Raman's debut album, "Salt Rain," was nominated for the U.K.'s coveted Mercury Music Prize.
Raman's debut album, "Salt Rain," was nominated for the U.K.'s coveted Mercury Music Prize. This unprecedented accomplishment has now been exceeded, at least artistically, by her new album. "Love Trap" is, on the whole, a better record than "Salt Rain," and that triumph is shared by Raman and her producer, Sam Mills. Raman's performance is every bit as alluring as it was on her debut album, but her choice of material reflects her growing mastery of both North and South Indian music (Hindustani and Carnatic styles, for example). Raman seeks to fuse these traditions with Western music, and when she succeeds—"Half Shiva Half Shakti"—the result is spellbinding. Raman also performs two songs in English: "Save Me" and the title track. It is here, with Western arrangements, that the sultry, bluesy quality of Raman's voice is most delightfully evident. "Love Trap" certifies Raman as a world-class talent.—PVV