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Anjani Thomas

  • Blue Alert

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    Anjani Thomas

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    Blue Alert 7 ( 2007 )
    Blue Alert / Innermost Door / The Golden Gate / Half The Perfect World / Nightingale / No One After You / Never Got To Love You / The Mist / Crazy To Love You / Thanks For The Dance

    This collection of tasteful piano/elevator jazz music, sparse and bare, serves as the bed for Anjani's quiet yet powerful voice and Leonard Cohen cribbed lyrics. Leonard gave Anjani ( longterm member of his band ) his blessing and she walked away with poems, journals, etc. Leonard tinkered a little here and there with the music, she tinkered with his words, but largely, she wrote the music and he wrote the words. His phrasing is all over the album and shows just what a great writer he can be. The title track is the clear winner. The lyrics alone are the glue that holds the piece together, the music is almost incidental. These words have their own mind and rhythm. Let's make one thing clear, this isn't an album for everyone. It's bordering on easy listening, were it not for the Cohen lyrics. Cohen himself will often say the only weak point on his own albums is his voice. Anjani, fine as her voice is technically, disproves Leonard Cohen's theory. We like his deep, growly and cracked with age vocals, they lend his material an extra layer of personality. The vocals of Anjani are perfect and perfectly dull and that's the problem. Still, with lines like this ( there's perfume burning in the air / bits of beauty everywhere / shrapnel flying, soldier hits the dirt / blue alert ) who cares what kind of voice is singing the words? Her whispered style works well for this title track, incidentally.

    Apart from this masterful title track, 'Thanks For The Dance' also seems to benefit from Cohen's presence, even without him being there. Overall, the entire album is accomplished and you certainly couldn't say it was poor or below par in terms of playing, production or performance. Everything acheives what the artist likely set out to acheive. The album rewards patient and above all, quiet, listening. If there is anything else going on in the room you're listening in, be it a conversation or mere breath, the album suddenly slips away from you. 100% concentration can totally draw you in and give you a wonderful, thought provoking time. It's not always convenient to have to switch off the world in order to appreciate a record album. For a critiscm, that sounds extremely churlish. I'm giving the album a positive '7' but wonder where Anjani will goto without Leonard as a mentor?

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    this page last updated 15/07/07

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