Anjali The World of Lady A

Oh, holy kitschy ’60s lounge and psychedelia adorned with sitars! Anjali Bhatia, or Lady A as she calls herself in the album title, is a Brit of Indian heritage whose second album places her right in the middle of a tropical old-skool James Bond theme party, I swear. The mix of surf rock guitars, epic big band-style arrangements, grandiose horns and Anjali’s voice ensures this shiny record will make you want to run for your martini glass and beach slippers. More than the decadent instrumentals, it is Lady A’s signature breathy, high and sultry voice you’ll remember after the disc is done. She can be coy (as on the track "Asian Provocateur”) or ethereal (as at the end of "Rani of Jhansi”) and still be deadly sexy. However, that breathy style keeps her stuck in a caricature of a vixen with come-hither eyes to accompany her come-hither voice. The simple rhyming scheme of her lyrics, which deal with comic themes, coupled with that voice only works to show that Lady A has a little growing left to do. The hip-hop injected "Hymn to the Sun,” a song written and produced with Spykid, is the standout on the album if not for its quality than for its contrast with all the other spy film tracks. Overall, more than one song on this album would do well plugged into an Austin Powers film, which can be fun if you’re in the right mood. (Wiiija)