Irina Mikhailova

Russian Twilight

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    7
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From Kazakhstan, singer Irina Mikhailova is the esoteric equivalent to Loreena McKennitt. Incorporating elements of Russian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Balkan music into her blend of jazz, world, folk, and new age, Mikhailova's music is sparsely arranged but never lacking in texture. In addition to her hypnotic and siren-esque voice, intruments like cello, sitar, Jew's harp, and steel drums help create the trance-like mood prevalent throughout this recording. Relying equally on original pieces and traditional songs, this album floats in an almost continuous fashion from beginning to end with no discernable change in tempo or style, save for "Mama Mama," a sprightly song about adolescent independence accompanied by shakers and balalaika.

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