On our minds and on our playlists
“Nothing lasts forever. No one lives forever. The flower that fades and dies. Winter passes and spring comes. Embrace the cycle of life. That is the greatest love.’’
After three minutes of hallowed chants and orchestral overtures, those are the first words you hear Tina Turner intone on her collaborative new album, “Beyond.’’ She sounds so regal that you’ll be forgiven if you suddenly envision Turner in her full “Thunderdome’’ regalia. If there’s ever been a performance that screams “big hoop earrings and metallic shoulder pads!’’ this is it.
But it’s not intended as a bit of camp. Quite the opposite: “Beyond’’ is an album of Buddhist and Christian prayers set to spiritual music with Turner joined by singers Dechen Shak-Dagsay (a Tibetan Buddhist) and Regula Curti (a Christian).
Released overseas last year, “Beyond’’ will be out in the here on Sept. 14 through New Earth Records. It’s a fascinating exploration of interreligious understanding, but it’s also a highly esoteric project. The music is immaculate, and, of course, there’s the shock and novelty of hearing Turner chanting prayers and delivering spoken-word interludes.
That’s not too surprising, though, given Turner’s long association with Buddhism. “What’s Love Got to Do With It,’’ the 1993 film adapted from her autobiography, ended with a scene featuring Turner reciting the Lotus Mantra. Still, when you hear her transformation from secular to sacred, it’s astonishing to realize how far she’s come since “Nutbush City Limits.’’