By Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli
Steve & Chrissie Sheppard
Song Divine is a wonderful new release, written as a Rock Opera in style; it tells a story through music that is based on the book Song Divine: A New Lyrical Rendition of the Bhagavad Gita by Lissa Coffey. It is a double album with 18 wonderful soulful compositions that give us the conversation between Arjuna (sung by Alexander Perez) and his friend Krishna (sung by Deepak Ramapriyan).
It is important to listen to the introduction, as it will set the scene perfectly for you to follow the story as the music takes you on your journey through the music.
The album opens with Arjuna questioning the battle which is set to occur, but he is conflicted, fighting goes against his beliefs, these are people he knows not his enemies, so he asks his friend Krishna for advice. What follows through the music is how this conversation plays out.
From the very opening track we are pulled into this vast story and our sojourn begins with the heart felt questioning mind of Life’s Lament. Throughout this creative, and one has to say amazing new work, we hear absolutely stunning performances by both Perez and Ramapriyan, on no less than 18 quite breath taking opuses of grandeur.
As we weave our way through this collective of creation, we are gifted beautifully fluent performances, the gifted and inspiring Know Who You Are is a powerful composition of truth and realisation, with stunning vocals from a man who has been described as the Elvis of India, Sonu Nigam, one also has to enjoy the Beatles feel within this offering as well.
Each and every track has been beautifully produced and performed; a fine example of this crafted and artistic approach is the soulful One Thing I Can Do (Karma Yoga) a track about devotion and self-control, and the deep waters of pieces like a personal favourite of ours, Arise, Arjuna can be felt deep within your very soul; the symbiotic performances by Perez and Ramapriyan are so clear and insightful here.
The music within this album is also vibrant and at times crosses many genres and invents new ones as it goes like the almost funky Lotus in the Pond, tip of the hat to the amazing Kimberly Haynes here. On Meditation we have a reflective arrangement that has that power of love built deep within the weave of the song; this would also make a sublime single from an abundant sublime collection of great pieces.
One constantly feels like they are moving through segments of time and tide with this album, and of course indeed we are thanks to this creative creation of Lissa Coffey, offerings like I AM, a song of removing obstacles from your path or the vast and incredibly powerful Brahman, a track illustrating everything, with a crafted mix of rap, funk, soul and a delicious Tabla.
The transcendent colours of pieces like The Secret are an utter delight to listen to; it’s like being transported to a picture perfect garden of much balance and happiness, this can also be found on compositions like Spark From Me, at this point it is really important to tip the hat to Vito Gregoli for his stunning work of electric guitars here.
There is a rich elevation of intensity and empowerment when we reach the classic rock opera composition of The Vision, another personal favourite of ours, the driving percussive beat and guitars stoke the rhythm of the piece, but the calming harbours of sublime vocals manifest a perfect lead into the following anthem entitled Devotion, a ballad of supreme quality and emotional resonance.
We are driving fast now into the deep regions of our story and musical sojourn of plenty, we can find peace and tranquillity here and also wonderfully soulful pieces like Field and Knower, or the rhythmic and almost reggae like composition entitled Rise Above the Guna.
The startling beauty of nature and music combined can be found in the vibrant creation of The Tree. This track gives us a truly funky vibe, an important message that a journey is drawing closer to its conclusion in this veritable land where the leaves of paradise lie.
As we move ever onward we come across Divine and Demonic, a heartfelt plea for us all to remain focused on all that is good, how to become fearless with a pure heart and dropping the baggage of ego and negativity, this is one of the most incredible presentations in a dualistic performance that performs both the light and the dark sides of life.
The penultimate offering OM TAT SAT is now upon us and creates an illustration of various types of humanities and faith, the lush mixture of major and minor chords here was sublime and the elevation of intent very impressive, as can be said about the concluding track of the album entitled Liberation, our journey has ended, but has it, or does it ever, a song of something we personally have been working hard on lately, removing and becoming free, by removing attachments. Here lies the perfect ending composition, one that will leave the listener with just one option, extending the forefinger of the dominant hand and pressing replay.
We must give a mention to the musicians who also appear on the album that we have not mentioned yet, Liyakat Ali, Ajay Prasanna, Visvambhar Seth, TJ Troy, Gregg Bissonette, Neelamjit Dhillon, Sheela Bringi, MB Gordy, and we hope we have not missed anyone else out.
Song Divine by Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli is a fascinating album that is a must for anyone who likes good music, a great story and who is moved by fantastic musical performances.