Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
This album has fresh idea but fails in general.
on August 1, 2012
Nameste is an interesting album to begin with.
Although it might not work well, I encourage Kenny G to do more of these.
Why? you might ask.
Before begin my review, I understand that Kenny G wanted to reinvent himself and be creative musically. From his "the making of Classic in the Key of G" in "Live" DVD and interviews, he stated he wanted to do something different, interesting yet original. He understand his fans are getting mature as they grow. In the same time, he still need to please his hardcore fans who love his earlier music. It is very difficult to do both at the same time.
Ever since, my favorite Kenny G's album, "Rhythm and Romance" (Latin flavor) released. Many fans and critics were surprised by the different road he took. It sounded fresh and different yet contain the trace of classic Kenny G's vibe and techniques. All I can say is, I love it. Best of both worlds.
However, the other album, "Heart and Soul" released which targets at classic Kenny G fans does not capture me at all. It suffers similar problems in this album. The reasons are very technical rather than genre and style in my opinion. Besides, I don't really feel connected with the melodies in that album except one or two tracks. In his past albums, they have many great memorable(or emotional) melodies and improvisation/ Cadenza in them which is what Kenny G did best.
Surely, the idea of "Nameste" is very similar to "Rhythm and Romance". More like a follow up album. It sounded interesting at first. But the execution is uninteresting. "Nameste" the album contains several great unique Indian flavor melodies. They are track 1. Nameste, 3. Dance of Elephant God , 4. Lotus Lover and 5. Transcendental Consciousness. But it has too much repetitions in it. It does not offer much space for improvisations and jamming the song with his partner, Rahul Sharma.
Result, you have these great unique melodies lead the song in the beginning. When the song goes half way, you can pretty much predict what will happen next. The layout are very boring and obvious. Like, A is Rahul Sharma's part and B is Kenny G's part but the same melody. The songs are always go ABABAB, etc. I understand that there are sound contrast between Kenny G and Rahul Sharma. But I don't need to hear it 3 times in a row in one song. It happens most of the songs in this particular album. If Kenny G and Rahul Sharma are actually "Jamming" the music with improvisations or a bridge in the middle of the songs, it would have be an better and more interesting album as a whole.
At the end, I still encourage Kenny G do similar albums like "Nameste" and "Rhythm and Romance" in the future because it sounds fresher and different than the usual stuff we listen in both his career and America. By exploring different cultural music, it really open up your eyes , ears and taste. It's the same with food. Just make sure the layout and execution are better next time around.
P.S. This is solely my opinion. I know some hardcore Kenny G fans or haters can get aggressive. If you don't like my personal review. Please don't bash it.