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World Music CD Reviews South Asia

SHEETAL

By Jill Ettinger
Published January 20, 2006

Love Of Ages
Triloka/Artemis

Indian traditional music gets yet another upgrade, this time on Sheetal’s debut solo record, Love Of Ages. This American-born Indian embraces her North Indian Gujarati musical heritage with a syrupy American twist, transforming 10 of some of the most revered ragas into a sometimes tiring montage. Former vocalist for the LA-based band Zen Cowboys, Sheetal shows consistent strength as a singer here, albeit one that’s supported by an unimpressive recording. With an uncanny Enya-esque vibe throughout (“Raghuvar Tumko Meri Laaj,” “Shri Ramachandra,” “Jai Ram,” “Hey Govinda”), Sheetal’s new age fusion results mostly in lots of echo-y vocals and cloudy ambience dripping over repetitive mantras and generic drum beats, leaving the listener yearning for the real deal. The two tracks that make the album worthwhile are “Ganesh” and “Hari Krishna.” The title track, sung in English, boasts the lyrics “in life after life, in age after age my soul has remained enamored.” If only her record was half as enamoring…