Record Review: Various Artists — ‘Whirlpool’

A collaboration between Ron Whitehead & The Storm Generation Band and Shakespeare’s Monkey — which is fronted by poet William Sovern — Whirlpool features 18 tracks of spoken word. Most of the backing instrumental aspects are sparse and minimalistic — although it can get heavy and dense at times, too — with the focal point being on the two poets, Whitehead and Sovern, who use the album as a way to add a little extra punch to the rhythm and power of their voices and the impact of their words. It’s a wide-ranging collection that’s a great entry point for newcomers and a familiar ride for longtime fans. —Scott Recker