Will Hermes
April 14, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ama

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Yungchen Lhamo
Producers
Realworld, Virgin
genre
World
We gave it a B

In 1989, this cultural hero fled oppression in her native Tibet to the refugee community of Dharamsala, India, eventually settling in New York City. This backstory frames Yungchen Lhamo’s strangely melismatic, birdlike vocals, which are mainly in Tibetan. On Ama, she pushes boundaries via improvisation and collaborators, including singer Annie Lennox and a U.N.-worthy collection of international instrumentalists. Anything that distracts from Lhamo’s exquisite voice, however, feels like TV in a monastery — so Zen and yoga students may want to program around the busier tracks.

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