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Dhanya – Self-Titled Debut Album Review

Venezuela-born songbird Dhanya is releasing her debut self-titled album this Friday, and the result is a musical and spiritual journey. Dhanya draws inspiration from Bjork and Ibeyi, using Indian music traditions and mixing the best of the East and West.

As a whole, Dhanya is an uplifting journey that Dhanya both crafts and guides for the listener. The twelve songs are mellow and contemplative in nature, with a focus on Dhanya’s lyrics over production. Still, Dhanya‘s instrumentals are meaningful and melodic; this is music perfect for meditation and mindfulness.

‘Fire’ opens Dhanya and encapsulates the album’s spiritual mission. Dhanya sings about the fire within and being sent by the ‘Friend of the Fallen.’ ‘Fire’ is a special track for its ability to be spiritual without feeling overly religious. It finds the right balance and harmony, and those are two concepts that Dhanya values without a doubt.

On the song ‘Lesson,’ Dhanya curates a seven minute long calming tune about learning and healing. Despite the track’s length, ‘Lesson’ is generally indicative of Dhanya as a whole. Most songs share this vibe.

Vocally, Dhanya is at ease throughout her album, which adds to the album’s effect. There’s little tension to be heard, and Dhanya crafts utopia for her listeners. On the song ‘Another Lifetime,’ she sounds surprisingly like Delta Goodrem – showing both restraint and power in her vocals. “As an instrument, the voice is alchemical,” Dhanya said. “It has the potential to transform all feelings and experience into sound.”

The track is one of the album’s highlights, with its thoughtful lyrics about working through this life and keeping past lives in mind. “So maybe I’m still working on things left over. And that’s fine.”

The only time Dhanya seems to veer off course is with the song ‘Over Again’ featuring Bali. Of all the tracks on the album, this is the one that seems out of place, feeling more like a Christian gospel-pop track than anything else, an odd turn from the more subtle ‘Fire.’

The best of Dhanya includes ‘Lesson’ and ‘Another Lifetime’ along with ‘Longing’ — a song about love and desire. “If dreams are where I can find you, don’t let me wake. I’ll rise when you have returned. Until then, I’ll wait.” Beautiful.

‘Tell My Ego’ is another highlight from Dhanya, a track that is more influenced by pop with a more traditional pattern. ‘Tell My Ego’ is full of energy throughout, from the uptempo production to Dhanya’s vocals.

As a whole, Dhanya is a solid debut of music that’s both peaceful and inspiring. Throughout its tracklisting, Dhanya tells a cohesive story, one where songs blend together and work as one, without sounding redundant.

Dhanya is released this Friday and can be downloaded on iTunes. Purchase the single ‘Fire’ on iTunes now. Keep up to date with Dhanya through her official website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Written by Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is the creator and editor of POParazzi. He works primarily in Washington, DC. You can contact him at sam@poparazzi.org and visit his portfolio at sam-bennett.com.

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