11/14/2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Project Mama Earth & Joss Stone – Entanglement

Oh boy. What a treat for the ears this is. A beautiful mix of soul, funk, African rhythms, American southern warmth, deep rooted class and marrow-deep infusions of joy, Project Mama Earth’s Entanglement is almost the complete package in one single sleeve.

The all-star Mama Earth line up of Joss Stone (vocals), Nitin Sawhney (guitar), Jonathan Joseph (drums), Étienne M’Bappé (bass/guitar) and Jonathan Shorten (keyboards) are nothing short of sensational. Taking their influences from artistes far and wide, the fusion of styles is a revelation that gladdens the heart immeasurably.

The opening Mama Earth instantly invites a smile to come out and play awhile, its tones and philosophy setting out from the off what the aims of the whole are.  Waterfall is next; an out-and-out gem of a song, guaranteed to have even the most hardened of pop listeners out of their seats, whereas Spring ripples and rolls with the hope of new life – and relatively new experiences – aplenty.

Each track is separated by interludes of traditional snippets, some with the original crackle of vinyl included, which give a sense of time and sensibilities being increased against the modern. This, in turn, makes the heady brew of the main cuts all the more intoxicating.

What Would She Say is pure Stone. A deep-hearted, contagiously composed number that might be classed as an earworm were it not so fabulous. Followed by the harder edged Entanglement, it’s clear that balance is the key to the collection’s success, with the poetic lyricism a pleasure to unravel and explore still further.

11 tracks in length, arguably the best – and most memorable – is left to the final cut, Breathe. It is a majesterial slice of magnificence and light; a cornucopia of delight that is at once retrained and boundless in its production and delivery.

With a feel that Peter Gabriel himself would be proud to have created, Breathe is a harmony-seeped stew of such richness and satisfying spirit it cannot be anything other than wallowed in and consumed.

Project Mama Earth’s Entanglement is an educational musical experience sure to widen boundaries and defy preconceptions. Taking hold of raw emotions, injecting them with colour, stirring lightly and letting the artists do as they will, what results is a palette of rich silk with which to embroider the most vibrant of murals.

Sheer heaven. Sheer bliss. Sheer magic.

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