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"Pop - Anjani, Blue Alert"

by Jeff Miers

The Buffalo News

May 13, 2007
Former background singer and now soulmate and creative partner to Leonard Cohen, Anjani makes a startlingly gorgeous debut with Blue Alert, an album of aching torch songs wherein the singer sets Cohen's peerless lyrics to subtle, jazz-based piano arrangements.

It all works quite well, Anjani's often breathy delivery balanced by her seemingly intuitive ability to perfectly embody Cohen's muse. This works to sublime effect during "Innermost Door," a song which proceeds with a cadence that is very much Cohen-esque, Anjani intoning such lines as "When I am alone, you'll come back to me/It's happened before/It's called memory" with the poetic economy intended by their author.

The album's crowning achievement may be the folk-classical weeper "Nightingale," a perfect marriage of melody and lyric. It's all great, though, and serves as both an expansion of Cohen's gifts and a true talent's introduction to the world.

3 1/2 stars

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