Anjali Ray


Anjali Ray

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What would Sade, Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos sound like if they had been raised in India? Anjali Ray, raised in New Delhi till the age of 10, draws on her extensive training in classical piano, Indian Hindustani classical vocal training, and occasional moonlighting as a jazz pianist to create emotional and haunting melodies. Learning piano through the British school of music since the age of 4, Anjali’s early musical foundation was later strengthened by the contrast of her Indian vocal training, enabling her to begin writing her own songs and communicating in a way words alone never can. Her songs are sonically captivating, blending rhythms and music from east and west. Her lyrics mirror the challenges, struggles and joys we all face in our lifetime, and combine with her powerful, angelic voice to yield a soulful and honest product. “Indigo” is an Indian spirited effort with remarkable results. The CD begins with So Long and doesn’t exactly impress at first, but before it’s over you’re won over and ready to roll. But track 2 is another story, and a good one it is, Indigo Boy is a big track full of some of the most unique vocals and music to ever be heard together. It might be that I’m just not very well versed in Indian influences, but it seems about as out there in left field you can get within the confines of popular music. Track 3 is the amazing Immortalize Me, with some witty lyrics and a compelling vocal delivery is easily as good as the previous track but inherently different in every way. At this point it’s already clear that Anjali has a voice unlike most that can also write a song to match the quality of. This is a chilling ballad that will grab you from beginning to end. It follows with nearly an equally good but completely different number called Float. It talks of Facebook and other different ways to love and leave someone. The First Day is as hardcore jazz as it attempts to get on “Indigo,” and it’s a refreshing track that along with a few others stands all the way out on its own. Most of these tracks could easily be singles, so take your pick, they’re all good pieces of music behind a singer that many would only dream to compete with. My favorite would have to be The Best is Yet To Come, it reminds me somehow of a combo of Tori Amos and Frank Sinatra.

And then the second half is steeped mostly in slower numbers but they get more heartfelt as they go, culminating into 21, and Reality. Two of which also captivate, as they all do. The whole disc features some excellent piano and percussion, Indian drums and background vocals to describe it all. And it’s pure contemporary superiority.

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Scott Prinzing

Score: 9/10