Sunday, March 28, 2010

Anjulie - "Boom" (Single Review)

I love and welcome music suggestions from friends and readers, and take each one into consideration. But  when a friend of mine texts me that a certain song makes her "want to rape my boyfriend," I sit up and take special notice. After following this..."solid" endorsement, I find that while I have acquired no particular desires for enforced sex acts upon any significant others, I have stumbled across a pretty kickass song, and after a bit more poking around I ended up doing something I almost never do (and virtually never with a new artist): I bought the whole album.

Anjulie is, at least in my early opinion, one of the best things Canada has unleashed upon the US since health care reform. Of Indian and Guyanese descent, she also fills for me personally the huge void I have been longing to see filled in pop music by an Asian singer (I thought back in 2003 that Stacie Orrico, singer of "Stuck," was actually Stacie "Uriko," and was sorely disappointed). She has the swagger of M.I.A. and the exotic appeal of Santigold but with better vocal ability and a musical style that is more solidly pop without her sound ever seeming anything less than new and fresh.

The video for the single "Boom," from her self-titled debut album, is a whimsical jaunt through surrealism and sensuality with neither conceit coming off heavy-handed, largely due to the instant mixture of charm, likability and sensuality embodied by the caramel-colored ingenue, who appears amid colorfully dreamlike scenery without ever taking a bite. That same quality, as far as I've gotten in the album (which I plan to review in full), permeates her songs, be they mysterious and semi-erotic like "Boom" and "Heat," slinky and dance-groovy like "Rain," upbeat throwback like "Some Dumb Girl," or piano-lounge intimate like "Crazy That Way." Since I like what I'm hearing so far, and because my friend obviously needs a bit of sexual release, and because it's just a great song for a warm March evening, here is Anjulie's great first single, "Boom." (Boyfriends, beware!)

Trivia: Although "Boom" has not broken into the Hot 100 (nor have any of Anjulie's singles) and the album has reached just 108 on the Billboard 200 (still respectable for a self-titled debut of its kind), it proved a big hit on one of the narrower niche charts, hitting number 1 on the Dance/Club Play charts in 2009. "Rain" peaked at number three and the Bimbo Jones remix of "Love Songs" broke the top ten as well.

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