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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

Sareel Project

By Robert Kaye
Published April 27, 2007

Emptyhead Musikwerks

The quartet of talent multi-instrumentalists explores a wide variety of international genres on numerous instruments from around the world, some of which—like the tabla, dumbek, and kalimba—are quite commonplace. Less familiar are instruments like the launeddas, slenthem, flipflophone, and bougarabu, which beg the inquisitive liner notes reader to do some research. Despite one’s piqued curiosity, several tracks may prove–at least upon initial hearing–as bit too esoteric for some. Case in point is the opening number, “powJAMpop.” The song, while rhythmically catchy in 7/8, may just be too left of center, especially for world music newbies. And admittedly, for this reviewer, while the compositions in and of themselves are fairly interesting, and the quartet’s playing right on mark, the lead vocals significantly detract from overall appreciation of the album. That’s not to say they are poorly executed, but not everyone will find this their cup of joe.