2019 / Round Sky Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
I was a little skeptical about listening to Paul Avgerinos’ Devotion in the car since it features “yoga music all-stars” and I didn’t want to be lulled into too relaxed a state while cruising down Highway 101 at 55 mph. Was I ever surprised when the album turned out to be high-energy, can’t-sit-still rhythmic, and a whole lot of fun! This is GREAT music for playing at a high volume while behind the wheel (as well as a whole lot of other activities - or while doing nothing at all!)! Paul Avgerinos won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album in 2015 and has won numerous other awards and nominations for his music, much of which is ambient. He has also released several collaborative albums, including this one, which is his 23rd release. It won’t surprise me a bit to see Devotion nominated for a whole slew of awards, but whether or not that happens, this music is upbeat, celebratory, joyful and life-affirming. Even if you have never attempted yoga or meditation, Avgerinos and company will have you on your feet and feeling good in no time!
Paul Avgerinos composed, produced and engineered the album, sang lead and background vocals, and played guitars, bass, keyboards, and drum and percussion programming. Guest artists include Aureliaslight, Krishna Das, Donna DeLory, Emma Kiara, Jai Uttal and Wah! This quote from Deepak Chopra sums up the album really well: “Who said that spirituality needs to be heavy and serious? The songs in Devotion will help you to dance through your life in joyful surrender, and that is the essence of true spirituality.”
The lyrics for most of the ten songs/chants/mantras are in Sanskrit, a language that dates back at least 3,500 years. From the album’s liner notes: “Part of the richness of this ancient Sanskrit language is that there are rarely fixed precise translations for each word. The multiple meanings and nuance allow for a much richer experience on the personal level.” The booklet that comes with the album has the lyrics with a basic translation of what each chant or mantra means.
I can’t really say that I have a favorite track on Devotion - all ten songs are infectious and easy to love. The strong rhythms and electronic instrumentation give the music more of a pop feeling than a new age one, but I’m all for breaking down genre stereotypes and composing “outside the box” to reach a broader audience and to make music a unifying element that brings us together rather than targeting a specific demographic. Thank you, Paul Avgerinos!
Devotion is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby as well as streaming sites. Be sure to check it out!
August 14, 2019