Ananda Project

Chris Brann, the mastermind behind Ananda Project, is on a mission to produce at least four full-length artist albums this year. So far he's managed two: under his P'taah moniker, Staring At The Sun, and his most recent release as Ananda Project, Morning Light. Having previously worked under the guises of Wamdue Kidz, Wamdue Project, and Wambonix as well as his own name, he certainly has enough avenues to release material.

On Morning Light, Brann focuses on creating house music with a midtempo pace for grownups who may not necessarily be spending as much time in the clubs as they used to. Morning Light is an organic exercise that relies firmly on classic songwriting structures, striving for strong, memorable lyrics and hooks to gird its beats. This is achieved through numerous expressive and joyfully uplifting female and male vocal collaborations, most notably with Terrance Downs, Heather Johnson, and Sylvia Gordon. "Big Boat" and "Tangerine" in particular have a carefree vibe that sounds whimsical on the former and playful on the latter; both showcase Brann's lighthearted approach to the 4/4 formula.

With its softly rolling beats and pretty rhythms, Morning Light compares favorably to the Naked Music formula: sensual, dub-infused, and sultry deep house. But this album's focus on traditional songwriting should help it survive beyond the temporary shelf life of the dance floor to achieve heavy rotation in home stereo systems.