Review Summary: All in all Ashu's debut-album is Opulent, lucid and at times unsettling. His mystic sound scapes artfully weave stories of love and loss, of hope and fear: stories that are at once intensely personal and invitingly universal. "Sigh of an Angel" is rooted
Mumbai-born composer and musician Ashu's music is at once refreshingly simple as well as multi-faceted and deep. More than anything i would call him perhaps a poet. I'm sure most reviews start with people jumping straight into the sound and the melody but for ashu i would have to begin with his lyrics. It's a pot-pourri of his own poetry inspired by life experiences,mumbai's fast paced environment not to mention his fantastic sense of humour(best show-cased in his amusing song 'fix me' which seems to have a deeper underlying meaning as well.)
To categorize ashu under just the one genre of alternative rock would be debaucherous. He introduces hints of pychdelic pink floyd-inspired rock,electronica,chill-out and a lot of ambient in his music as well. His music encompasses all your senses at once and i'd be surprised if you didn't find yourself being slowly pulled into his world.Once you get to that place where he truly intends his music to take you one notices even a hint of of some jazzy touches and his timing is quite flawless.he seems to deliver the right amount of energy just when you find yourself slipping into a lazy mood with the ambient part of it and vice-versa. this aspect is really most clear while watching him live.And speaking about his live perfomances...Ashu's on-stage energy and theatrics during live performances are as adrenalin pumping for the audience as they appear to be for him. For him, a show is not simply about his music but the entire experience of it,what with live acrobatics and fantastic visuals almost distracting one from the music but somehow,somewhere along the lines,his eccentricities when it comes to his shows simply clicks.
The album ' Sigh of an angel" is his debut and it is rooted in duality, existing in fantastic worlds that are intimate, expansive and rich in their visual imagery. Personally i would recommend his more soulful tracks on the album rather than the more energized ones like 'Epiphany,' ' Surfing on a whisper' and ' I missed you.' Not to say his more humorous and faster-paced songs are not worth a listen. 'Fix me' ( the only track on the album which has a released video so far) is funny, funky, groovy and jazzy, the odd-timed song will definitely keep you coming back for more. (P.s.- The video's defintely worth watching too, comical and different to say the least.here's the youtube link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC64oKSPdno).
All right, i know its impossible for an album to be deigned this great.I would be lying if i said there weren't any quirks but for which it would have been perfect. The order of the tracks on the album doesn't seem set quite right and in some places the sudden shift from elctronica-influenced to soulful to sometimes jazzy gives it a slightly confused feeling but honestly thats an easy quirk to overlook if you're simply listening to the individual tracks rather than the album as a whole.
I would urge anyone planning to give it a listen to really hear the lyrics as well as the melody because it truly adds the oomph to his music,and if you can catch him live all the better!
Accompanying Ashu on this album are flame-haired Australian artist Aurora Jane, Internationally acclaimed Jazz guitarist Sanjay Divecha, Ashu's long time composing partner and guitar maestro Dhruv Ghanekar and drummer extraordinaire Lindsay D'mello among others. So really,even if he doesn't appeal to you too much his partners in crime most certainly will!