Benjamin Norman | Washington DC | 06/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Swati brings to us what is, effectively, a wonderful accompaniment to Tori Amos' American Doll Posse. Where Amos' album is mostly giddy and upbeat, trying not to be too serious where she has been deadly serious before, Swati's album is pensive and somber, often vulgar, and very mood-altering. Tori dwells on the surface, Swati swims in the depths. But enough about Tori.
Swati opens her album with "Small Gods", which is an intense opener with a deep, dark, murky feel. Her voice is buoyed by an atmospheric array of noises that sometimes makes you feel like she's in outer-space, sometimes in a small windowless room. Her lyrical style here, and throughout the album, is very blunt and unforgiving. She doesn't coat anything with sugar here, however she also very rarely throws lemon juice in an open cut either. Through all it's intensity, "Small Gods" and the majority of the songs on the album are easy listens. There is one track, however, that stands out and forces you to take listen. "I'm On Fire", originally by Bruce Springsteen, is imaginatively transformed here into a deeply depressing, minimalist ballad that very much belongs on Grey's Anatomy.
I really won't say which tracks are standouts, because they ALL are. This album is one of my best purchases this year. Definitely check out the artist that describes her music as "Heavy Acoustic". There is some real beauty here, and you wouldn't want to miss it, would you?"