socio-political self-help and stuff
i’ve never written a music review before. never had an inkling to do so. especially when thinking of the stuff that seeds… is all about. but after waiting forever and six days for the release of india.arie‘s latest album, waiting up until midnight, refreshing the store page until the moment it became available, i realized that songversation is exactly what seeds… is about. and so here it is. my first music review…
after my late night deluxe edition purchase, i sat into the wee hours absorbing this twenty track album, a little. i say a little, because i couldn’t quite get into it on first listen. which is crazy. because i love every india.arie album ever. even the ones that she hasn’t done yet. her songs, her spirit, her growth has seemingly mirrored my own. and as the clock reflected insane hours, i feared that maybe we’d diverged.
but all day yesterday, that voice kept telling me to listen to it again. to find a place of quiet, be still and really listen to it… so i did. and i discovered that maybe staying up late and being dreadfully exhausted just ain’t the way to hear new music. lesson learned.
because i love this album. from her signature intro interlude (this go round called soulbird – one, of which, is a full song), to the stunning techno jazz rendition of strange fruit, india is back. and better. her undeniable growth sings from every note of every song. whispers from every pause. renders itself as love. beams outward as light from within. in this love and nothing that i love more, two of my favorite songs of this chat, india discusses the complexities of love – the joys, the pains, the hardships, the ease… i found myself falling deeper in love with myself… even if the intention was for another. “you’re so good for my health…” who, me?
my narcissism flowed into flowers – had me ready to run out and buy me a bunch – until i realized that, hmm… maybe this isn’t just about a love affair with one’s self. and that’s cool. but it still could be. cocoa butter, which is all about sharing love with someone who is so worthy and soothes your being, has been a constant staple in my shuffle since its april release. “oh, you rub it in”… that’s what i’m talking about!
the middle eastern influence is prevalent in both flowers and one. it seems that closing the open door project did not take the experience from her. at several points, i found myself transported to a moroccan riad, pouring mint tea and eating pistachio cookies. still, i couldn’t help but wonder whether she is teasing us with beginning and ending soulbird rise with “i believe in open doors”. i still get chills thinking about the possibility of that album… i believe in them too, india. 🙂
she absolutely takes the words from my heart with i am light. one can’t help but be transformed by the obvious chants of “om” bringing in the reminder of exactly who we are. and that there’s nothing wrong with standing in that light. or shining. even in the upbeat opener, just do you, india’s songversation is an affirmation of empowerment. giving permission to be ourselves – instead of listening to all of those voices that say that we can’t. and that we aren’t. extending the love to others in brothers’ keeper. acknowledging the source of it all in the reggae-infused prayer thy will be done…
in addition to the aforementioned strange fruit cover, the deluxe edition features thank you and 6th avenue. one, very patriotic. the other, a cutesy love song. neither my favorites. made me feel like i could have saved a few dollars and gone with the regular version – but i am glad that i didn’t. the soul-stirring strange fruit makes it all worth it. you find yourself in a modern jazz lounge, mesmerized by the juxtaposition of a classic quartet backed by a dj – and that familiar singer you’ve known forever. yet never like this.
thanks so much for sharing, india. songversation is pure therapy. proof that we’re still there.