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Our Pick: Susan Aglukark - White Sahara


Review by K. Kanten







Susan Aglukark is part of what I think of as Aboriginal music royalty. Like Celine Dion to Canada’s mainstream, Susan Aglukark is to Canada’s northern communities, she is the pride of Aboriginal achievement through the art of her beautiful rich voice and easy on the ear melodies.

This album is the perfect release for anyone who doesn’t have her other releases as it’s a collection of songs she has released on her other five albums plus a couple new ones. If you are a fan, you may wish to add this to your collection as these songs have been redone and sound as if they all are new yet again. With the re-release of these songs, it will provide that familiarity upon the first listen that new cds take a bit longer to imprint into your musical memory. This cd is the best introduction to what Aglukark is all about for fans just discovering Canada’s northern treasure. Listeners will also have a taste of her love of the arctic, her Inuk identity, including some disappointing realities such as the re-naming of Canada’s Inuit peoples with numbers, such as the song E186 where she informs that you can’t change the spirit or identity of someone by changing their name. The music is sometimes light and airy and other times soothing and emotionally moving, or on some songs like One Turn Deserves Another or Nina Ha Ho (Celebration), upbeat and uplifting in rhythm and melody. The hit song O Siem is here too. New song Where Do We Go From Here hints that Susan may be contemplating new directions. This cd is the celebration of the music that people have come to love from Aglukark. The title track of this album, White Sahara, taken from a song off her 2004 album Big Feeling, I will assume is a tribute to the love of expansive barren white snowscapes of our northern environment and a fitting title to encompass the full choice of the songs she shares with us. This cd certainly proves the territories are far from a desert in the scarcity of musical talents it provides us in artists like Aglukark.