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Susheela Raman - Music For Crocodiles

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Susheela Raman - Music For Crocodiles
(c) Narada Music, 2005

The Bottom Line

Susheela Raman's smooth and mellow music carefully balances Classical Indian Music with modern sounds. Her songs are thought-provoking, and speak about love, rootlessness and spirituality. All this loftiness of lyric and music, though, does not take away from the catchy pop sensibility that Raman manages to achieve.
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Pros

  • A deft blend of Carnatic music, jazz and pop.
  • Brilliant songwriting.

Cons

  • None.

Description

  • Classical Indian instrumentation over modern pop and funk beats.
  • Sensuous vocals and intensely beautiful lyrics, set to both jazzy-pop tunes and ragas.
  • Pop sensibilites that make the album extremely accessible.

Guide Review - Susheela Raman - Music For Crocodiles

Why Susheela Raman is not an international pop superstar, in the age of world-pop crossover sensations like Shakira, is beyond me. Few musicians manage to blend such an array of styles and come out with something as listenable and thoughtful as Music for Crocodiles.

Susheela Raman was born in London to South Indian parents, but soon after moved to Australia, where she grew up studying Carnatic Music. Eventually, she discovered funk and soul music, but as an adult, re-discovered Carnatic music and began to blend the genres together.

Music for Crocodiles features a great deal of classical Indian instrumentation, including tanpura, veena and mridangam, as well as western instruments like the guitar and the cello. The Carnatic influence is clear, with raga licks weaving through the background of the songs, but ultimately, this is a world-pop album through and through. Raman's sultry vocals, in English, French and Tamil are the tie that bind the album together. All in all, this is a rich and dramatic album that both hardcore world music fans and those who know nothing about the genre are sure to enjoy.

February 7, 2006
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