Lal: Warm Belly, High Power (2005)
This Canadian group's nondescript moniker might serve as the antithesis of what it really represents. Led by the angelic pop/rock vocals of Rosina Kazi, the band draws upon multicultural musical influences to fuse a pleasantly unique and melodically savvy blend of electro-pop, complete with dream-laden themes. In addition to ethnic percussion and thumping beats, the artists pursue EFX swashes and treatments, often resulting in a cavalcade of spacey contrasts. You'll hear subliminal bossa nova motifs, misty vocals, open-ended synth ornamentations, and other delicacies. They also frame futuristic-like rock grooves atop East Indian ragas, complete with muted choruses and more.
The album concept is subdivided into songs based on the four seasonsand they do capture the respective seasonal auras, especially if your imagination is willing to reformulate the band's muse into a personalized abstraction. Their breezy sound, garnished with nicely-placed studio effects, crunching guitars, funk vamps, and upbeat techno pulses, does indeed strike a proverbial chord. Yet this is only their second release in four years, and it would be a shame if the ensemble took another lengthy hiatus between studio projects.
Electro-pop with a master's degree.
Track Listing: Orange; Brown Eyed Warrior; Forget To Say; Pale; Creep; Saturn; Raindrops; Faithful; Musty City; Shallow Water; Dancing The Same; Invincible; (Bonus) BEW Epilogue Think Bloodline; (Video) White Cloud Intellect.
Personnel: Rosina Kazi: vocals; Nick Murray: various instruments, effects. With Santosh Naidu: various instruments, effects; Rakesh Tewari: various instruments, effects; Nilan Pereira: various instruments, effects; Ian De Souza: various instruments, effects.