Children Beyond is the follow-up to the 2009 album Beyond. This album constituted a remarkable shift in Tina Turner’s career, as it was her first involvement in a spiritual project. Beyond was a big success, reaching a top 10 position in the Swiss album charts and raising approximately 300,000 Swiss Francs (325,000 US Dollars) for several charity projects. Therefore, it was a logical decision to continue the project with Children Beyond, which will be released in Switzerland and in a digital version today.
There are a few significant departures from the first Beyond album. The most noticeable is that Tina Turner, Regula Curti and Dechen Shak-Dagsay are now joined by a choir of thirty children. The three ladies are not as prominently featured, the children are the real stars.
For this album, a wider range of prayers and songs from different religions was chosen. The album includes songs from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. This creates an incredibly varied sound, with a very rich range of languages, instrumentation and voices.
The key to Children Beyond is participation. It is not just an album for listening; the goal is to get children and adults in contact with different religious traditions and through this way increase respect and tolerance. Therefore, the booklet that comes with the album contains lyrics and positions for each song, so it is easy to sing along. The message of each song is explained, there are songs for concentration, healing, celebration and calmness. Although the aim is to reach children, it can be very useful for adults as well. The layout is very well done, making it very attractive to give the singing a try!
Most of the songs are simple and involve a lot of repetition. Each song is sung by the children’s choir, who are sometimes joined by one of the three singers. The one exception is the first song Calling, a spoken-word / rap song in which Tina introduces the album: when you sing, you do the right thing! This is one of the most powerful tracks of the album. After the introduction, the album includes twelve prayers and mantras from different religions. The most powerful songs are the Islamic prayer Allah Hu, the Buddhist mantra Buddham Saranam Gacchami and especially the Hindu peace mantra Sarvesham Svastir Bhavatu, in which Tina leads the children through a call and response.
The final track of the album, Unity, which was released as a digital single, is another stand-out track. The song combines six declarations of affirmation from the different religions on the album: Amen, Amen, Amin, Om Sarva Mangalam, Om Shanti, Sat Nam. It is the only song on the album on which the three different singers take solos.
Children Beyond is a wonderful album and is a wonderful addition to the Beyond project. It really succeeds in its aim to invite the listener to participate and to broaden one’s musical and religious horizons. The album is very accessible and it can reach a wide audience. The only negative aspect is that Tina, Regula and Dechen are often too much on the background. Their beautiful voices deserve to be more prominently featured. But, it seems that Children Beyond is just a next step in the Beyond project, and that many more chapters will follow in the future!
The album will be released on cd in Germany and Austria on October 14: you can order the album worldwide through Amazon.de.