Sheila Chandra

Indipop Retrospective

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Much of Sheila Chandra's artistic career has been centered around the Indipop label (run by her partner, Steve Coe). After her initial success with Monsoon, and bookending her time with Real World, it's been a home for her since 1984. This 12-track collection illustrates both the cohesion and development of her style. After the exquisite vocal of "Lament Of McCrimmon/Song Of The Banshee" that opens the disc, this collection moves into the more abstract form that's typified much of her singing, and evidences a lot more Indian influence than elsewhere in her work, whether from 1985 or 2001 -- it's stayed very much a constant. What is interesting that that, toward the end of the disc, she puts in "Village Girl," a sharp contrast to everything that's gone before, inasmuch as it has more of a conventional song structure, and seems simplistic and naïve next to her other work. But it's followed by the previously unreleased "Crescent Silver Scythe," whose 2003 copyright can only refer to release, since it sounds as dated as "Village Girl." To be fair, the ‘new' track is essential only to completists, since it doesn't illuminate any fascinating facet of her music. And for those with computers, the disc is enhanced to include a video for "Lament Of McCrimmon/Song Of The Banshee." This makes a good companion to Chandra's Moonsung disc, covering her Real World years.

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