Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Encounter: Medicine Songs from Ma By Prem Vidu


Encounter: Medicine Songs from Ma


Prem Vidu

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have now listened to this album several times and I can say this is one of the finest works of its kind I have heard since Mitten and Premal released Blown Away back in the early part of this century. I have longed to find something that good again, and now that lays before me in all its melodic glory.

Prem Vidu mixes spirituality with beautiful new age vibes, and draws an utter winner at the albums conclusion. The starting offering could easily be a single, the impassioned tones and imploring vocals of the artist get us underway with a perfect opening offering entitled Holy Divine Mother.

The strings sections on this next offering are sublime, the vocals and lyrical content are superior and offer much freedom.  May I Have the Strength is a song that will enrich your soul. It is also good to hear an old friend of One World Music Radio in Vito Gregoli on this album and specifically this track as well; the ending words for me are the strength we all seek……so just let go.

Up next is a vibrant, yet smooth arrangement entitled Cancel the Show, a song with poignant words within the lyrical content, especially for this day and age. There was something truly deep about this offering that will move you within; the musicianship is of course spot on, yet another track that will continue to take the listener on a musical journey of enlightenment.

At the mid-way juncture we come across a transcendent offering entitled Oh Your Glory. This anthem like opus starts with a gentle Sitar, which allows us to completely float with the vocals of Prem Vidu. There is much to explore within this piece on a musical level too, with lush performances on bass by Gregoli, and pertinent percussion by the headline artist, pay careful attention to the extremely sweet mixture of major and minor chords in the latter half of this track, utterly sublime indeed, and this midway arrangement sets us up beautifully for the final half of the album.

As we step with divine love into the second half of the release, we come across a truly powerful offering entitled Mighty Presence. This one took me to another place entirely, as it reminded me of the power and divinity of an old friend of mine in Russell Stone, of the band The Gathering. The build progression and quite beautiful musicianship made this one of my personal favourites off the album.

As we drift on the ebb and flow of a musical tide, we come across the calm waters of one of the most beautiful pieces of the album entitled Floating. This composition is a fine example of total symbiosis between pianist (Gregoli) and vocalist (Prem Vidu). The passionate voice of the artist is bathed in such a beautiful resonance, one that creates a song that combined with the piano, manifests something quite special indeed.

The penultimate offering off the release is called Your Love Heals Me, this one really raised the rhythm’s for me, the energy that this composition gave off was truly inspiring, the chord changes again from minor to major created something emotive, but the percussive explosion and the organ brought such an amazing essence to the arrangement, a tip of the hat for the perfect slice of electric guitar in this quality offering, just one of many clever nuances to be deeply valued.

Time to arrive at the last portal of the album and you won’t find a better way to leave than this next track entitled Everything That is Here. Infused with a little Jazz, a new age/pop ethic and a world vibe, this song has literally everything within its construction, but holds it beautifully and ends the album with sublime creativity, in an uplifting energy.

Encounter: Medicine Songs from Ma is a wonderfully empowering album, Prem Vidu brings us the only truth in the universe, music bathed in layers of unconditional love, caressed by a tender spirituality. This is devotional music at its very best; its upbeat and modern ethic brings us eager listeners, one of the finest albums released this year with ease, and one that I am more than happy to recommend. Nods of appreciation must also go to Girish (Tabla), Candice Calms (Viola), Gershone Hendelberg (organ & clav) Max Ribner (flugelhorn & trumpet) and of course the multi-talented David Vito Gregoli, all who make up the band that is fronted by one of the most honest and talented individuals around in this genre, Prem Vidu, this is music to set you free, and a musical companion that will never leave your side.

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