CD REVIEW: Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors -Jhoom (The Intoxication of Surrender)
By Cyrus Rhodes - 04/16/2010 - 05:00 PM EDT
Artist: Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors
Album: Jhoom (The Intoxication of Surrender)
Label: Raven Recordings
Genre: Jazz-Fusion, Ambient, Chill Out
Sounds Like: Liquid Tension Experiment
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Skinny Lights & Fat Beats, Jhoom
Weakness: Marketability, Commercial Value
Ambient composer, Author, Philosopher Gabrielle Roth releases “Jhoom” The Intoxication of Surrender” on February, 17 2009. Having countless releases under her belt over the years Gabi Roth is clearly one artist that has both feet firmly on the ground. Based on everything I’ve read & heard this should be an exciting musical experience.
The CD contains 5 tracks total. Logging in at just over 47 minutes. The CD kicks things off with “Sparkling Curves” (4:56) an amazing intro piece that serves up sizzling bass groove courtesy of Bass Master Tony Levin, complete with pulsating rhythms, exotic percussion, hypnotic string accents, and amazing low end groove. Track 2 ”Road Rock – It” (7:04) shifts gears a bit with driving rhythm, pulsating beat, with yet another infectious bass groove. Track 3 “Jhoom” (6:20) delivers yet another tight rhythmic vibe complete with passionate Jimbae accents, impressive tribal harmonies, and passionate peaks and valleys. The thing I like most about this CD is how amazingly conservative it is. The musical equilibrium between all the players, instruments, performances is surprisingly balanced, and somehow very conservative. Nothing in excess, or over the top - a trademark of experienced players. The ambient touches are brilliant and well placed. Another notable quality to “” is the lack of musical boundaries, providing an amazing amount of musical freedom for all the players involved. This sets the stage for an amazing sonic experience. The music flows extremely well song for song, and each piece within the catalogue possesses it’s own signature groove avoiding sounding to repetitious. Track 4 “” (5:43) is to say the least mesmerizing, and amazingly hypnotic. This is probably the most diverse song on the catalogue as it provides many different twists, & turns. I recommend to any listener to just sit back and let the music takes you where it takes you. It’s almost like a trip down a wild river. While your flowing violently down it's shoulders, don’t neglect to look around amidst the chaos & you will notice many of the amazing things layered deep within the mix. Since were on the subject, the mix is quite amazing. There is a lot of Production value woven deep within the musical fabric of "Jhoom". There will no doubt be things you neglected to hear the first time around. After several listenings, it refuses to be pinned down, The final track “On the Other Side” (12:44) delivers a Celtic finale piece with orchestral background, passionate vocal build courtesy of Chloe Goodchild, and impressive string accents.
From start to finish “Jhoom” is a very fascinating snapshot of music. Do I dare say – it may not be the most marketable record I’ve ever heard, but needless to say Gabrielle Roth and her arsenal of brilliant musicians probably don’t care about something so shallow as commercial value or marketability. “Jhoom “is definitely art for arts sake – but what an amazing piece of art it is. Of course it needs to be said – “Jhoom” gets a hall pass on many issues due to its fusion genera. At the end of the day – there are simply no rules to govern dynamic music such as this. Need I say more? The Production value is World Class, the musicianship will blow you out of your chair, and the musical ambience will leave a lasting spiritual impression. My hats off to mixer Scott Ansell for hand picking some impressive frequencies amidst the musical chaos - I did not fail to notice. This project was no doubt a challenge to mix to industry standard.
In close “Jhoom” lets it all hang out. When the ride is finally over you will un-fasten your seat belt saying - “I’m not rally sure what that was, but I can’t want to do it all over again.”
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