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Album Review
Xavier Rudd - Koonyum Sun Album Cover

Xavier Rudd - Koonyum Sun

Reviewed by
8.6
Xavier Rudd - Koonum Sun
Record Label: Fontana North
Release Date: April 20, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd has a voice that needs to be heard to be understood. Soaring, plaintive and deeply emotive, he sings every verse as if it were his last. There's a poignancy, intimacy and gravitas he achieves with each utterance and intonation that makes nearly every moment worth remembering. It's an achievement many artists can strive a whole career to achieve and never attain.

Rudd is fortunate enough to possess such a voice, but he is far from a one-trick pony. Having already garnered a sizable following for writing socially conscious songs that speak about pestilence, conservation and the plight of the Aboriginal people, he is also a favorite at music festivals for his multi-faceted live sets. It is widely documented that Rudd travels with a trunk full of instruments, including but not limited to: three didgeridoos, electric bass, banjo, stompbox, assorted percussion and an arsenal of Weissenborn slide guitars.

Returning to the blues and roots feel of his album White Moth, Koonyum Sun, his sixth studio album, marks his first studio foray with bassist Tio Moloantoa and percussionist Andie Nqubezelo. The album opens with "Sky to the Ground," a soaring, hypnotic anthem that is arguably one of the best songs he has ever written. That claim though is repeated nearly a half-dozen times before Koonyum Sun draws to a close. Though he's not the kind of artist to be pigeonholed, there's no denying Rudd's love of reggae. "Fresh Green Freedom," and "Time to Smile," are surefire proof of this, with the former drawing on a harmonica lick and a breezy swagger while the latter draws on banjo, bongos and a cresting chorus.

Diving into the Aboriginal landscape, he incorporates tribal chanting into the 1:40 acapella cut "Reasons We Were Blessed," and on the swampy title-track, which draws on a bellowing didgeridoo and the reedy vocals of a young child. For those that prefer music far more spartan and self-assured, look no further than the intimate reflection "Loves Comes and Goes," and the affectionate valentine "Woman Dreaming." While Vampire Weekend has drawn acclaim for drawing on Paul Simon's Graceland, it feels almost criminal to not lend some support and praise for Rudd, who seems to chase down the same thing.

There's an age-old adage that music is supposed to take you to a different place and make you feel better about the world, but what if music was trying to make the world a better place and make the world feel better about itself? That is the essence of what Rudd is trying to do. And thank the cosmos, he's here.

Track Listing 1. Sky to Ground *
2. Set Me Free
3. Fresh Green Freedom
4. Reasons We Were Blessed
5. Love Comes and Goes *
6. Soften the Blow*
7. Koonyum Sun
8. Time to Smile*
9. Woman Dreaming
10. Breeze*
11. Yandi
12. Bleed
13. Badimo
*=recommended listening


Recommended If You Like Dave Matthews Band, G. Love, Trevor Hall, Slightly Stoopid, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Mason Jennings, OAR, Citizen Cope


Find HIm Here Myspace
Website
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
03:09 PM on 05/20/10
#2
AskAlex24
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yeah
04:12 PM on 05/20/10
#3
Steeeve Perry
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He really is great to see live. Double-barrell digeridoo, slide guitar and stompbox going all at once. He's like a one-man band, but instead of a guy in a red hat dancing on the street with ten instruments strapped to him (most commonly playing terrible sounding carny music) you get heartfelt folk, blues and reggae.
05:26 AM on 05/21/10
#4
T-Lloyd
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Xavier rudd is the absolute man! Cant wait to see him live in august in Bristol! This album has definetly spun a couple of times since i got it!
01:30 PM on 05/24/10
#5
El_Jeffe
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Great great album & one of my favourite artists. But this entire album is rooted in various African musical heritage rather than Australian Aborigine.

I love how it doesn't matter what sound Rudd takes on during the course of any album, what influence, or how "big" a sound it is, he always retains that pure intimacy throughout his music. I think that's what really gets me, it draws you in in a big way.

Also, for all you roots music fans, Andile Nqubezelo was the drummer for the late Lucky Dube's band. Pretty awesome.

This album is so emotionally charged, with songs like "Love Comes & Goes" about his broken marriage that left him devastated & almost quitting music forever....
02:41 PM on 05/24/10
#6
Gregory Robson
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Great great album & one of my favourite artists. But this entire album is rooted in various African musical heritage rather than Australian Aborigine.

I love how it doesn't matter what sound Rudd takes on during the course of any album, what influence, or how "big" a sound it is, he always retains that pure intimacy throughout his music. I think that's what really gets me, it draws you in in a big way.

Also, for all you roots music fans, Andile Nqubezelo was the drummer for the late Lucky Dube's band. Pretty awesome.

This album is so emotionally charged, with songs like "Love Comes & Goes" about his broken marriage that left him devastated & almost quitting music forever....
Thanks for the ten cents about African sounds. Not too familiar with Aboriginal music. I appreciate the heads up.
03:24 PM on 05/24/10
#7
El_Jeffe
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Thanks for the ten cents about African sounds. Not too familiar with Aboriginal music. I appreciate the heads up.

No worries mate. There still is pieces of Aborigine influence, & there always will be. But this album was largely created through his travels through Africa with his new band mates. The people, the landscapes, the stories, the sobering emotion.

It's so great to see this album reviewed on this site. Such a huge musical talent of our generation. & I'm not sure if you're aware or not mate, but someone has posted this review on the official Xavier Rudd myspace page. It's how I found it haha.
03:35 PM on 05/24/10
#8
Gregory Robson
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No worries mate. There still is pieces of Aborigine influence, & there always will be. But this album was largely created through his travels through Africa with his new band mates. The people, the landscapes, the stories, the sobering emotion.

It's so great to see this album reviewed on this site. Such a huge musical talent of our generation. & I'm not sure if you're aware or not mate, but someone has posted this review on the official Xavier Rudd myspace page. It's how I found it haha.
Must be his publicist. That's what's up.
02:35 AM on 07/29/10
#9
Our Vinyl
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Hey Guy's,

I'm new to the site and just posted an article on an interview we did with Xavier Rudd. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the footage? I added you guys as friends figuring we may have some similar interests but, I can't send personal messages yet. Haha

Best,

Mike
04:14 AM on 08/25/10
Knifeovich
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He really is great to see live. Double-barrell digeridoo, slide guitar and stompbox going all at once. He's like a one-man band, but instead of a guy in a red hat dancing on the street with ten instruments strapped to him (most commonly playing terrible sounding carny music) you get heartfelt folk, blues and reggae.
I don't really like his kind of music but seeing him live at the Falls festival one year (I think 2003 or 2004) was insane!
04:32 AM on 08/25/10
Gregory Robson
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I don't really like his kind of music but seeing him live at the Falls festival one year (I think 2003 or 2004) was insane!
Thats what most people say about him. Dude is just magnetic.
07:13 AM on 01/15/12
kurtdaniel
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they're really good.. !! my voice teachers really likes em too.. he is so impressed with Xavier Rudd that he buys every record they release..

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