July 10, 2007

Album Review: Anjani - Blue Alert

Originally released in 2006 on one disc, this 2007 reissue of Blue Alert comes with a bonus DVD that features intuitive interview footage with Anjani and the album’s lyricist and producer, Leonard Cohen.

As an album, Blue Alert resonates with sensual warmth, blending Anjani's fluid feminine voice with Cohen’s sagacious lyrics. Anjani's sultry inflections accentuate the album's adult observations on intimacy, love, and remorse. Illustrating Cohen's legendary clout with language, Anjani shines, most notably on "Never Got To Love You," which, in part, says, “The memories come back empty/Like their batteries are low/It feels like you just left me/Tho’ it happened years ago”. The album, as a whole, offers a plethora of equally crafted lines and phrasings.

The accompanying DVD features a mini-documentary, “The Making of Blue Alert,” which more than compensates for any additional cost of this reissued 2-disc set. Directed by Lian Lunson, who also directed the feature-length documentary, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, this short film includes insightful commentary by both Anjani and Cohen. While Anjani’s recordings are highlighted and discussed, Leonard Cohen’s lyrics underscore the entire endeavor. Thus, it’s Cohen’s observations on the album that seem the most pertinent and, given his stature, most valuable. Two brilliantly shot music videos, for “The Mist” and “Thanks For The Dance,” round out this impressive bonus disc.

While the bonus disc provides worthwhile insight into the making of Blue Alert, it’s the balance of lyrics and music on the album that ultimately shines brightest. And given Anjani's impeccable vocal delivery, this album deserves its own suite in Leonard Cohen's tower of song.