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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Start of his departure
If one listens to Mcferrin's early Blue Note recordings (e.g. The Voice), and then just fast-forwards to "Circlesongs", one might say, "Wha... What happened? Why is this so different?". The answer can be found here. Most of McFerrin's work in the 1980s was fairly commercial and "accessible". "Medicine Music" shows some hints...
Published on April 27, 1999 by David A. Beamer

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect McFerrin
Not the type of CD that makes me stop what I'm doing and listen, but the sort that invokes that comfortable "at peace" feeling. It's more "produced" that other McFerrin CD's that I've heard, but very well done. If you like what Bobby McFerrin has done in the past, I'm sure you'll appreciate this work.

I purchased it to study his treatment of the 23rd Psalm...
Published on January 11, 2007 by R. Hauser


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Start of his departure, April 27, 1999
By 
David A. Beamer (Mich, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
If one listens to Mcferrin's early Blue Note recordings (e.g. The Voice), and then just fast-forwards to "Circlesongs", one might say, "Wha... What happened? Why is this so different?". The answer can be found here. Most of McFerrin's work in the 1980s was fairly commercial and "accessible". "Medicine Music" shows some hints of where McFerrin would be heading in the 90s.
The "80s Bobby" can be found in "Baby", "Yes, You", and "Gima", among others. The "90s Bobby" can be found in "Common Threads", "He Ran All the Way", and "Soma So del la de Sase", for example. These latter songs tend toward the wordless abstract note-play of which "Circlesongs" might be called the destination. "Common Threads", for example, uses two syllables, "nah" and "yeah", plus humming and open vowels. In contrast, "The Garden" is a quasi-retelling of the Garden of Eden story, but with McFerrin's own twist, with lines such as "there in the tree there crawled a Lie".
On this recording more than any other to date, Bobby does not hide his Christianity. The last track "23rd Psalm", is even available in choral sheet music for church choirs, although some churches may be a bit off-put by Bobby's twist of referring to the Lord as female throughout. (The notes say the song is a tribute to his own mother.) And to complete the family, his father, Robert McFerrin Sr., puts in a guest appearance in "Discipline". The elder McFerrin is respected opera singer.
All in all, this is an interesting, varied, and pivotal work in Bobby's output. The only reason I marked it with 4 stars instead of 5 is that I prefer his recordings where there's only one copy of his voice ("The Voice", "Spontaneous Inventions") -- this recording is multi-tracked "lots of Bobbys".
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably McFerrin's Best (at least his most diverse), November 26, 2000
By 
"boy_howdy" (Northfield, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
Although a few of these songs are longer than they need to be, most notably the 6:14 track "The Train," this is a pretty solid album which contains some of the absolute best of Bobby McFerrin. It is VERY diverse, running from pop songs like "Baby" (it is worth remembering that this album immediately followed the soaring media success of "Don't Worry, Be Happy") to the stunning, most-powerful-song-ever-in-the-history-of-music final track, a feminized version of the 23rd psalm with Bobby singing something like 12 distinct tracks in layers of sound. Along the way we get to hear Bobby's Voicestra provide depth and volume for tracks "Sweet in the Morning" and, with the addition of McFerrin Senior's strong Basso, the powerful "Discipline." If you want a McFerring album that is more consistent but less strong in each track, try his "Best of" CD or perhaps go for his classical move "Hush" with Yo Yo Ma; if you want the gems, go for this one.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent music to heal your soul, June 11, 2002
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
This for me is Bobby McFerrin's masterpiece. Using mainly just his voice, he has created an album of songs which taken together celebrate all that is human and all that is holy. And especially the beauty of the human voice. "Sweet in the Morning" is a superb collaboration with the Voicestra. I especially love "Yes, You", "The Garden", "Angry (Gima)", and "Soma So De La De Sase". As for the 23rd Psalm, it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.
God bless Bobby. I've loved his more recent works, including the wonderful "Beyond Words". "Bang Zoom!" is also a superb album. Medicine Music always moves me, and remains my favourite work of his. In fact, if I could only have one album in the entire world, this would be it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moves Me to the Core, March 18, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
The 12th track --- "The 23rd Psalm (Dedicated to My Mother) is worth the price of this CD. It's a musical prayer unlike any other.
I also love "Common Threads" (5th track) and "Sweet in the Mornin'" (6th track).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medicine Magic .... conjures aural waves of joy, August 18, 2000
By 
ND.NY "NDBx" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
A wondrous voice, an original thinker. A unique take on vocal music. Bobby McFerrin is a unique vocal stylest and virtuoso, who has a voice that can do virtually anything. If that is not blessing enough, Mr. McFerrin has a fertile imagination and a command of music to maximize on his impressive vocal capabilities. For me, this album is ingenious. You listen to this album with slightly different ears than you would a traditional vocal album. He melds ancient music forms, gospel influences, vocal improvisation with modern aesthetics and creates something truly magical. Save for one appearance of his father, Robert McFerrin (Operatic Baritone), on one cut (also an excellent voice, now you know where he gets it), Bobby does all the vocals. The vocal arrangements are intricate, the harmonies complex. Some songs like "Medicine Man" come across as a little repetitious, but if you listen with different ears you hear the wonderous layers that each of these piece has. "The Garden" is just gorgeous. Here Lyle Mays of "The Pat Metheny Group" fame, provides very very subtle accompaniment, so much so that the instruments and Bobby's harmonies seem to meld. The album masterpiece is "The Train", this piece is simply amazing. Bobby's voice provides the harmonies and a churning percussive effect. A driving, dancing, rhythmic beautiful and inventive piece of music. It churns, dances, and builds to a climax and then it magically and suddenly shifts to yet another "groove". Kudos to Bobby for surprising us, yet again with a truly different and delightful album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common Threads, January 6, 2003
By 
Jonah Falcon (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
Anyone who saw the documentary Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt will probably burst into tears listening to its namesake "Common Threads" track by association. Yes, "Common Threads" is the theme to the documentary, and the documentary where it gets its title from.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect McFerrin, January 11, 2007
By 
R. Hauser (Olympia, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
Not the type of CD that makes me stop what I'm doing and listen, but the sort that invokes that comfortable "at peace" feeling. It's more "produced" that other McFerrin CD's that I've heard, but very well done. If you like what Bobby McFerrin has done in the past, I'm sure you'll appreciate this work.

I purchased it to study his treatment of the 23rd Psalm which is first rate work.

Recorded at Skywalker Ranch so the sound quality is sterling - a real treat to listen to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite an unusual experience, and quite beautiful..., February 8, 2004
By 
William E. Adams (San Angelo, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
Fans of the unaccompanied voice have to love McFerrin. His own vocal instrument is fine, and his inventive musicianship and eclectic tastes are to be praised. This CD is a grab-bag of styles and feelings: overtly Christian in one selection (except for the minor wrinkle of changing God's traditional gender) and "New Agey" elsewhere; African and R & B, protesty, philosophical, choral and simple at various points. I agree with an earlier reviewer that I like Bobby's solo voice better than when he accompanies himself via multi-tracking, but I have to admit, the choral effect he achieves is not unpleasant at all. This is a strange and interesting product, and overall, quite easy on the ear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bobby's Most Underrated Album, January 14, 2004
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
Is Bobby McFerrin the best male singer (under the age of 60) in the business today? Some would say so, and point to examples not contained here. But this is a great album. The chanting-type mood set in songs such as "The Garden" and the title track give this album an unforgettable stamp. The set-ender, a quiet recreation of the 23rd Psalm, is guaranteed to put your alpha waves in order. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music that speaks to your soul......., October 13, 2005
This review is from: Medicine Music (Audio CD)
We were so blessed that Bobby McFerrin followed his true calling as a phenomenal singer, songwriter and performer. McFerrin has the uncanny ability to transform his voice (and body) into an entire orchestra. It is rare that someone can do tonal singing, anyway, (that's singing two notes at the same time) but is even more rare if they make it sound smooth! It is on this album, that he began to explore to the depth of his gift--going the Enya route and dubbing his voice numerous times to create an entire ensemble of Bobbys, singing melody and harmony.

There is a wonderful earthy quality to this music. The first track, "Medicine Man," makes it all the more evident. He sounds like he is somewhere in the rainforest, communing with the trees, and takes on the journey with him. It is both melodious and syncopated. "Baby" is a cautionary song about how children will follow the route of their adult role models, so BE CAREFUL! It gives a whole new meaning to the saying "Do as I say, not as I do." Overall, this is just a fabulous cross section of songs and styles. The title song from the AIDS documentary, "Common Threads," (track #5) is also featured on her. You would have to be made of ice not to shed a tear--it is both tender and out of this world. It's as though he is singing to the angels......Another track worth mentioning is the beautiful, very gospel-based "Discipline" (track #7). On this song, he teams up with his opera-trained, world-reknown father to sing with him, in his warm bass. It's awesome!!!!! You can see where he got his musical sensibility.

You are going to love this album, and the messages it conveys about personal accountability, responsibility and spirituality.
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Medicine Music
Medicine Music by Bobby McFerrin (Audio CD - 1990)
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