World That Surrounds You

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Like Rusted Root, Keith Johnstone's Janah blends myriad world influences with a Western approach into a joyous, danceable acoustic tapestry. Mysterious percussion echoes between the speakers, and Middle Eastern melodies emerge. It is certainly a grand vision, with song titles such as "Creation's Molding Furnace," "Hitching Post of the Sun," and "Bagona (The Spirit Current)." As such, the band seems to get bogged down from time to time, but mostly stays true to their approach. Often rock & roll pomposity gets the better of them and a screaming guitar solo or thin-sounding synthesizer run breaks the mood. Johnstone's lyrics seem far better, more mysteriously powerful, when they aren't sung in English (as most of them are). Janah fabricates a careful image, attempting to evoke a very specific place (namely the desert), and struggles to keep the listener there.

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