Amun Ra
"Bloom"

(Self-Released 2003)Amun Ra - Bloom

Like most musicians, Amun Ra has a number of different ideas they want to put into each song. But, unlike most musicians, Amun Ra somehow finds a thread to weave the turntables with the concise beat poems and their obvious attraction in world music. The band's debut album, "Bloom" is relaxed but still focused as the band goes with the flow.

Amun Ra invites you into with the likable "Ancient Sky," a song with a gentle and melodic groove and singer Emily Shirley's smooth vocals. Although drum and bass rhythms speed up "Bloom," the song remains laid back trip hop even when, briefly, ditching it for a short lived, flowing jazz instrumental solo. Gentle and jazzy, "Time" melts into the ten minute long "Spiritual Expedition" as samples echo and guitars twinkle over a slow groove as "Maybe Rodin" is quiet and intense. Heavier, "El Zahf" is loud and strong, a nice change that adds texture to the album. "Family Portrait" is softer with plenty of instrumental accents to pull you in before the quick drum "˜n' bass beats and turntables scratching on the dreamy "Step Back." "Unsuccessful Sperm" jumps out at you with a bolder sound. "Bloom" ends on a quiet and calm note as "All Eye C" is slower and jazzy.

Unquestionably, Amun Ra finds their strength in their instruments and vocals. With jam session sections here and there, the band manages to keep everything succinct and hint at what they have to offer as both a recorded band and as a live band. Smartly combining jazz with rock for a trip hop like sound at times, Amun Ra's "Bloom" is light and airy as it transports you to somewhere else.

B+

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