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Ajay Mathur

Little Boat

Review by Gary Hill

This album covers ground ranging from folk rock to blues based stuff and psychedelia. There is a bit of an awkward vibe to a lot of the vocals, but that's only a minor quibble. Overall this is pretty effective in a DIY way.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Here's the Love
Americana and surf guitar seem to both be present on the guitar sound of this cut. The vocals have a DIY kind of vibe with some solid hooks. This has a classic rock texture that works well. It has a good energy and serves the set well in the opening slot.
Forget About Yesterday
With a blues rock vibe and some harmonica, this makes me think of "Willy and the Hand Jive."  It works out mid-track into some psychedelic exploration on the main musical themes. Some more harmonica emerges amidst that segment.
Start Living Again

More of a melodic rocker, there is quite a bit of roots music in the mix here. It's all delivered with a definite psychedelic bent, though.

Grooving in Paris (All My Choices)

The horns on this piece are a nice touch. It's an energetic cut that has some jazz elements along with French cafe leanings. The thing is, it's all delivered in a vaguely Beatles-like arrangement.

Little Boat

The title track is almost proggy in nature. It has some intriguing melodic rock sounds. There are some cool changes, too. I love the killer instrumental section later in the track. The sounds of waves lapping at a boat end the piece.

There We Are (Do It Right or Not at All)
There are some awkward moments in the early, mellower parts of this cut. It works out to stronger stuff from there. This has folk music along with Beatles-like stuff. The guitar solo is very jazzy.
My Wallet Is a House of Cards
This rocker feels a bit rough around the edges, but manages to work well despite that fact. It makes me think of Dire Straits just a bit at times.
Ordinary Memory

Another that's a bit awkward, this piece has a lot of psychedelic rock in the mix. It's not bad, but far from a standout.

While I'm Still Standing Here
Folk rock and psychedelia merge on this piece. It's a cool one.
All Your Thoughts
Acoustic guitar based, harmonica adds a lot to the mix here. This starts off as a down-home blues piece, but eventually works out to more of a folk rocker.
Who's Sorry Now

A trippy psychedelic introduction with bits of world music starts this thing. There is a galloping rhythm element. It moves to a psychedelic folk styled arrangement for the song proper.

Time for Deliverance
A blues rocking cut, this is classy stuff. The saxophone brings some great flavor, and so do the female backing vocals. This is arguably the strongest piece here.
Kartehuus (My Wallet Is a House of Cards)
This is the earlier song, but with lyrics in a different language. Somehow it seems to work better in this format for me. I really love the slide guitar on this thing.
 
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