The second volume of Songs For A Better Planet, a 14-track international compilation of original songs aimed at increasing consciousness of our relationship with Planet Earth, is another richly engrossing collection demonstrating how artists from a wide range of cultures and musical genres share and celebrate that awareness.
Music lovers and Gaia worshippers alike should find this album not only a satisfying listen worthy of countless revisits but also inspiring —it’d certainly make a superb holiday season gift for anyone who supports environmental advocacy as well as for fans of music of substance.
Starting on a high note with the countrified campfire singalong smile-maker Shine by one of Canada’s premier Folk icons, Norm Hacking, the album continues to enchant with a gallery of delightful works of musical art. The forthrightly polemical 60’s styled rally anthem Clayoquot Sound from The Acoustics of Canada, features Martin Gladstone on lead vocals accompanied by Juno winner Melanie Doane on fiddle. The soulful Music Town by Ontario’s Lynn Harrison and superb Country/Folk pickin’ and croonin’ of Larry Zarella of USA on Quiet Life are two other standout Rootsy entries.
There are lively, fun-filled Pop ditties such as People Stuff, a playful throwback to 30s radio Scat ‘n’ Skiffle by Harmonious Wale of USA, the satirically ironic and brilliantly delicate gem On The Mexican Coast by Richard Berman of USA, and the brass jig Into The Woods by Rodney Brown of Canada. There are also doleful ballads such as the haunting Magnolia by Jacob Moon of Canada and wrenching Everybody’s Too Busy For Love by Megan Bowman of Australia.
Spicing up the mix is an eclectic handful of selections such as the ethereal A Dream from David Connolly of USA the tender Angie’s Song by Canada’s Bloodties; a taste of instrumental Worldbeat music from the rainforest on Viaje a la Montana (Trip Through The Andeas Mountains) by Andean outfit Inca Sun; and the Latin Jazz/Worldbeat fusion of Loosing It from Ugur Dogan of Holland; and the uplifting, timeless urgency of We Can Start Today by Josee Allard of USA.
Produced by artistic director Brian Gladstone for the non-profit Association of Artists For A Better World, the disc, mastered by Robert Digiola, has a smooth evenness of production that allows the various moods and messages to unfold in a natural flow. And it’s more than just a treat for the ears and mind —it will also help to make an actual improvement in the health of the planet because proceeds from its sale will be donated to charitable groups working for environmental causes.
Produced by Brian Gladstone © 2006
Mastered by Robert Digioia
Original cover art and graphic design by Rick Jacobson