Ashu

Wednesday

SXSW Records

Ashu

Sigh of an Angel (Blue Frog/Sony BMG)

There's a generation of Indian musicians for whom Western rock icons like Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and the Doors (not so much the Beatles) are the popular-music models. With such rock touchstones, Mumbai-based multi-instrumentalist Ashu has managed to make the old new again on his 2008 debut, Sigh of an Angel. No slumdog millionaire, Ashu has little use for Bollywood beats, sitar strings, or finger chimes. The album opens like a David Gilmour dream with the atmospheric "Surfing on a Whisper," and "Fix Me" is a cracking, day-in-the-life track that sounds like David Byrne's baritone brother. ("I got strange thoughts going through my head," Ashu sing-chants. "I got a strange girl in my bed.") Electronic beats and female vox add seductive spice to the Space Age Morcheeba jam "Yello Jello." Some of the dance invitations come up stale, but Ashu's accounting of love and loss rocks. (Wed., Copa, 12mid.)

**.5

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