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World Music CD Reviews North American

JOANNE SHENANDOAH

By PAUL-ÉMILE COMEAU
Published April 7, 2006

The Best Of/Peace & Power
Silver Wave

The Best of Joanne Shenandoah features 14 tracks from the singer’s four Silver Wave albums. Fortunately, the album title isn’t dishonest, being the label has released her best work; her last three albums garnered multiple awards, the most recent nominated for a Grammy. Many songs are traditional chants drawn from Shenandoah’s Iroquois culture, arranged to give them a contemporary sheen. A few others are from her own pen. Billboard magazine called Shenandoah “the Native American version of Enya,” not an unfair description by any means. She is sometimes labeled New Age, although her sound is more genuine than most working that genre. As a whole the albums flows smoothly, all tracks similar in tone and rage. A few stand out, however: “Deer Dance” and “Kahalu’nyuhe” are the notables. Since this release, Shenandoah has been voted Native American Artist of the Year for 2002. The attractive 20-page booklet offers insight into the woman but not songs.