Amal Lad is one artist who doesn’t need to rely on singing himself, rather he let’s his guitar do all the talking and emoting on his behalf! The first thing you will think of when you hear the album is that the guitar feels and sounds like it is an extension of Amal himself. The way Amal plays it, his guitar comes to life. Amal breathes his own life and emotion into every strum of the guitar and you can sense it on every track. At times, you often forget that the guitar is actually an inanimate object!
“Complex Simplicities” is mostly an instrumental/classical based album. It is a great debut for an artist who, I’m sure, will only get better with time!
Overall – 4.5/5
Track #1 – Lift Off – 4/5
Amal’s mastery of the electric guitar is evident from track 1, which is most definitely “Lift Off” for a great career in music and guitar. While vocals seem too dominant early in the track, the focus on the guitar returns later in the song. It was wise to give time to some solo guitar playing around 2.5-3 minutes into it to reveal to the listener Amal’s talent. When you focus solely on the guitar in this piece, you truly get exposed to just how talented Amal is as a guitarist.
Track #2 – Take Me Away (feat. Ambika Jois) – 5/5
“Take Me Away” was the perfect title for this track, as it will take you away from reality into a more serene world. The drumbeat, vocals, and guitar are a picture-perfect marriage in this tune. The tonal quality of the vocals was the right fit for the song, and enhanced an already amazing piece. Amal displays a knack for knowing exactly which tone in an electric guitar is best suited to a particular song. No complaints on this track.
Track #3 – Close Your Eyes (feat. Ambika Jois) – 4/5
This track gets a 4/5 because having been exposed to Amal’s guitar prowess in earlier songs, the listener wishes for even greater focus on his guitar playing. The vocals were also stronger in track 2 than track 3, hence the 1 point subtraction. Still, a great track to listen to!
Track #4 – Toy Soldiers – 5/5
B.B. King ought to run for his money, because Amal’s guitar playing on this track is flawless. The tonal quality of the guitar and control Amal showcases in some complex fingering combinations proves that he is one guitarist to be reckoned with. There are not many western musicians, let alone Indian musicians, who are able to breathe such life into a guitar. “Toy Soldiers” is the best track on the album.
Track #5 – The Rajasthani Song (Bonus Track) – 4/5
“The Rajastani Song” is a bonus track on the EP. It’s a good track, but the guitar is drowned out by the vocals. Hence, a slight decrease in the rating. However, it still garners a 4/5 because it successfully evokes the feel of villages in Rajasthan.
Overall, a truly successful debut for Amal Lad.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE – http://www.amallad.com/
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