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Kiss the Earth

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Album Review

The popular worldbeat/new age acoustic guitarist Johannes Linstead continues his journey through a groovin' pop flamenco-land on this second release. He's mining the same territory as he did on his debut, Sol Luna Tierra, but with slightly more aggression on the up-tempo tracks and more elegant ambience and texture on the romantic pieces. He also adds the piano and bouzouki to his impressive multi-instrumentalist resume. A relentless, joyful thump drives the sexy, seductive "Mezza Luna," which rolls aggressively along a path charted by Linstead's guitar but full of spirited acoustic piano flashes, also played by Linstead. "La Serpiente" is as sly as its title promises, opening with hypnotic solo guitar that is then joined by a full rhythm section and then, in spots, a synth orchestra for dramatic effect. "Road to Marrakesh" finds him exploring even more exotica than usual, while "Kiss the Earth" is a sweet meditation full of unusual percussion lines and cool sonic effects. Alla Kadysh adds haunting vocalizations to a few tracks, including the dreamy "Savannah," which has the impact of calling a wayward lover home.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Instrumentalist Johannes Linstead is not an easy artist to categorize. Some listeners have described the acoustic guitarist's ambitious, far-reaching albums as new age (although he is much more energetic than new age artists are typically known for being), and others have labeled him nuevo flamenco (that is, modern flamenco-pop rather than traditional straight-ahead flamenco). But while some of his acoustic guitar playing is, in fact, relevant to Spain's nuevo flamenco scene, the truth is that contemporary...
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Kiss the Earth, Johannes Linstead
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