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Lal Meri

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Album Review

Singer Nancy Kaye (who has recorded pop and jazz albums under the pseudonym Rosey), keyboardist/programmer Carmen Rizzo (of Niyaz), and keyboardist/programmer/trumpeter Ireesh Lal (Hot Sauce Johnson, Animastik) came together as a trio in 2006 and named themselves after an ancient Hindu folk song. As one might expect given their wildly disparate backgrounds, the sound they create together is a delicious mishmash of elements: Kaye's singing style harks back explicitly to the teasing, slightly nasal blues-jazz style of 1930s torch singers, while the supporting grooves created by Rizzo and Lal are a seamless blend of South Asian instruments, techno beats, layers of synthesizer and strings, and crunchy drum loops. On paper this may all sound like a run-of-the-mill East-meets-West worldbeat project, but the resulting sound is actually both unique and richly, consistently entrancing. On standout tracks like "Dreams of 18" and the gorgeous, liltingly funky "Give Your Light," Kaye's dark, sly, sexy voice contrasts nicely with the kaleidoscopically varied backing instruments, while "Rainbow" brings in a more rockish flavor and "Take Me as I Am" incorporates elements of 1960s psychedelia without sacrificing any of the album's edgy funkiness. Nor are the lyrics anything to sneeze at: lines like "I could say I'm sorry but it wouldn't be true" are quite a bit sharper than what one normally encounters in this kind of pan-continental dance music. This is a thoroughly impressive debut from a major new force in electro world fusion.

Customer Reviews

Trip-Hop to Reggae to Lounge

An amazingly haunting voice that is so sultry and smooth. I loved almost every track. Somehow I didn't come across this until 5 years after the release. If you like Supreme Beings of Leisure, or Morcheeba, you'll love Lal Meri.

Lal Meri, Lal Meri
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