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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
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Where I Belong
By Sajjad
Label: Self Released
Released 2/25/2011
Where I Belong tracks
1. Unseen Sacrifices
2. Where I Belong
3. In My Spirit
4. Eternity Falls (PART 1)
5. End of Eternity (PART 2)
6. Moment of Chance
7. Stay With Me
8. No Walls Between Us
9. Far Away
10. Something Amazing
In the Right Place
I love it when I read the words "self-taught" in a biography and the music is astounding. Such is the case for Sajjad and his debut release Where I Belong. His album contains great orchestrations and remarkable compositions. His music crosses the contemporary instrumental, World and Ethnic genres using sax, piano and guitar and many other instruments, as well as voice to animate his compositions. I certainly did not expect Uillean pipes in the mix, but they were in the opening tune Where I Belong. The song seems like a celebration and justly so. It takes monumental effort to put together an album of this quality.

There is some exciting piano and lots of vocal energy in the song In My Spirit. Once again this is celebratory music that rejoices in the spirit of life. Sometimes we are fortunate that energy flows in the right direction, things happen as planned and some of our dreams come true. This is music for those occasions.

Sweet guitar from world renowned guitarist Johannes Linstead graces the track Eternity Falls. The only reference I have for Eternity Falls is a sc-fi novel, but somehow it does not seem appropriate. The melody is too fluid, too intricate to delegate it to book on speculative fiction. The music is quite real and highly engaging. There is an ethnic flute in there that really makes the tune memorable courtesy of Ron Allen.

The longest track on Where I belong is called Unseen Sacrifices. Just the title alone made me want to listen and I was rewarded with a cinematic like score that was entirely pleasing. The song is like a movie scene where the hero gives one last effort to save the situation, but it costs him everything he has. Unfortunately, we do not learn of this self-less act until the very end.

Cyndi Richards adds an excellent vocal to the song Far Away. It probably did not hurt that she wrote the lyrics as well. It is an old story about a broken hearted lover waiting for her soul mate to return and the pains of yearning. "Echoes of love, from worlds torn apart 'n far away." I have to say I was reminded of many of the themes from the James Bond movies with this song. Not a bad thing.

A haunting trumpet complimented by a cello opens the final tune Something Amazing. The tune had a bit of a swing to it as it unfolded, but the whining guitars and bass took it to a higher level. It was a great song to close an ambitious project and it did it very well. One could almost say it was eponymous.

One thing is for sure, Sajjad understands how to combine music and emotions. I could feel the emotion in every track and every track made me feel different. For a guy that cannot read music, he seems to understand what makes music mesh and flow. This is an admirable first effort and I for look forward to his next album.
Rating: Good +   Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 1/27/2012
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