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Now Hear This: Little Boat - Ajay Mathur

Rating: ***1/2

Swiss singer-songwriter Ajay Mathur is fresh off a grammy nomination in with a new LP called "Little Boat".

Reading his one-sheet and bio, I have literally no idea how I've never heard of this guy before. I mean, the dude is critically acclaimed and was nominated for a freakin' grammy for chrissakes!

That aside, I go into this review with fresh views and a fresh perspective. What he's done and accomplished in the past means absolutely nothing to me as I'm all about the record in front of me and that's "Little Boat".

Let's see what's up with this one.

Watch the music video for "Forget About Yesterday" on Youtube here:

"Here's the Love" kicks things off. It's melody-rich for sure. It's got a Randy Newman feel that I really like. It's just good songwriting. It's refreshing. "Forget About Yesterday" is the first single off the album and it's got a delightful Jimmy Buffet vibe to it with almost a hand-jive melody line. "Start Living Again" is an earnest track about heartbreak and rising from it. This guy can really spin a yarn. Impressive songwriting. "Grooving in Paris" relieves us of some of the heavier tones of the prior track with a mid-tempo jam that continues the record's theme of strong melody with excellent lyrics. Title track "Little Boat" is next and it's back to a more contemplative tone. Another strong track. "There We Are" is track six and it's a thoughtful ballad. This one doesn't move me like it's meant to I'm afraid, but it isn't bad. "My Wallet is a House of Cards" is an uptempo rock and roller. I really like this vibe for him. "Ordinary Memory" is another ballad and it's my favorite one thus far. "While I'm Still Standing Here" has a Beatles tone to it that I really like. This album has been very strong so far. Number 10 is "All Your Thoughts" and it's one of my least favorite tracks on the entire LP. Actually, it definitely is. If you're gonna skip any of them, this would be the one. "Who's Sorry Now?" has a world music feel to it, but it doesn't capture me either. We've reached a slow point on the good time train here. "Time for Deliverance" picks things back up a notch, but it's still not nearly as solid as the middle portion of the album. The last track is "Kartehuus" is a version of "My Wallet is a House of Cards" is his native tongue and it's just as good this time around. Great way to end the album.

I wanted to give this album 4 stars but the slow points towards the end made it impossible. I still liked it a lot and give it a strong recommend but I'd be lying if I said it would have been better as a ten-track record. In any event, I think fans of singer-songwriters like Randy Newman and Burt Bacharach will really dig it.

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