Anjali 

The World of Lady A

The world of Lady A -- British-born chanteuse Anjali Bhatia -- is a deliciously decadent dimension where Russ Meyer directs James Bond flicks on the streets of Calcutta, and orbiting spacecraft are equipped with fur-lined cocktail nooks, hot tubs, and Martin Denny LPs to facilitate swanky zero-gravity copulation.

Sprawling strings, horn blasts, spy-surf guitar, galactic theremin, go-go garage grooves, blunted beats ... you say you've been in this neck o' the woods before? Well, yeah, the album is heavily steeped in a modish mix of trip-hop, acid-jazz, and lounge exotica, all wrapped around sex-kitten coos that would make Brigitte Bardot blush. But Anjali breathes new life into tired genres with her quirky incorporation of sitar, tabla, finger cymbals, and other traditional Indian sounds. Furthermore, she has a flair for tight songwriting and intriguing, dynamic production -- she's not just window-dressing for a coupla paunchy studio dudes.

The mood is far from uniform: The instrumentals whoosh by like exhilarating car chases through narrow alleys, while other tunes laze seductively on baroque-pop sofas. There's even room for the Primal Scream-like menace that grips the brilliant "Ain't No Friend." Make sure your schedule is clear when you step into Anjali's sensual World, because you won't wanna leave any time soon.

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