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Album Review: Joy of Life
Cover image of the album Joy of Life by Karunesh
Joy of Life
2006 / Real Music
50 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
It has been two years since Karunesh released his last album, Call of the Mystic. A musical crossroad where east meets west, Karunesh seamlessly integrated the two worlds without them clashing. Joy of Life continues this successful merger however the question is whether Joy of Life is inspiring or insipid? The answer to the above question is yes on both counts.

With regard to the more inspiring moments there are three tracks that come to mind. The first is “Flowing Bamboo” which has a slower tempo and brings a little variety that is essential in keeping this album alive. “Sahara Sunset” is also successful in bringing Egyptian musical themes that are incorporated nicely with Govi’s guitar. However, the spotlight is “Return of the Rains” that also features Avinash on Indian violin and Bikram on the Indian flute called a bansuri. While the percussion patterns are very familiar, Karunesh’s creative use of his guest musician avoids the composition from becoming a drizzle but instead makes for an invigorating and refreshing downpour of inspiration.

Unfortunately, the repetitive rhythmic patterns on Joy of Life create a sense of déjà vu, recycling themes that were so successful and stimulating on "Call of the Mystic." That does not change the fact that Joy of Life is a very pleasant recording. It just lacks the X factor that was present on its predecessor.
June 6, 2006
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