By Mike Gleason
Pagan Summer, by Thoth Ganesh
CD: CD Baby, 2008
There are eight tracks on this release. They cover a lot of territory from “Dionysus is Rising” (written for a Paganfest performance) to “Jai Ganesha” (a Hindu praise song).
Thoth Ganesh did all the performance work on this album (singing and playing all the instruments). And, with the exception of the lyrics for “Jai Ganesha” (which are traditional) he wrote all the lyrics. Obviously, this is a multi-talented individual.
“One World” has a distinctly “bluesy” feel to it, while “Firedance” and “Dionysus is Rising” are pure Pagan gathering material. These examples show the range Thoth is capable of.
The inspirations run from the Vietnam conflict to the glory of mead and the honey bee. In other words, they were drawn from life.
If I have a bone to pick with this release, it is the length. The average song is about 3½ minutes (the range is from 2:08 for “Firedance”] to 6:06 for “Jai Ganesha”) so the total running time is only a bit over half an hour. I could easily have sat through a significantly longer selection.
Technically, a couple of the songs end rather abruptly, almost as if cut off before the final notes had been produced, but that is no major problem.
While I wouldn’t say this is the best Pagan album I have heard, I would have to say that it was a pleasant listening experience. I look forward to hearing more from this artist.