Tara Priya :: Tara Priya

TaraPriya-TaraPriyaTara Priya’s self-titled debut album opens with the sweet roll of drums, before Priya, 23, wistfully wonders aloud,

“Sometimes, the world is bringin’ you down, down to your very knees, and maybe you’re thinkin’, ‘Well, maybe, just maybe…'”

Fun and playful, ‘Rollin” is a great single for the album. Equal parts soul, jazz, and R&B, the track is powerful and intentional. It may be about a lost love – one of Priya’s many recurring themes – but in the end, it’s also optimistic.

Even the video for the song is sunny and spirited – it depicts Priya (literally) rolling her heart around the city. But the true treat of the video is that it shows Priya at her arguable best: performing.

On stage, the girl is a wonder. She pushes her audience to the fullest edge of energy – everyone is dancing, singing, clapping, and bopping around.

And what makes Priya’s music especially amazing, is that she has this effect on listeners through her record, too.

‘Memories’, for which Priya won the coveted John Lennon Songwriting Contest in September 2010, is a strong track, flanked by a solid horn section and the sweet plucking of a guitar. The ballad deals with the painful memories that lag after love, but Priya still manages to infuse her sweetness into the song. It’s that contrast lends itself to the jazzy feel of the song.

And, not to mention, the lyrics, which so accurately portray the empty feeling of one who is gone:

“Arm on my shoulder / Feet on my floor / Face in the darkness / Your eyes from the door, oh / Nothing’s here / And still I’d swear, / You stick around / Though you’ve left me.”

Meanwhile, ‘Wounded’ has more of a gritty blues sound. It’s certainly one of the more mellow tunes on the record, but it’s still uplifting. Priya’s harmonies meld perfectly with the upbeat drums, and the sanguine pluck of an electric guitar.

Still, one of the hidden gems on the record is the reprise for ‘Rollin”. It’s much quieter than the single, and it doesn’t incorporate the ‘big band’ sound that Priya’s famous for; but, it’s just as good as its original counterpart.

Again, the track opens with Priya’s wistful thoughts:

“Sometimes, when the world is at your back, and on your shoulders, and at your door, you feel like everybody’s trying’ to attack you. And even when you believe in yourself, you start to doubt, and you think maybe, baby, just maybe…”

The lyrics may be the same, but it sounds like an entirely different song. Where the original is sunny and sweet, the reprise is darker. Where the original looks optimistically toward the horizon, the reprise is more retrospective.

The reprise is simpler, more grassroots. It displays Priya in a different light. It pulls her out of the gracious sweetheart role, and plops her into one of a strong woman – a strong woman with a solid set of pipes.

Keep checking back for Raz Mataz’s exclusive review of Priya’s latest record, Run Like Hell, and our interview with Priya herself!

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