Waterbone: Tibet

Daniel Mitchell



Label: Intentcity
US Release Date: 2003-02-25
UK Release Date: Available as import

Wow. Someone pass the crackers, because this is cheese ball of the highest order. Think hard, if you will, to the Saturday Night Live skit featuring Will Farrel and Rachel Dratch as a pair of forty-something "lovers" who cannot keep their hands off of each other. They're somewhat arty, somewhat haughty, but they're very high brow and driven by lust. If you've ever wondered what people like that would listen to, I present to you Waterbone: Tibet.

I don't think any soft-core pornography on the Playboy channel would sound any better than if it had the sensual beats of Waterbone in the background. The pounding synthesizer notes, with soft and dreamy chorus vocals in the background simultaneously cry out "late nite adult watching" and "Deep Forest rip off," in a very breathy voice, of course.

You can listen along to Tibet in your head with me, if you try really hard. Think of the drum beat in that one Enigma song that was popular, like ten years ago. O.K., now take Deep Forest's musical style, the synthesizers, chorus singers, and synthesized bass guitar, and add a heap of pomp and melodrama. Ahhh, now you can hear it, too.

So, let me take you a bit further into Waterbone's deep forest of posturing and unoriginality. May I please quote their press release: "Whether traveling and recording with street musicians, joining a spiritual ceremony with Tibetan chanting monks, or capturing the essence of soaring flutes across the Himalayas, this musical companion will inspire, awaken, and invigorate the spirit." I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

You may be wondering if I'm being too hard on Waterbone, and the answer is simply "no". Waterbone employs monks, children, and townspeople from Nepal and Tibet on Tibet, and the singers on this record are absolutely fantastic. It's what Waterbone does to these beautiful voices and people that makes me crazy. They totally marginalize the importance of their voices with stupid soft dance beats and watered down synthesizers; it's the same reason why that remake of "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis (the one with the dance beat) sounded so odd and wrong. Tibetan voices aren't meant to be mixed with crappy dance beats! They're much too regal and elegant sounding for that! Man, oh man! The second telling facet of this album lies in the almighty dollar.

The press sheet for this one notes that this is actually a re-release of 1998's Tibet, and that the original sold over 100,000 copies! I would be willing to bet my copy of Tibet that those Tibetan singers didn't seen a red cent from the ridiculous amount of sales from the original pressing of this. If I'm wrong, I'll stand corrected, but I know I'm not, which just makes this already awful album sound even worse. My advice to anyone other than fans of new age: Avoid this one like the plague.

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave geoup

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

This film suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.