Anjali

World of Lady A

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A photo accompanying Anjali's The World of Lady A pictures a busty, tattooed, pouting brunette in a retro-glamorous dress, and the voice heard on the opener is a breathy purr similar to Kahimi Karie (sample lyrics include "you can do what you want with me" and "king of hearts/oh, won't you take me"). Looking closer, however, it becomes clear that, in the photo, Anjali is standing in front of a mixing desk, and in the credits, she's the producer and songwriter for the entire album -- plus some guitars, plus synth, plus a string chart on one song. Obviously, this is not the sex kitten of 30 years ago, or even ten. Yes, Anjali's looks and sensual voice may draw listeners in, but the songs and productions on her third solo album, The World of Lady A, prove she's much more than just a passing fancy. Her songs come from an organic band rather than Kahimi Karie's sample-driven pop. And using the same musicians on most tracks, she quotes the grooviest sources for her songs: swinging '60s pop, Bollywood funk, Ennio Morricone, and the brassy bombast heard on many early-'70s rock records (the Who's "My Wife" comes to mind). The material is stronger than expected, as are Anjali's voice and singing instincts. Though it references some of the most ephemeral music forms of the last few decades, The World of Lady A has the unmistakable air of a fastidious pop craftsman.

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