Consumer Guide Album
Vijaya Anand: Asia Classics 1: Dance Raja Dance [Luaka Bop/Warner Bros., 1992]
I get my kicks on Globestyle's Golden Voices of the Silver Screen, but I'm too much a creature of my own culture and counterculture to enjoy the strings. Anand's synthesizers, on the other hand, are obviously world music, and this very rock-era composer, dubbed Jude Matthew by his Catholic schoolteacher father and Victory Ecstasy by himself, is a pomo dream. Does he have no shame? The usual amount, probably; the usual amount of taste, too, given his unusual amount of formal training. But in a classic pop meld of artistic innovation and audience appetite, he'll try anything. He doesn't exploit a Vegas-soul horn chart or Indian mode or bluegrass run or Eurodisco beat or the anonymous ur-soprano of a thousand previous soundtracks or any of countless other distinct usages, strings included, because it'd make a cool juxtaposition. He just thinks it'd sound good there, and most of the time he's right. Makes you wonder why John Zorn bothers.