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World Music CD Reviews North American

Elan

By Paula Kirman
Published March 16, 2007

Together As One
Kingsbury Studio/Interscope

Hailing from Los Angeles, Elan is an up-and-comer who caught the ear of No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal, who had enough faith, for his part, to release Together As One, the young vocalist’s first album. Elan is no musical novice—he toured with the Wailers for a few years, gaining a solid grounding in the genre. As he comes into his own, Elan’s work has a very pop-influenced feel, bordering at times on hip hop. While traditional Jamaican sounds, as well as African rhythms, provide the primary sonic undercurrents, to label this album only as reggae is a bit of a misnomer. It fuses many sounds and styles. Lyrically, many of the songs deal with boy-meets-girl themes, which are generalized towards larger issues in society and in a personal context. Even without reading deeper meanings into the songs, Together As One is an energetic album full of good-feeling vibes.