Monday, January 10, 2011

CD Review: Grammy-nominated Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon

Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call

A recent Grammy-nominated album, Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call, is a delicious journey of ancestral significance that draws upon ancient syllabic chants to formulate songs with different Indian ragas. A classically trained Indian vocalist, Chandrika K. Tandon, brings a soothing and intriguing voice backed by incredible instruments including sarod, sitar, esraj, violin, tabla, and various drums and flutes. Each track begins with a relatively slow pace with limited instrumentation and vocal accompaniment, but every song satisfies the soul by picking up the pace after a short time. The classical compositions are relatively modern in form and do not follow the typical raga pattern of solo sitar and vocal accompaniment. Chandrika K. Tandon's vocals are never grating or unwarranted. The Sanskrit chants and modern instrumentation strike a perfect balance between old and new without resorting to pulsating dance music or a boring and dry solo sitar and voice performance. However, a faster paced "Basanth Mukhari" might border on a Bollywood anthem with some flamenco and Central Asian elements thrown in. Overall, Soul Call is an excellent soundtrack for hope and peace in the New Year. ~ Matthew Forss

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