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& Sol Surfers
Lynn Stokes and Sol Surfers
©2008 Independently Released
Review by Lucky Boyd
Because they’re probably pretty tired of it by now, I’m not going to draw the comparison of Lynn Stokes and Sol Surfers to the hit rock band Pink Floyd. I’ll only say that I had a strange compulsion to watch “The Wizard of Oz” while listening to this disc. The beauty of this album is in its thematic simplicity while using complex rhythms and tried and true instrumentation in innovative ways. There’s a flow to the disc that is lost if you press the ‘shuffle’ button on your player, so don’t. From the outset, it’s clear Stokes had a plan for the album and it comes across as perfectly as any album I’ve heard recently. Steeped in the style of that classic band we won’t mention, there are also other obvious influences that make this artist unique. After consuming the liner notes, set out on your journey through the varied emotions of Stokes’ adventure of life, loss, pain, and release. There’s something overwhelmingly calm about the album that allows for a connection with a greater power. That being the beauty of music in the first place, welcome to one of the best albums around at creating such connectivity. This is a headphone album best enjoyed alone the first time, then shared with every friend you can muster. With each friend, however, insist upon their purchasing a copy for themselves. The saxophone work on the album is pure poetry, and Stokes is masterful at wrapping each lyrical composition with the perfect blend of rock, off-jazz, and spice. At times, you can notice a Narada Michael Walton influence as Stokes unites nature, ‘psychedelia’, and guttural rock guitar into nine symphonic movements of pure art. Not new-age by a long shot, but perhaps newer-age-retro is more like it. I found great pleasure in just leaving the disc running over and over. Each song became like a familiar friend. Grab your copy of this veteran’s artwork in song and you’ll see for yourself.
Terra Nocturne is the story of one person’s journey through the emotions and transcendental experiences which transpire during the course of one particularly lucid night. It begins with the haunting sounds of the flute, as if beaconing the full moon to rise over the horizon. Lush and moody, Sacred Moon’s Light is a song which expresses the perceptions, sensations and spiritual restorative power of witnessing the rise of the moon on a warm, sensual spring evening. In Where Have You Gone, this blissful mindset is shattered by the realization that, due to the tragedy of war, poverty or unjust detention, a loved one is missing and cannot ever again be present for this experience. This overwhelming feeling of solitude is evoked in the instrumental Terra Nocturne as the deliverance of sleep begins to set in. Let Go is a portrayal of not only the feeling of release into slumber but also the pain of separation from a loved one, and at the same time, the pleasure of liberation from the physical body at the moment of sleep or death. The soul leaves the body in Open Door for the spiritual lessons and astral journeys suggested in the songs American Dream and Dream Sequence. In the last moments of sleep, before the sounds of morning, Across the Barrier seems to suggest that healing, restoration and salvation are possible through the transformation of consciousness.
Stats: 9 tracks; 7 penned by Lynn Stokes, Lyrics by Stone Bryson on “Sacred Moon’s Light,” 1 co-write with Roland St. John Perez; 4/2 insert; full color cover, full color tray card; jewel case; replicated; Musicians: Lynn Stokes, Roland St. John Perez, Mike Orbelo, Kevin Cooley, Jerry Savoy, Dean Evans, Lisa Stokes, Phil Grota; Producer: Lynn Stokes; Engineer: Spencer Ramzel; Running time: Approx. 54 minutes.
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