A simple yet effective high-sailing guitar line begins the upbeat first tune, “Sooner Or Later,” off Ajay Mathur’s 5th full-length album, Talking Loud.
As I often do (if they are written well), I respond to ballads better than a rocker, and Mathur’s early slower “Don’t Want The Phone To Ring.” with its jangle guitar, slow beat, and heart-on-his-sleeve confessional lyrics, makes for a very good little tune. His lead guitar, perfectly placed here, as he does place it throughout Talking Loud, is not to be underrated either.
There’s some real innovative drumming and percussion from Fausto Medici on the bluesy pop of “Ain’t Going,” Mathur slips in some neat field recordings and backing vocals on the title track, with its wild horns and bass keeping the funk moving, and “I Need You Now” is a fun, snappy pop love tune that opens with a cool glissando and delivers a John Hiatt-like sing-along-like chorus. Here the backing vocals of Adriana Husy and Patrizia Scarnato add just the right color, as do Kalyaniit Das’ sitar and Sandip Banarjee’s tabla. I just love the thick layering of these interesting instruments on such a tight little pop tune.
The sly slinky “Common Mistake” shows off Mathur’s more wry side; it’s a good jazzy rockin’ tune (I love the “yodee yoyos”), “Comedian” sounds cool but might be a little too hung up on how odd it sounds, although Toni Nesler’s and Stevie Blackie’s insane sounding strings are wicked.
A tinkling piano and a heavy beat on “Anytime At All” delivers a sweet piano ballad, later on, another of the better ones on Talking Loud, which offers many great tracks.