Tracks:

  1. What Silence Said
  2. Music For Crocodiles
  3. Light Years Intro
  4. Light Years
  5. The Same Song
  6. Meanwhile Intro
  7. Meanwhile
  8. Chordhiya
  9. Idi Samayam
  10. L'Ame Volatile
  11. Sharavana Intro
  12. Sharavana
  13. Leela

Review:

Susheela Raman's latest release "Music for Crocodiles" falls in line with her previous works "Love Trap" (2003) and "Salt Rain" (2001). It's a soothing blend of ethnic downtempo flavors with bluesy Indian embellished vocals. With its intricate and ear catching music, this album has many strong points, but surprisingly, unlike her previous releases, Susheela's voice is not one of them.

Susheela's voice, usually very prominent, sultry, and dynamic, misses these elements in much of "Music for Crocodiles". She sings out of her natural range, often dropping too far into the lower registers of the musical scale where she exchanges her natural vocal sweetness for lackluster notes. Susheela simply sounds more melodic when she sings in the middle/higher registers of her vocal range. Sure you can fool yourself into liking it but, it just doesn't work.

However, Susheela and this album do shine at times. The track "What Silence Said" captures her passion and dynamic range well. The beautifully arranged instrumental music behind "Music for Crocodiles" keeps you listening with its sonic international grooves and it showcases many well known artists from all over the globe including Africa, India, and the UK. Although worldly, her Indian heritage shines through because she partially recorded this album in India and included authentic Indian artists. Surprisingly, this release has significantly more English vocals than any of her other works. Roughly half of the tracks are in English which is great for people who love to sing along. However, staying true to her muti-lingual style, the rest of the tracks are in French, Tamil, and other Indian languages.

In summary, "Music for Crocodiles" is rooted in the soothing global music that she is known for, but unfortunately has lackluster vocals layered over masterfully arranged instrumentals. While some will enjoy her latest release, just as many will find it unstimulating and frankly, mediocre. Susheela Raman is a remarkable artist with an extremely unique sound; our only hope is that she will better use her expressive and soulful voice in future releases.

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