Amanda Abizaid 2017
Projecting her idealism onto genuinely good deeds, “A Place In Time” singer comes up with a humanitarian statement and has Stephen Stills lend a hand.
In an ideal reality, artists wouldn’t have to worry about things which are outside their field of expertise, but in our world that is what makes their art great. Not content with being just a model and eager to be a role model, as well as a musician, Amanda Abizaid – whom many heard in a TV series “The 4400” – didn’t have such a cultural point in mind when she was writing “Walking In Twos” because it’s all about the kids, the Aeta children the American songstress is helping by donating profits from this EP to HelpPhilippineSchools.org. And yet, it’s about melody, too, as the mini-album’s title track has its social message wrapped in a finely textured soul, and while there’s an undeniable “We Are The World” influence on the piece’s memorable chorus – featuring the voices of the little folks Amanda’s taking care of, and spiced up with Stephen Stills’ twangy guitar – its spiritual uplift is highly infectious.
Internationally-wide, “One Love” rides a reggae skank, yet the activist’s Lebanese roots show there – as well as in a new look at a previously aired “Release Me” – to weave an enchanting arabesque into an unhurried disco. Going deeper, “Lion’s Den” is a folk-infused trip into a sensual psyche, with Abizaid’s flute and acoustic strum flowing through electronic charge, whereas her chant and rap in “Set It Up” create an additional groove to enhance the number’s trance-inducing undercurrent, a reflection of a tribal unity we can only strive for. “Promises Of Love” may be a display of a personal polyphony, but it’s from this individual experience that transcendence is born and ideal reality is glimpsed.