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4.0 out of 5 stars Tuneful debut from Californian multi-instrumentalist, 20 July 2007
C. O'Brien (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Metta (Audio CD)
Yogi Lonich is one of those scarily talented musical artisans who can turn their hand to almost anything. Late of the Wallflowers and Buckcherry and recruited by Chris Cornell for his current touring band, he's gaining nightly ovations of his own for his incendiary lead guitar.

He's more than a star sideman, though. Surprisingly, his debut album Metta consists of inventive but accessible pop, owing much more to the British singer-songwriter tradition than it does to Page or Hendrix. Co-produced with Doors producer Paul Rothchild's son Dan, who plays bass, it's a smorgasbord of different tastes and textures.

Vocally, Yogi is Chris Martin's breathy murmur with added sex - and, it must be said, considerably more power and range. Many of the songs here, especially lead-off single Inside You recall Coldplay's Parachutes, before that band's initial romantic charm turned to sober worthiness. However, when Yogi sings out, as he does on the joyously erotic Full Speed Ahead, he makes a much clearer and more spirited sound.

Other songs recall Jeff Buckley (Once In A While) or Nick Drake with a touch of Paul Simon (Disappeared). The lyrics occasionally descend into cliché but contain some engaging if diverse imagery ("my sails are filled, muscles flexed/can't stop my bullet when you're undressed").

Most enchanting of all are the two bonus tracks - acoustic versions of Opener Settle For Less and Full Speed Ahead. With the additions of beautifully arranged strings, these alternatives might even have the edge on the band mixes.

Metta - it means "loving kindness", by the way - is packed with well-made songs with an overwhelming mood of optimism. If you've seen Yogi Lonich onstage with other bands, you may be surprised at what you find here. But you certainly won't be disappointed.

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Metta by Yogi (Audio CD - 2007)
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