The Emergent Sea Reviewed by Rice B & Radioindy

It's no wonder that Roman Rhodes and the Born Again Pagans' fine CD is titled "The Emergent Sea." Of its 16 folk / jazz / pop-rock hybrid songs, 8 pieces refer to the ocean - directly or by inference, in their titles. More interesting, is that for this accomplished, multi-cultural band, the predominant sound the unique synthesis of such musical styles evokes is altogether that of California coastline vistas on warm summer nights. Built on light, breezy, and melodic contemporary folk-rock along the lines of Jack Johnson (but incorporating flourishes of late '60's / early '70's pop-rock and jazz styles as well), Roman and his Pagans deliver spirited and decidedly spiritual, tunes that celebrate life and nature with a keen inventiveness, both musically and lyrically. The opening (title) track, "The Emergent Sea," with its free-flight flute backing and tasteful guitar interpolations, sets the tone for the disc, while other highlights incorporate judicious horns as heard on "Odysseus," syncopated rhythms on "A Man Once Called Me," Youngbloods like guitar fills on "Long Talk Off a Short Beer," and even some good-old down-home reminiscing on "Grandma's Telecaster (The Good Old Days.)" "The Emergent Sea" offers an excellent showcase for the skills and influences of players with origins that stretch from Scotland to Japan and sundry points in between, but what ultimately makes Roman Rhodes and the Born Again Pagans' CD so effective is the cohesive, well balanced, and accessible music at its core. -Rice B & Reviewer team

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