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AoMusic — Grow Wild
(AoMusic AOM0905, 2000, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2001-03-01

Grow Wild Cover art

Ao, which is a Polynesian word for light and illumination, is the duo of Nahoo (aka Ric Gannaway) and Jojo (aka Jay Oliver), a pair of Mid-Westerners with a strong affiliation for New Age spirituality. When I opened the booklet that came with Grow Wild, filled with “sacred geometry,” my New-Age-bullshit alarm started blasting at full volume. And certainly the first track, a short Polynesian poem recited by a young girl, did little to allay my fears. Fortunately, by the second track, “Chameleon’s Makebelieve,” things improved markedly. Singer Nahoo has a gentle yet earnest delivery that fits the folk-pop style of the material. Plus, the instrumental work is really quite good, even if it never extends much beyond acoustic guitar, Jojo’s relatively pared-down keys, and the requisite layers of ethnic percussion. Even more, what reaches across the New Age, shamanistic, earth mother messages is a convincingly powerful musical statement. These songs are full of sophistication, depth and maturity with plenty of excellent melodies and lyrical gems to spare. Their genuine charm and spirit are contagious and may even have you wearing tie-dye and growing your hair before too long. Fans of Jon Anderson’s more recent New Age forays are sure to like what they find here, as well as Earth brothers and sisters everywhere.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): AoMusic (AO)

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