Suki Rae recently dropped Can’t Stop Now, a collection of 10 songs. A classically trained flutist/singer/songwriter, Rae is multitalented and has performed in a variety of venues around the world, including Alice Tully Hall and at the Jerusalem Women’s Music Festival.
Appearing on the album with Rae (flute, keyboards, vocals, songwriter) are Steve Bloom (guitar), Kennan Keating (guitar), KJ Jacobs (bass), Barry Korhauser (cello), Andrey Golodukhin (drums), and Chris Howard (percussion), along with the vocal talents of Ayana Lowe, Andru Cann, Sumati Bates, Benita Charles, and Greg Cross.
According to her press release, Rae’s sound spans rock, gospel, blues, spiritual, and world music. My description of her music is gospel flavored with bubble gum pop. There’s a definite feel-good vibe to the music, as well as a hefty garnishing of ‘60’s hippie essence.
The album opens with “Peace by Piece,” a happy, peppy gospel number that sounds like something performed by a church choir. The title track, another jaunty-flavored gospel tune, features ebullient voices and upbeat textured energy, but it left me disinterested.
“Water from the Fountain (Peace on Earth)” merges music from Disney’s Aladdin with really bad faux gospel colors. The result is something from a ‘70s high school Christmas musical.
The best song on the album is probably “There’s Someone Watching over You,” a bluesy rock number that’s totally derivative. The worst song on the album is “Walking Mandala,” which rides a disconcerting acoustic guitar and features a brightly ringing bell at random moments. There’s a hint of Gregorian chanting to the rhythm of this tune. It really doesn’t work. Coming in second-worst is “Alowan,” a tune totally reminiscent of Finding Nemo.
With all due respect, Can’t Stop Now should stop right now. It’s egregiously cloying, boorish, and unacceptable. Initially, I thought it was a parody of new age/Christian music. Now I’m not so sure. I think it’s meant to be taken seriously. In either case, give this one a miss.