by J. Pepper
Is there something to the A 432 Hz instead of the standard A 440 Hz tuning? Well it seems that singer-songwriter and guitarist Karen Atkins is out to prove just that. Her new album entitled In My Room, comes after twenty years of establishing herself as an expert in the natural health and wellness field. So, it makes sense that her natural talent of music lent itself to the exploration of how music frequencies affect the human body and mind. What makes this even more unique is, Atkins put her theory to the test, in a series of performances on a small tour this summer, Atkins traveled the U.S. and called the tour the “Frequency Tour,” sharing her music with her listeners in a unique format through two mediums, live shows and listening stations. At that time people listened to her songs and filled out a before and after questionnaire to be a part of the “Frequency Experiment.” The study was designed to identify if exposure to music recorded in 432 Hz would affect stress levels by affecting the subject’s mood and physical discomfort levels. Atkins even posted the results on her website at: https://karenatkinsmusic.com/tour-study
So, onto the music – the study aside, this is a delightful offering. Co-produced by Atkins herself and multi-instrumentalist, producer Xeno, In My Room is chalk full of well-crafted lyrics, that truly take the listener on a journey of sights and sounds. The prevailing melodic hooks abound and Atkins clearly knows how to create memorable melodies, that linger long after the song is over. A true testament to good songwriting.
“Draw the Line,” is a haunting ethereal mid-tempo tune, that highlights a strong aspect of this album, the harmonies. Atkins voice is meaningful while at the same time fragile. Her lyrics are filled with depth and promise. “Julian,” is a catchy tune that floats atop the graceful melody and rhythms, with great resolve.
The title track “In My Room,” again evokes simply gorgeous harmonies that uplift and transform. Overall, the key to this album is truly the transformative properties of the music. Chet Stromberg, on mandolin colorizes the tune with eloquence and beauty.
The bonus track “Slip Slidin’ Away” by Paul Simon is always a tricky cover as the original is such a definitive version. Atkins, makes this tune her own version, with her signature voice and again the undeniable harmonies that traverse the entire album, and add that special ingredient to each tune.
In My Room is a welcomed collection of great performances, that not only are a treat to hear, but is music that can help the listener through its special tunings, you too can experience feelings of peace, or healing and even a sense of contentment on a deeper level. You may not outwardly know why, you just simply enjoy the music. With all the strife in life lately; it’s refreshing to have a cool dip in the musical pool of refreshment.