'By themselves, djembe percussion and congas can evoke outdoor festival background sounds. But when worked into a pattern with other strong elements, they lend a sort of tribal authenticity to their surroundings. That's the case with Daniel Frechette's drumming on Eileen Motok & Intuit's new release, Universal Themes; it becomes a supporting player rather than jam band white noise, buttressing Aaron Bond's strings and Motok's rich and varied voice. And varied it is. Motok's voice shifts shapes like ectoplasm, lilting high and siren-y on disc opener Ash Cave, getting sing-song-y with Ani DiFranco-accents on the groovy silly song Life on Mar and rocking out on Matthew. She even gives spoken word a try on the not entirely un-rap-like Triangle. Which achieves a more aggressive stance by pronouncing the hell out of all the rhymes. But a truer pleasure lies in her voice's line-to-line, word-to-word fluctuations. It's as if Motok opens her mouth and windy days and rivers just come rushing out. Lyrically, Motok favors mythic, spiritual, and eco-friendly themes (as evidenced by such titles as Me and the Earth, Mother Spirit, and Scatter the Seeds), but everything she says is overshadowed by how beautifully she says it. It's an eloquent enough performance to engage audiences from beyond the folk-oriented circle that will surely embrace the album. Occasional flute (hey, you can't sing about 'warrior spirit' without having some flute in there, can you?) and harmonica round out the Intuit sound. The album ends with a drum machine-driven remix of the title track, which sounds a little jarring after 10 tracks of warm, live instrumentation. But after the weirdness wears off, it's an awfully cool song--suggesting, as the spoken word does, an interesting new direction for Motok & Intuit to explore in future albums. Or perhaps future lives. After all, they seem to be doing just fine with this style.' --J. Caleb Mozzocco, Columbus Alive, June 20, 2002.