15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Rrakala (Audio CD)Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who is blind, is the Aboriginal answer to Stevie Wonder. Born on an island off the coast of Arnhem Land, northern Australia in 1970, he never learned Braille and has only a few words of English, but the expressiveness of his singing - though his lyrics are in Yolngu - goes straight to the heart in whatever linguistic context it is heard.
His voice is wonderfully smooth and sweet, and his self-accompaniment on the guitar (left-handed on a right-hand-strung instrument) gently powers his songs along, backed by the Saltwater Band.
His first album, "Gurrumul", put him straight into the stratosphere, with sales topping 140,000 in Australia alone. Sting described him as having "the voice of a higher being", while the Sydney Morning Herald hailed him as "the greatest voice this continent has ever recorded".
"Rrakala" looks like breaking new records. The first song is a freewheeling celebration of the tuna which leap and dive in the waters of Arnhem Land; the title of the second - being the name his Gumatj people call themselves - celebrates their solidarity and shared ancestry.
"Let's all sit together, watch the sea, contemplate the changing tide" begins the next song, with his voice descanting over delicately-added backing vocals. Here he plays a nylon-string guitar, and his overlaid work on piano and brushed drums testify to a high level of musicianship.
Every song reflects his belief in the eternal interconnectedness of his people and their environment: it all passes in a sweet trance. M. Church.