Anjali Ray’s album Indigo offers something more than listening pleasure. It’s a spiritual experience. This isn’t too surprising as she comes from a Hindi background, infusing her music with a Western hemisphere, Asian-fusion sound all her own. There is a warmth to her soothing vocals, both uplifting and seductive. It takes more than one listen to Indigo to truly appreciate the messages in her lyric-driven record. Give the album a first listen for the production alone as well as her haunting voice. Allow the second go to value Anjali’s honest portrayals of heartache, fears, and optimism.
While set worlds apart – or at least hemispheres – this East meets West sophistication is elevated by universal themes that folks from every corner of the vast globe can recognize. In a social media-important society and age, not only do human want to feel connected to those on other side of the planet but we’d like to be more recognized than them. “Immortalize Me” understands the fear of death while leaving our accomplishments behind to be savored. We are fame seekers and we know it. “Kiss me while I ask of you, what only you can do, hold me in everlasting size, immortalize me.” It’s like the apprehension of dying comes second to the fear of being forgotten.
And speaking of fear, the eclectic album showcasing jazz, pop, and blues all over the map shows Anjali at her strongest vocally with “Fear.” Slow and melodic and altogether haunting, Anjali expresses: “I never rattled the chains on my soul, pulling me under, I can’t see the show…Broken, repentant, the mind twists and turns, the ashes still smolder with lessons I’ve learned.” Whatever she means, her vivid imagery take you on an almost cinematic journey of expression.
“21” evokes a nostalgic view of that oh so transitional age. “We climbed aboard,” Anjali begins of a train station memory. “Bound for the stars, you can’t believe that your looks holding out this far” She further sings it’s “too beautiful to explain,” just as this song is too pretty to write about. “So Long” is Anjali’s best written song and radio-friendly track on Indigo. It has a timeless feel that could have been written in the 70’s or 80’s or 90’s or even today. It’s poignant and tragic rolled in one about trying one’s best to love someone with all that she can before having to give up. It’s worth repeated listens.
Anjali’s Indigo is a different spin on what should be considered mainstream. Here, the Indian singer hits all the right notes, taking the listener on a train ride across the world with themes, genre, and emotional flight.