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Music review by Ramdesh Kaur, SpiritVoyage.com
On GuruGanesha’s fourth album, Kundalini Surjhee, he blossoms forth like never before. You are immediately surrounded by his stunning guitar work, which supports you throughout the entire album like a meditation cushion helps you sit for your practice.
GuruGanesha’s voice is an old friend; you’re always happy to hear it again, and he introduces you to many other new voices, notably Tina Malia, who become your friends as well.
Kundalini Surjhee is an album of ‘kirtan meets old spirituals’ full of celebration and joy. If you’ve ever met GuruGanesha Singh, you’ve laughed with him. His soul makes you smile, and his soul is deeply in his songs. Kundalini Surjhee will leave you smiling and ready to sing in your everyday life.
The album opens with a call for the mind to calm and quiet itself in “Bhaja Man Mere.” After GuruGanesha gets you relaxed and in the flow, you have your first introduction to Tina Malia, who soars rather than sings on this album. Her voice is like a combination of silk and honey; it drips with sweetness while it strokes your skin.
On Kundalini Surjhee, which means Kundalini rising, GuruGanesha’s guitar work snakes its way inside of you like the uncoiling Kundalini energy. There are beautiful harmonies between GuruGanesha and Tina, and they build up a strong energy that grows until it is whipped into a frenzy, like a whirling dervish. There is a sweetness and intimacy to the finish, as GuruGanesha’s voice gently brings your feet back onto the ground.
“Bright Star,” the favorite of many who have heard GuruGanesha sing it live, is a flowing, smooth rhapsody of the spirit. The percussion catches your heart and pulls it into the beat and the inspiring words lift you up.
“Aval Allah” combines Islamic prayer with salsa to make you dance. The throbbing percussion beats like a heart and the handclaps pull you in and give you an instrument to play along with GuruGanesha. “Come join my party,” he says, like a Sufi poet, as he pulls out a chair for you, “Tonight we’re singing to God.”
“Walk with the Lord” is a bluegrassy tribute to what kirtan is: a song to the Lord. GuruGanesha weaves in the mantra Har Har Har Har Gobinday like a good luck charm. His voice brims with the confidence of a man who knows that the Lord walks with him and buoys his every move. He’s joined by Jessica Caufiel and Tina Malia who cheer him on in his quest to make every step in his walk with the Lord one of total faith and good fortune.
On “Mul Mantra” you hear the fresh voice of a piano come out to shine, played by Thomas Barquee. There is tremendous gentleness here, one of a love song to creation. This mantra is an affirmation of the oneness of all life with a creative force of goodness. It’s a spot of rest and relaxation in the album, before you move into another up-tempo track.
We all have that person in our lives. The one who can make the sun shine even if the clouds are there. “You Can Make the Sun Shine” is a folksy tribute to the spirit of goodness within the heart of that special person, whoever it is for you. It will have you grinning before you can say “sunshine.” GuruGanesha’s dynamic guitar and friendly vocals don’t take themselves too seriously, and in the process you don’t take yourself so seriously either.
The last track on the album, “One God,” is a bluesy declaration of faith. The blues have never felt so happy! Jessica Caufiel and GuruGanesha playfully duel their voices back and forth, ramping up the joy as they go.
This album will alight the happiness in your spirit and bring the glow back to your eyes. In a surge of enthusiasm, GuruGanesha praises the Lord and raises the Kundalini on Kundalini Surjhee.
Click here for a free download of Kundalini Surjhee.
Ramdesh Kaur is the content writer and editor of Spirit Voyage's blog. She became a Kundalini Yoga teacher studying with Gurmukh in Rishikesh, India, where she stayed and taught Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. She can be contacted at [email protected].