As joyful as the image on the cover, “This” is the newest creation by Mantra-Pop Artist Robin Renee. With four previous CD’s to her credit, her style is alt-rock-pop-celtic-folk-kirtan. Her voice is both deep and soaring, stretching the sound spectrum. An Eastern and Western multi-instrumentalist, Robin plays harmonium, guitar and keyboard. My first listen was in the car which carried me along winding roads with the delightfully sing-along-able pieces.
And so it begins… with the light and airy Keshava which is an homage to one of her devotional deities; Krishna. It has a James Taylor-esque feel with the opening chords which is no surprise since she acknowledges J.T. as a long time musical influence. It felt like being wrapped in sunshine as I chanted along, helpless to resist its appeal.
Funky Bhagavate ushers the listener in with chimes and percussive rhythms that beckon hip shaking, eyes closed to take in the lyrics: OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya ; one translation is: ” OM and salutations to the Indwelling One, substance of the Divine“.
Kali Ma Potluck Singalong has a fuller choral sound with guitar strums and playful drums that honors the Goddess Kali, whose appearance is fierce, but her power to destroy can also be used to rebuild.
“Hail to the supreme Lord, the auspicious one who brings happiness and joy, who dwells in the hearts of all!” is the English translation for Jaya Jaya Shiva Shambho that has a tribal dancing around a fire sense about it.
A benediction that blends Robin’s Pagan and Hindu spiritual practice comes in the verses of Blessed Be, Namaste. “May intentions for tomorrow, hold you gently in today.”
Leaving Space is the only piece on the CD without lyrics as it incorporates chimes, ting-sha bells, rain stick, drums, sandwiched in between silence. Defintely a close your eyes, feel your heart beat and immerse yourself in it number.
Om Mane Padme Hum sounds as if it was recorded in a Tibetan monestary; with the sacred chanting of the words that mean “praise to the jewel in the lotus.” The final chanting of the word om brings this ideal accompaniment for yoga, meditation, dancing and simply being to a peaceful close.
Background vocals are offered by Isitri Om Kati Brennan and Angela Cavallaro whose call and response sweet soundings enhance the CD. Producer Jack Walker and Karttikeya provide percussion, keyboard and bass accompaniment.