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CD REVIEW: John Balint - Paradise Within
By Ben Ohmart - 11/26/2001 - 06:29 PM EST

Artist: John Balint
Album: Paradise Within
CD Review: Calling a cd Paradise Within, regardless of genre, is like putting a red flag to the minds of lesser bull-headed reviewers. However, there are differing conceptions of what makes paradise, and different languages to take you there. John has chosen the instrumental speech of conveying a rich and plentiful landscape of relaxing sounds that are more concerned with toning down muscles than overloading them.

The color this disc mostly shines is orange. There is something dipping between dusk and sunset here. But not new age in the loathed sense of the word. Even tracks of a lighter bent, like the piano-driven ‘Leaving Something More’ have a subtly of nature and orchestration that shows some time and mind went into the soft overtures floating around John’s island.

Mixing world music, some atmospheric Brian Eno anarchy, and a synth full of Real sounding instrumentation, Paradise Within gropes through the brush with a definite destination in mind. Via melodic phrase turns and gentle, upward-moving radio-length pieces, this disc climbs nature’s vast walls of notion and knowledge and peers into the next and better world. Where patience is not a virtue, but is normal body hair to the inhabitants. Where peace doesn’t reign, it little sprinkles itself like air particles, unknowingly cleansing, and always pushing itself past the seen into the realm of real fantasy.

15 tracks, 56 minutes. To dissect specifics within this concept album is irrelevant. Like all good prayer, it’s an album more to be feel than explained. ‘My discovery of the paradise within continues,’ says John. ‘Every day I find new reasons for giving thanks.’ That certainly shows. It recalls the old expression: if you want others to love you, love yourself first. It’s obvious that John Balint loves his music. Therefore, we must...?

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