Written by CHUMA
The marriage between spoken word and music has become a popular and instrumental way for poets to showcase their versification, and Tantra does this deftly on her new, unceremonious CD, Sacred.
Although her voice is genteel and polished, and her poetry is persuasively pure and sophisticated, there are many moments when this smooth voiced poetry-chanteuse comes off as a gutsy powerhouse who is unyielding to settling for anything less than what she deserves as the goddess she declares to be. Impressively, she manages to achieve this queendom without any quintessential hardcore sassiness or deviation from her femininity like most women do to make the point of their strength and independence. For instance, her head bopper, "Build Me A Man" is a soft-spoken, unbending imploration over an infectious beat that calls forth a constant urge to wine low to the floor, as Tantra stipulates what kind of man she prefers. She conveys her demands convincingly as a lyricist by harmonizing the chorus in between her uncompromising requisitions. It happens to be one of my favorite tracks. "Fallin" is a breathy ballad about the spirituality and infatuation of falling in love in which Tantra sensually recites as if she is at the crowning-point of having a climax with the experience. She graciously educates on her declaration "A Poem For Gordon" written as a dedication to Gordon Parks. "Gold" and "My Drum" written for Coretta Scott King--but also venerates other historical heroes--are fast, danceable ditties that could successfully become favorites in the deep house clubs where flower children and bohemian dance soldiers seek refuge. "One Love," Tantra's offering for New Orleans and the Hurricane Katrina devastation, comes off as if she is an activist standing at a podium before an audience of thousands, politically and powerfully unmasking the government's conspiracy and disturbing neglect of a community in distress. Delivered over a heavy baseline arrestingly calling one to stop and listen, Tantra throws her lyrics determined and firm, yet gracefully womanlike, and you hear her disdain for the mistreatment of this tragedy. Her encore "Dreams At Stake" is a mid-tempo consciousness poem that fades out the album with a last thought for the listener to consider how imperative change is needed if people want to really make their dreams come true.
I'd say in comparison to her previous albums, Tantra has managed to draw listeners closer to who she is on Sacred. There is a diverse dexterity shown in this production that merits an expanded credibility to her as a performance and spoken word artist, and she is unequivocally and believably goddess incarnate on this collection of music and prose.
Tantra is a writer and performance poet. She is the author of alifepoeminprogress, and has completed five CDs. Her website is www.TantrasMasterWordPlay.com, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.