on 24 August 2001
I was a bit unsure about buying this after the mixed reviews it received but being a big fan of Beyond Skin I didn't believe Nitin would produce a bad album as some reviewers have suggested.
To start with I didn't get it and thought the album was a unflowing mishmash (to paraphrase other reviewers) after all. However, after repeated listenings it all started to make sense and now I think it is fabulous. Highlights for me Moonrise, Breathing Light and Prophesy but there is not a bad track on the album although I'm not really into the rap-metal track.
Overall the "fusion" of the music on this album is brilliant and to put these various influences together is such a way is just staggering. It does flow and it is not a mish mash once your brain understands it. Unfortunately some people just don't have the attention span to allow that to happen.
Overall it also gives a wonderful feel of listening to great music mixed by a good dj in a pre-club bar with the tracks well mixed and balanced.
on 9 July 2001
A fantastic opening track with a Bengali intro that slips beautifully into a modern mix. Purists will smile at the randomness of some of Bengali lyrics. Prophesy (the track) is also is a well crafted piece ending in a a crescendo not disimilar to one from Nitin's previous album. One can imagine classical Indian court dancers of yesteryear dancing over broken glass trancelike to this for their finale.
But without doubt the best track on the album & dare i say of the year is Breathing Light. An incredible tune which does not overplay its Mandela roots, whilst working its simple beat throughout. Worth buying if only for this.
In my jaded opinion the album doesnt quite match Beyond Skin - but maybe i haven't given it the attention it deserves. But copying my favourite 2 tracks to MD is probably the curse i have put on the album.
Not so much a Prophesy, as a Progression.
on 1 February 2002
I didn't really get into Prophesy until about the seventh or eighth time around. Initially I found that it didn't hang together as well as Beyond Skin or Displacing the Priest even though the range of songs is almost exactly the same: R'n'B ballads backed by subtle Indian vocals, lone eastern voices melting into chilled drum 'n' bass, a swooping juxtaposition of Asian and Latin voices, a heavy electro effort and gentle Brazilian love/rejection songs. Indeed, having got to know the album better I think the Prophesy songs better than their earlier 'equivalents'. The opener 'Sunset' is more affecting than 'Broken Skin', 'Breathing Light', 'Nothing' and 'Cold and Intimate' are all superb and 'Moonrise' is almost (though not quite) as good as 'Homelands'. This last song has a pleading Arabic voice gradually soothed by the Brazilian voice and chorus he sings against. Breathtaking.
No, what still grates and prevents me from loving every moment of the record is the new stuff. Whereas the theme of Beyond Skin (nuclear proliferation and the threat of an atomic apocalypse) was well presented by quotes interacting excellently with the mood-piece songs, the theme of this album (the evils of technology) holds together less well (how on earth did he record the album, then?) and we are stuck listening to Street Guru, parts 1 and -God help us!- 2, in which an anonymous New York cab driver witters on about the joys of multiculturalism and the hope that we don't rely on technology too much in a stream of vague platitudes. A further track, 'Developed', has a similar format with an Australian Aborigine but is hardly as objectionable because he doesn't labour his point as much.
These tracks get in the way and break up some of Nitin's finest playing and mixing to date. I would just urge him to stick to genuinely affecting modern music with a political edge and to stop lecturing me. Nonetheless, a great record.
on 3 February 2014
I have well over 3000 cd'sand many very good underground chillout cd's. But this has to be my best cd. I cannot fault it. Nitin has an ability to use technology to suit his feelings. You can sense the delicacy with which he produces music. Highly considered and beautifully melodic I know that you will love this.
on 19 June 2001
OK. I loved Beyond Skin. Loved it. So I was obviously very interested to hear what the new album would be like, and have to confess to being concerned that the award-winning Beyond Skin couldn't be bettered. I needn't have worried. While Prophesy is a natural progression - one might say development from Beyond Skin, it is deeper, more profound, far reaching and altogether a braver album than its predecessor. The musical fusions for which Nitin is already well known, reach unexpected and thought provoking levels here. On paper it wouldn't seem possible to fuse so many diverse cultures and sounds together to form a coherent whole. But it works. And don't ask me how he's done it, just believe me when I say this album is a masterpiece. Moving, challenging... 'Prophesy' (the title track) gets my pulse racing and reduces me to tears every time I hear it. So buy the bloody album. How many more adjectives do you need.
on 5 April 2005
The concept of travelling the world and creating an album based on various cultures is always going to be a tough thing to complete. All I can say is that Nitin Sawhney has pulled off this mountain of a project with breathtaking results.
The 15 tracks of 'Prophesy' display a highly interesting and diverse body of work, from a man with a real passion to produce something amazing.
From the uplifting opening 'sunset' Sawhney creates a wonderful soundscape through chilled out beats, guitar, Tabla drums and moving orchestral touches, it's an atmosphere followed equally by 'Nothing' string melodies conjure up amazing sci-fi vista's and rousing vocals create an ethereal world.
Acquired dreams is an early highlight and takes the tone to a deeper emotional level, moving oriental vocals and instrumentation help create a truly beautiful setting that paves the way for a swirling DnB laden orchestral outro.
'Nothing more' floats in next, and is just a simple acoustic take on track two, In a way it seems a little pointless as a song, but I'm sure Nitin has his reason's...
You won't be considering this track for long though, 'Moonrise' bounces in quickly and is
undoubtedly a masterpiece, This Spanish salsa creates a breathtaking mood accompanied by moving strings and heartfelt vocal work, If you don't understand the vocals (they are Spanish) it doesn't matter- this track is equally amazing whether you get them or not, and in a way makes it all the more haunting and mysterious.
The American street guru walks in next, a break from the moving melodies he provides a thinking point in his spoken word approach to 'technology in his modern world'
He actually provides some amazing insights despite his appearance as just being a 'bum off the street'.
The moving track 'the preacher' get's the melodies floating again, simple acoustic strumming and haunting vocal work creates quite an atmosphere.
Next is probably the best track on the album 'Breathing light' moving orchestral strings and deep piano grooves roll along with an energetic DnB beat, the ethereal flute patterns just add to the brilliance of this instrumental masterpiece, One of Nitin's finest productions.
Developed' is a track again on the spoken word tip , with an aboriginal perspective on the world and how they as a culture are treated ' music is a universal language, it doesn't hold any prejudice' as is said.
This is followed by the wonderful 'footsteps' simply a children's choir singing- simple, if anything, but creates an amazing worldy atmosphere.
'Walk away' brings the album back into deep and emotional territory, haunting piano and lyrical work touching on the previous track footsteps, light orchestral and middle eastern touches create a truly beautiful song.
The album now takes quite a dark leap with 'cold and intimate' electronic synths and moody strings accompany a rousing vocal performance.
Breaking the dark mood is the street guru again, he continues his interesting view on technology...
this lighter atmosphere is shattered again when Nitin takes a heavy back seat ride into some confronting hip-hop, distorted guitars, heavy beats and gritty lyrical work sung in a style reminiscent of the prodigy's 'diesel power' it creates the most disturbing track on the album.
The extreme nature is then washed away with another of the best tracks on the album, actually the album's title track 'Prophesy' a choir builds, and accompanied with giant percussive sounds and middle Eastern instrumentation get's faster and faster until it's a sweeping high octane worldy masterpiece.
and then it ends.
Nitin Sawhney has achieved a great feat here, pulling together culture, instrumentation and mood's from almost every musical genre, it's a breathtaking journey across the world that only he could pull off in such spectacular fashion.
as the dictionary states- Prophesy: 'to foretell or predict'
If you want to hear the emotion and mood of culture in the future, this album is the closest you will get to the truth.
on 23 September 2001
Beyond Skin was my first journey in to the world of Nitin Sawhney. Beyond skin was one of the most diverse unchatocharised albums I'd ever heard with a strong Asian fusion. For Prophesy despite the mixed reviews which have deffered me purchasing the album. I was not dissapointed and I have found Prophesy an even more mature international and political collaboration. Nitin Sawhnney's Prophesy takes you to sounds of crystal chilled lounge tracks to international trips which take you to New York rapping, to Iberian back street flameco strums to Indian symphonies and Australian Aboriginal sounds. Nitin Sawhney's Prophesy project despite being somewhat overproduced. My conclusion is a diverse masterpiece, which crosses world music with jazz, rap trip and hip hop.But don't keep the Prophesy experience to your self, spread it around.
on 9 June 2004
I absolutely disagree with thiefinni from Bicester- I think that the Street Guru tracks are fantastic and are well placed in the album to almost give illusion to an interval at the theatre. I find them interesting pieces of social history (if I should read that much into it). On a different point I have to say I bought this album by pure accident and absolutely hated it initially as I did find it grating and didn't get what he was really trying to say without becoming annoyed by too much variety. However now I can't get enough of it, the mixture is now indeed a delight rather than irritation and I find it both mellowing and exhilarating to listen to- for me, now the perfect combination!
on 19 June 2001
Prophesy is a beautiful CD that confirms Nitin Sawhney as one of the most exciting artist in the UK at present. Forget about Radiohead, if you're looking for music that's different then check this out. It travels across the musical globe at breakneck speed, stopping off in Soweto, New York, India, England and Australia. But it's the different elements coming together that really make it a winner. Jazz, Drum & Bass, Trip Hop and Flamenco all fight it out with each other to produce a sound that attacks and soothes at the same time. It also features a range of diverse musical guests, among them Terry Callier and Natascha Atlas. You get the feeling that it should all grate, but amazingly it all fits together to produce a thing of beauty.
Nitin's last album, Beyond Skin, was nominated for the Mercury Prize. While this may not be as strong as that CD, don't be surprised if he's up for it again this year.
on 30 July 2001
First time I've listened to any of his music, and as it was recommended to me by my dad of all people, I was a little sceptical!! Enjoyed the variety of sounds and style throughout, the female on a few of the tracks has a great voice capable of creating goose-bumps. I found that the whole Prophesy/Technology message was a bit watered down by the end though as it was heavily marketed throughout the album. I would have prefered to take the music for what it is. On the whole this is great listening, stick it on, grab a glass of something chilled and wile away a few summer evenings.