Essra Mohawk


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Mohawk's first outing in a decade shows that, if nothing else, she's been giving her songwriting muscles a decent workout in the intervening years. It's easily her most accessible, radio-friendly effort, if not her most satisfying. Indeed, Tina Turner had already recorded Mohawk's hook-heavy "Stronger Than the Wind" several years earlier. There are other changes afoot, too. Her voice -- always a husky instrument -- is deeper and rougher-edged, in the manner of, say, Kim Carnes. Raindance's country-rock setting suits Mohawk well, and the heartfelt conviction is as apparent in her warm singing voice as ever. High points include "End of a Long Bad Dream," an anthemic eulogy to long-lasting love, and the clever, snappy barroom rock of "Wrap It All Around," one of the most convincingly commercial songs she's ever written. It's reassuring too, that nearly three decades after her debut, Mohawk still propounds the virtues of peace, love and understanding, and rejects jaded cynicism at every turn. "It's History," a rare slower cut, is a touching paean to lost ideals: "Prejudice and arrogance, greed and apathy/are tearing at the fabric of our precious liberty." Close your eyes, and you can feel the groundbreaking spirit of Primordial Lovers still very much alive in Mohawk's work today.

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