flute, and sitar. Hypnotic and compelling.
“Pastoral India” perfectly conveys the warmth of rural India with all its colorful textures. This is very nicely done in every regard. An engaging male vocal by Salim Merchant, along with choral vocals by Devin Ekambaram and Prajot D’Sa, lend a distinctly “world” flair to “I Am Change.” Here are beautiful strings and arrangements as well.
“A Prayer” is another favorite, with the flute of Wouter Kellerman as well as that of Rasika Shekar. But what really makes this special is the addition of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Tin, as well as the Bangalore Women’s Choir. Epic and gorgeous.
The guitar performance of Santhosh Chandran is a gentle and perfect opening to the flowing, melodic, “Gandhi.” The Bangalore Women’s Choir adds their magic. Another to love.
This epic “World” album closes out with “Mother Earth.” Love the flute here by Varijashree Venugopal, as well as the rest, engaging lead vocals by Charanraj MR, keyboards by Ricky Kej, dynamic choral vocals, and a superb string section conducted by Jyotsna Srikanth. I should note that full credits for this album – so many! – are found in the stunningly beautiful booklet accompanying the album. Be sure to check out the outstanding music videos for this album as well.
“Divine Tides” is a special album full of lush textures and dynamic musical hues that effortlessly elevates the spirit into a place of freedom and oneness. Beautifully divine.