CD Review: The Rising Lotus, 2013 CD “Inner Revolution”
Rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Review by Philip Catley
The Rising Lotus bills this release as “Conscious Music to Uplift and Inspire”, and it is clear to even the casual observer that this collection is as much about a way of life as it is about the music. A quick review of the lyrics sheet reveals the album’s raison d’être, and the back cover declares that “50% of the profits from the sale of this album are donated to charity”. Peace. Love. Unity. The front cover is adorned with a Lotus flower and a photograph of singer Debra Gibson gazing into the distance, searching….
The Gibson’s, Debra and Daniel, have co-written all but one of the 10 songs, with “Life Is A Gift” attributed to Debra alone. Debra sings all of the songs and her voice is mellifluous, with that easy listening appeal. Over the album her vocals are deployed in several musical styles, ranging from the sparse piano backed “Life Is a Gift” to the more upbeat “Back On The Right Track”, which meanders into a mid-song spoken narrative. Debra’s spoken voice surprises, as it is quite different to her voice of song.
Opening with the uplifting ballad “Higher Ground”, the album works through the syncopated reggae of “Purpose & Meaning” with some sassy vocals in parts, and the funky up-tempo “Into One” which has something of Motown feel to it with its three piece brass section and Hammond organ.
The Gibson’s have assembled an impressive collection of musicians for this release, including Chris Finnen, who makes a guest appearance with slide guitar on “Make the Most of Your Life”. The album also has a liberal sprinkling of funky saxophone from one of Australia’s musical greats, the legendary Ralph Franke, who really adds a touch of class to this album. Franke also adds a bit of guitar on the eerie “Believe”.
Overall, there are a couple of really great tracks on this album and it would definitely appeal to a certain demographic who appreciate spiritual/holistic lyrics as a unifying weltanshauung. Debra’s voice surprises at times and I mean that in the positive sense – she has an interesting range and carries a melody in harmony with the song. The album is well mixed, the songs well constructed, and there is a consistency throughout. The music is also easy to listen to, with strong melodies and a relaxed feel.
The Gibson’s and friends can be proud of this release, and it’s certainly worth grabbing a copy if you are looking for easy-listening uplifting music that has meaning.