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Were I the man on the deck at the college radio station, I'd first throw on track two, "Mine As You Ever Were." Not so direct as the opener "One of One," this "Mine" nevertheless unleashes powerful ponderings (What really happened? Does any of it matter?) interposed with a "crazy synthesizer," courtesy of Shawn Lynch, a constantly self-stumbling-and-correcting signal, the Starchild trying to communicate with Earth to figure out how it should play with those delicate little landmasses below.

"One of One" gives you the crunch if it be crunch ye desire, although Ms. Shalini waxes inquisitive as she'll continue to do all down the set list, and on track after track the solid and subtly inventive ensemble (Shalini, ex-hubby Mitch Easter, Jane Francis, Chris Garges, and Lynch) answers questions musically, while the vocals/lyrics ask different ones.

Thus, assurance and mystery proceed side-by-side, if not exactly hand-in-hand. This simple dynamic proves richer in execution than most of what we currently call the "pop," and I find myself wishing I were the man on the deck at the college radio station. Feast (however delicately) of this stuff, I'd say as I played. Notice how images of Diana, however many people Diana may be, actually stick in your head and flower, after the song is over. Then we can figure out who and what "Echo" might be. Or at least enrich our beings trying. Life is better over here. Smell that air. Salute the sun. Get your boots on for tomorrow.

  • Album: Magnetic North (2011)
  • Artist: Shalini
  • Label: Paisley Pop
  • Songs: (1) One of One (2) Mine As You Ever Were (3) Echo (4) Sky of Diana (5) See You In My Dreams (6) Walking Ghost of Death
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