Sunday found me cooking up a batch of Haitian hot sauce (Sauce Diabolique) for yet another office potluck. As I prepped the habaneros, I had Baluji Shrivastav's Classical Indian Ragas -- Shadow of the Lotus playing on the stereo. I know, I know. It's that Baluji Shrivastav.
As I've noted on many occasions, my taste in music is pretty varied. I either really like world music or dislike it. I don't have many in-between spots. This release fell into the "don't like" category, but not because the sitar-fueled, overly long songs (the shortest is eight-and-a-half minutes long, while the longest is pushing a half hour) didn't deliver the level of classic that was promised. No. It was because I didn't even know it was on. The music here is more subtle than what you would find playing in some New Age book/crystal cleansing store -- as if such a thing were even possible. Background music has a place, but music you can't even perceive on the most minute of levels? That's not good. In the beginning I even had to check to make sure the CD was working properly.
I know there will be someone out there who likes the five songs here. Perhaps they can go into great detail as to why this release is one of the most underrated of all time. I'd love to hear that argument. I'd love to be swayed by it. I don't think it will happen, though. Anyone attracted to this is bound to have a personality as nearly as non-existent as the music, and that doesn't bode well for the swaying.
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