Review: Shubha Mudgal, Ursula Rucker, Business Class Refugees - No Stranger Here
Album Cover - No Stranger Here
No Stranger Here
 Artist: Shubha Mudgal, Ursula Rucker, Business Class Refugees
 Album: No Stranger Here
 Date of Release: 2012/02/14
 Label: EarthSync India
 Cat. No.: ES0039
 Country of Release: IN
 Genre/s: World

 Sub-Genre/s: East-West Fusion, Performance Poetry, Electronica
 Type: Studio
   Time: 57:34
   Date of Review: 2012/07/24
   Web Site:

Purchasing Info

No Stranger Here

Shubha Mudgal, Ursula Rucker, Business Class Refugees' No Stranger Here was released on the Earth Sync India label in February. This extraordinary album combines artists from India, the United States and Israel and clashes genres and styles in a mind-bending, mind-blowing style to come up with a result that is simply out of this world.

What really makes this album, it has to be acknowledged straight away, are the imaginative, innovative arrangements and production by Chennai based Business Class Refugees. A simply amazing vision.

Inspired by the poetry of the 16th century Indian poet Kabir of the Bhakti movement (c. 500 to c1700 CE), No Stranger Here features the poetry of Kabir sung by renowned Indian singer Shubha Mudgal, often offset by US spoken word artist Ursula Rucker's (English language) performance poetry within the same track, at other times, Mudgal or Rucker separately. Throughout, this is underpinned by a Western rhythm section and a string section, often combined with electronica. Now one might be forgiven to think that this seems like a very strange combination. Perhaps it is. But one really has to hear the spectacular result to be immediately and completely spellbound and overwhelmed by the sheer magic of it all.

This is genre-clashing at its finest! Without a doubt, No Stranger Here is not only the most imaginative, innovative and inventive 'world music' album of the year so far, but also in many ways the most inspiring, gorgeously, hauntingly beautiful and inspirational one.

The voice of Mudgal is utterly hypnotic, almost otherworldly, seductive. Like that of a siren, one is completely enslaved by it. Rucker in turn, in her own way, completely rivets. The combination is most formidable. Add in the superb string arrangements - sometimes leaning towards Western classical, others towards funk - and string section, and the mix becomes mind-blowing.

As brilliantly consistent as it is consistently brilliant, No Stranger Here is beyond compelling. This gorgeous, spectacular, spine-tingling album is totally mesmerising, hypnotic, holding one like a magnet and wanting one to not have it end, ever. A masterpiece, as near perfection as can be achieved, its spell will never wear off, it is utterly unforgettable.

Shubha Mudgal, Ursula Rucker, Business Class Refugees' No Stranger Here is way beyond a must have for any 'world music,' genre-bending or simple good music aficionado. It is to die for and gladly!

© 2012 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. Seraphim Tones - 8:34
 2. Drunk In Love / Diwaana - 5:44
 3. Steadfast - 5:31
 4. When I Was / Jab Mein Tha - 3:35
 5. A Stranger Here - 7:27
 6. Searching For You - 4:25
 7. Something Is Still Missing - 5:39
 8. Above All Else - 10:53
 9. Outsider / Pardesi - 5:45

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Shuba Mudgal - vocals
Ursula Rucker - vocals
Business Class Refugees - arrangements, keyboards, programming,


Purchasing Info:

No Stranger Here can be purchased from:
Earthsync (label)


Amazon UK

Other online sources and CD stores

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