Tribal Dreams: Music From Native Americans

Various Artists

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Tribal Dreams: Music From Native Americans Review

by Lynne Bronstein

Tribal Dreams is a compilation of Native American songs based on traditional melodies, lyrics, and instrumentation. Percussion, drums, and flutes are the main instruments used, with some non-native additions such as electric pianos and guitars. The overall sound and mood are slow, solemn, and soothing -- almost a bit too soothing. Much of this album comes across as typical new age music -- reverent and peaceful, but not suggestive of the diversity that there must surely be in Native American music. There are a few lively moments; the traditional "Cherokee Morning Song" by Walela and Andrew Vasquez' "Spirit Mountain" use female vocal choruses and constant repetition of lyrics that evoke the sound of early-'60s girl groups. And "Beware" by Jerry Alfred is a perfect contemporary folk-blues ballad, like the solo work of Bruce Springsteen but sung in a native language. For a more comprehensive sampling of Native American music, Earthbeat! Records features their Tribal series of recordings.

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