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Jay and Jordi Kleiner
"Elephant in the Dark" distills a lifetime of experience as a musician and psychologist into 14 original songs; folk/country, folk/blues, folk/rock, on this multi-genre album. Each song is a story, in which transition, transformation and self-transcendence interweave, as in the (mostly) acoustic rock/blues “Doinʼ What Sheʼs Doinʼ” (track 5):
She used to be a quiet girl, never made a sound
Used to be so quiet, wouldnʼt know she was around,
Now sheʼs doin what sheʼs doinʼ...Doinʼ it all over town”
The CD opens with the acoustic folk/country “Must Be Getting Better,” which highlights the state of the person just starting to become more honest with himself:
“I must be getting better ʻcause I think Iʼm getting worse
This thing that they call insight, I tell you itʼs a curse
Iʼve been a fool, I know it, when will these blues disperse
I must be getting better ʻcause I think Iʼm getting worse”
Lisa Yusk Bowker
The country ballad “Become Yourself Again” (track 6), comes from Jayʼs experience as a psychologist. Sooner or later, we all have to “Regenerate” (track 11, organ/ guitar blues). “Beauty” (track 9, folk/blues with reflective jazz keyboard) is the story of an actual meeting, many years ago, with a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette. “Journey” (track 7) is about losing our way and then finding it, “right here,” with an evocative vocal by Lisa Yusk Bowker. “Invocation” (track 8) is a shout-out to divinity. Of course there are love songs: “Quiet Fire” (track 4), “Less Is More” (track 2), and “Moment of Your Time” (track 13). “Gnostic Kingdom Blues” (track 12) is based on the Gospel of Thomas.
Alpha Stewart, Jr.
The title track, “Elephant in the Dark” (track 10), celebrates the story told by poet and spiritual teacher Jalaluddin Rumi in the 13th century, about men in the dark trying to find out what an elephant is by touching parts of it. Still relevant today, it reminds us of listening to the “expertsʼ” solutions for the economy, education, mental health, etc.
Track 14 ("Deeper and Deeper") is a lullaby with hypnotic imagery, and comes with a warning both on the disc and on the song itself. Some people listening 1-4 times may well become more relaxed if not asleep (especially if theyʼre tired), without medication or its complications. So itʼs recommended not to broadcast, or at least not without a warning.
The insert booklet includes the lyrics. The songs last around 3.5 minutes each. Listeners feel the music and the meaning of the songs. Iʼd love to hear from you about it!