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Dakshina: Deva Premal


Take a German singer with a smoky voice that would sound at home in a coffeehouse singing Peggy Lee covers. Sprinkle in a handful of spiritual mantras. Add some New Age harmonies and instrumental arrangements that range from austere to lugubrious. Stir well and chill.

The dish: Dakshina, the latest release from Deva Premal. The music itself is tastefully low-key, although the synthesizers get a little intrusive on "Aad Guray." Among the few entries in the negative column, the percussion on "Homage to Krishna" tries too hard to capture the splashy, water-drop sound of Indian music. Note to the producers: It's cool once, guys. Know when to stop.

However, the appeal of the album is Premal herself. Often compared to Enya, Premal possesses a sweet, strong alto that elevates the music above the occasional weak arrangement. Her voice is at its best on "Om Hraum Mitraya" when the musicians wisely take a back seat and let Premal's ethereal tones soar. Interested? Grab your yoga mats and take in her show Saturday, May 28, at the River Run Lodge in Sun Valley.