CD: New2theBrain
Artist: New2theBrain


New2theBrainNew2theBrain has to be one of the most interesting and imaginative audio amalgamations I have heard in a while. Elements of pop, jazz, rock, R&B, hip hop, and world music provide a vehicle for lyrics that can be both poetic and profound at the same time, while covering a range of topics including social commentary, politics, personal growth, consciousness, and more. The characterization of it as: “sort of What the Bleep Do We Know (the movie) in musical form with exploration of how our thoughts impact our reality,” is a good comparison.



WaThe music is the “brain” child of songwriting partners Lawrence Stoller and Grammy-nominated producer and recording artist, Warren Dennis Kahn, known as Wa, who was the primary vocalist and instrumentalist on the project. Wa’s experience in the music industry spans more than 30 years. In addition to being a professional musician and songwriter, he is the owner of Banquet Studios, a premier sound studio in Northern California where he has recorded and/or produced more than 500 music albums, many with well-known international artists, including new age musicians Steven Halpern, Constance Demby, Paul McCandless, Michael Manring, and many more. Until recently he was an associate professor in the Music Department at Sonoma State University, and is currently a “Human Potential” trainer for the More to Life Foundation , an international educational foundation where he facilitates courses in personal growth and human potential as well as one-on-one coaching for clients spanning many international time zones and countries. He sums up the focus of the album by saying: “My care for our world and all of its inhabitants along with some extremely valuable knowledge about life are expressed in this collaboration with my long-time friend and songwriting partner, Lawrence Stoller.



Lawrence StollerWhen not engaged in songwriting and singing background vocals, Lawrence is an internationally recognized, award-winning artist who has pioneered the art of sculpting spectacular megagems, including several of the largest gemstone sculptures in existence. His work has been featured in numerous shows and galleries in the United States, from Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles to Fifth Avenue in New York, as well as international and museum showings, and can be seen online at But in New2theBrain he artfully sculpts songs instead of stone.


The recording opens with an earthy shamanic ambience on the title track, evolving into a hip-hop groove that segues briefly into a reggae beat complete with steel drum accents. According to the duo: “the lyrics speak of how our perceptions of reality impact our reality.  Our thoughts, beliefs, and visions of our future and what is possible create an enormous range of how we experience quality and creativity in our lives. We have a collective impact on our world. We invite joining in a common vision of what is possible when we get off our resistance, embrace reality as it is, and bring our best selves to Life.”

I particularly liked a line that is a relevant message for our time:

“Self-realization is the name of the game
How ‘bout a little more compassion and a lot less blame.”


I was impressed with the tone and versatility of Wa’s voice which can recall John Lennon one minute and David Bowie the next – and that’s just on the first song! In the course of this article, while I’ll be making comparisons with other artists as points of reference, there can be no doubt that this is one very original sounding and unique recording. But it’s hard not to think of Steely Dan as the second song, “We’re All In This Together” kicks off – especially on the verses. A jazzy funk groove punctuated by a horn section sets the stage for lyrics that speak of the essential unity of all life. The tune also features a tasteful jazz-rock electric guitar solo by Jim Surles. World music influences abound on “Fresh Philosophy,” a bouncy mid-tempo number that is somewhat reminiscent of Peter Gabriel with a refrain that speaks directly to a situation prevalent in our society:

“Can’t get enough of what I really don’t want.
Can’t get enough of what I really don’t need.”


Precious WaterIn contrast to the four groove-oriented tunes that precede it, “Precious Water” is a lovely ballad, which as the title implies, is a tribute to one of our most valuable natural resources. A music video with stunning nature photography can be seen at the New2theBrain website. As mentioned earlier, politics and social commentary are also present on the album, as represented on “Politics Un Unusual.” Astute observation laced with sarcasm make for a somewhat humorous but painfully true assessment of reality that would be right at home on an album by Frank Zappa. The pendulum swings back again on another touching ballad entitled “If Only He Could Cry,” which explores the phenomenon in our culture about boys being taught to repress their emotions and hide their tears. This is not a subject that is usually found in popular music, although not surprising in the context of this album, given Wa’s background as a human potential trainer and coach. This song also highlights another facet of his diverse vocal ability. And speaking of vocals, I enjoyed the soulful female background singers on another Steely Dan-ish track called “Deliver Me,” as well as on “One Earth One Sky.” This last one was one of my favorites and is an anthem to the oneness of Life in the spirit of “We Are The World.” The song also includes special guest vocalist Tony Lindsay and percussionist Michael Carabello both from Santana. I particularly liked the imagery that was created in the lyrics of the first verse:

“Take your brush and paint your mark
On the canvas of this world
Bring the colors of your heart
And touch me with what’s real.”


The 15 songs on the album are so lyrically rich that it would be impossible to cover them all here. But suffice it to say a lot of topical terrain is traversed within. I also have to give credit for the level of production and musicianship on this recording – absolutely top notch. It’s obvious that a lot of work went into this creation, and it shows. While I’ve known of Wa’s work as a producer, engineer, and instrumentalist, I was pleasantly surprised by his formidable vocal talent– perfect for this kind of music. The album’s powerful and positive messages speak to many aspects of the human condition in a way that inspires change, both personal and planetary. According to Wa and Lawrence: “ We love working together to explore the meaning of life and find the joy in expressing what we find.” New2theBrain is an uplifting fusion of diverse influences and inspired songwriting that will have your head nodding, both in rhythm and understanding.