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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

Falu

By Robert Kaye
Published January 14, 2008

Falu
Monsoon

Falguni Shah, (a.k.a. Falu), is undoubtedly a talented vocalist/performer. Trained in the Classical Indian vocal tradition—a challenging artistic discipline demanding many hours of practice—she also sings pop songs with authority. On her debut solo album, the New York singer and her musical cohorts embrace both musical camps. Their gamble works quite well, mostly. “In the Rain” starts off in a pop mode, with Falu’s vocals becoming more traditional and melismatic during the song’s climax. The album segues between classical Indian and more overtly pop-sounding trinkets some even lean towards country&western. More successful are the East/West fusion and traditional pieces such as “O Lal Meri.” Here, Falu’s vocals dance with her male counterpart’s in a charming call-and-response. She shines impressively, hitting heart-touching intervals as the two voices meld passionate harmonies. Like Suba Sankaran of Canada’s Autorickshaw, Falu is a talented Indian-trained artist deserving of attention.