2023 / Acoustic Shine
Review by Kathy Parsons
One of the definitions I found for "oasis" is: "something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual, annoying, difficult, etc." - a perfect description of Shambhu's new solo acoustic guitar album, Acoustic Oasis. When I wrote this review, I was preparing for hip replacement surgery - a stressful time, to say the least! If I could have, I would have taken a long walk on the beach to calm my thoughts and put things back into perspective, but I couldn't - it was too painful to walk on soft sand. What I could do is let this incredibly calming and soothing music do the same thing - slow things down a bit and relieve the stress. The ten tracks on Acoustic Oasis were created spontaneously in one weekend in early 2023 and promise immersion into a more calming inner space. Works for me!
Some of the tracks have atmospheric bass and/or keyboard along with the acoustic guitar(s), all performed by Shambhu. Mixed and mastered in Dolby Atmos by Todd Boston, the sound of the album is alive - almost like being in the same room with Shambhu! Three singles, "Lumina," "Lazy Afternoon" and "Afternoon Rye" were released before the full album and were also reviewed for MainlyPiano.com.
Acoustic Oasis begins with "Lumina," a piece that exudes a dreamy serenity as it gently soothes and calms. Ahhhhh.... "Lazy Afternoon" brings images (to me, anyway) of being stretched out in a patch of sunshine - indoors or outside - and letting that warmth ease away any tension as you gently drift off to sleep. "Shades of Light" has some keyboard washes in the background that enhance the dream-like peacefulness of the beautiful guitar melody. "Pathway" makes me think of walking alone along a deserted trail, perhaps through a meadow, and discovering the wonders, both big and small, that dwell there. "Sunscape" wonderfully expresses the calming warmth that the sun can bestow on everything it touches. "Inner Light" is my favorite track on the album. This one also has keyboard washes in the background that create a "glowing" effect. A bit darker and more mysterious as well as more rhythmic than the other tracks, this one caught my attention right away! "Winding Road" conveys a lighthearted sense of adventure - or is it about looking for the surprises "just around the bend" in the road of life? You choose - both seem fitting to me! In "Afternoon Rye," the keyboard and bass guitar create a tranquil, dreamy ambiance. The piece begins with a simple melodic pattern that weaves throughout the piece, both with and without the keyboard washes, creating a soothing tone that allows the listener to breathe deeply and let go of any tension. "Love Garden" captures the feeling of being in a healthy, thriving garden where life forms peacefully co-exist and work for each other's benefit rather than solely for their own gain. Are you listening, humans? The album comes to a close with "Angel Blue," a piece with a melody strong enough to support lyrics (although none are needed!). It has a slight "folkie" feeling that leaves the listener feeling uplifted and refreshed.
Acoustic Oasis is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and many streaming sites including Tidal and Spotify. I need to mention that Shambhu's 2022 release, Life Passage, won the "Best New Age Acoustic Album" award from New Age Notes. I predict that Acoustic Oasis will also win some prestigious awards, so don't miss it!
October 6, 2023