Singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Manish Vyas had been recording for years, often in collaboration with his labelmate Prem Joshua. But Sattva is actually his first album as a solo artist, and it shows the growth and maturity that came from his years of work as a collaborator and accompanist. A virtuosic tabla and santoor player and a very fine singer, Vyas is also an excellent composer of both devotional and vaguely romantic songs. Here his emphasis is on devotional chants and songs of praise to Krishna, most of which are slow and contemplative, some of which have a slight edge of electronic funk. At the former extreme is "Karuna," a lovely unmetered song that Vyas improvised in the studio at an unplanned moment; at the latter end of the spectrum are the rippling "Tumi Bhaja Re Mana" and a beautiful setting of the mantra "Om Namo Narayana," which uses violin, voices, percussion, and understated electric bass. Very highly recommended.
by Rick Anderson