Learning piano through the British school of music since the age of 4, Anjali Ray’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. After performing in venues throughout Chicago and Los Angeles, Anjali began a career as an engineer, which enabled her to embrace her greatest gift to date – motherhood. She recently seized the opportunity to create a full length album of songs inspired by her experiences as a wife and mother. The title in question is “Indigo,” with 10 first class pieces of music.
The CD starts with So Long, which is a humble beginning for what comes alive as the disc wears on. It’s just not near the best track but the disc has to start somewhere. It really starts to take off right afterward on Indigo Boy, with its ever weird arrangement that somehow miraculously works. It almost goes over the top with melody all over the scales, but it never loses ground as it flies high with excellence. If you’re going to be an adult contemporary singer, this is how it’s done. There are some influences but nothing too blatant. The songwriting reminds me more of Sarah McLachlan than anyone else, and I like her. The lyrics on this album are fascinating as well, every song tells a story of intelligent word. Track 3, Immortalize Me, is yet another beautiful track with some of the best singing this side of Billy Holiday. And Float is just as good in its completely different way. I’ve really never heard anything quite like some of this, and plenty like it as well. There is a perfect balance between vocal majesty and songwriting that of which could not go together any better than achieved here. Things take a turn with the slinky strings of The First Day, with its battery recharging effect.
The Indian factor makes this one all it can be, I can imagine a bonfire burning with Indian drummers sitting around in a circle with Anjali singing in the round. It’s a masterstroke, simply mind blowing in every way. This album is full of great sounds, and The Best Is Yet To Come and Fear stand out among some the best on offer, as both contrast one another within the same confines. I’m not a big fan of the cover but I wouldn’t judge this book by it. I really am just left wanting more from this extraordinary artist.