How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With its program of popular songs by Leonard Cohen and Anjani Thomas, Blue Alert settles in gently for an audience in love. Don't look for sheets of riveting sound to fill the room with propulsive action, or thunderous backbeats to shake your bones in a fascinating rhythmic groove. This is not that kind of album. Anjani's performance brings out the beauty of each song through natural means as she warms with piano and keyboard in support of her evocative vocals.
Anjani's clear alto voice creates a beautiful session that sparkles with natural charm. She pours country feeling and blue emotions into each selection, interpreting lyrics convincingly and offering wordless phrases to complement her tales with a solid caress. The accompaniment is kept to a minimum, so that we may remain in touch with her voice. And it works. The lovely session reveals a natural voice in touch with a broad audience. She touches everyone with her unique ballad interpretations.
Born in Honolulu and schooled at Berklee, Anjani plays piano and keyboards to accompany her dreamy vocals. She sings with the honesty of a folk singer in love with her songs. "Thanks for the Dance comes with a mesmerizing waltz-time rhythm. "The Golden Gate takes a look back at fond memories with a positive glow. "No One After You professes undying love through poignant lyrics that Anjani interprets convincingly. "Crazy to Love You adds a string quartet for a dash of color; however, the focus remains on Anjani's lovely voice and her vivid interpretations.
Track Listing: Blue Alert; Innermost Door; The Golden Gate; Half the Perfect World; Nightingale; No One After You; Never Got to Love You; The Mist; Crazy to Love You; Thanks for the Dance.
Personnel: Anjani: vocals, piano; John Lissauer: baritone saxophone, clarinet, keyboards; Greg Liesz: lap steel guitar; Danny Frankel: drums; Bruce Dukov, Brian Leonard: violin; Pam Goldsmith: viola; Larry Corbett: cello.