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Review: Telepath, Crush


Telepath
Crush
[TMD 2311 (2011)]

Telepath is actually the moniker of a single American musician—a brilliant one by the sounds of it—whose real name is Michael Christie. Despite the wide variety of styles on Crush, there’s nonetheless a cohesiveness to the album that makes it a joy to listen to, especially with headphones. Christie, who plays keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, flute, and percussion, calls his sound “reworld,” but the tracks on Crush have a predominantly South Asian sound. He has also recruited the assistance of other musicians and singers, most of whom e-mailed [ed: or phoned-in] their contributions from such far away places as India, Africa, and Jamaica. This approach to cross-continental collaborations is a tour de force that may be a harbinger of things to come. On one track or another the music incorporates elements of reggae, bhangra, trip hop, electronica, chill, lush pop, Afrobeat, Sixties-style psychedelia, Bollywood, dub-style rhythms, and twangy surf guitar.

Although this is Christie’s (or rather, Telepath’s) first real vocal project, the album contains several instrumentals, such as the title track, “Lacuna,” and “Down the Block,” that are just as distinctive. The freshness factor wanes on a few tracks, especially towards the end. In general, however, the album holds up very well. Those with an aversion to electro-based club beats may not be converted by Crush, but the fact that the tracks are varied, soulful, and catchy should help broaden and spread its appeal.

—Paul-Emile Comeau (Comeauville, NS, Canada)

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