By Kylee Dawson
The Violettes (self titled) (Team Clermont)
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
The Violettes (self titled)
7 out of 10 stars
Sounds Like: Portishead after eating bad Indian food
See Also: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Portishead, Jonas
The more I listen to this album, the more I realize how badly many bands suck right now. So I've decided to drop out of college and move to Minneapolis where I can associate with unadulterated indie bands like The Violettes.
Fronted by singer/multi-instrumentalist Sarah Khan, this band brings Eastern and Western sounds face-to-face and is getting significant Minneapolis airplay with "Jugamuga." The primary reason I give this album props is that I absolutely love the rockin' groove of this song, among others.
Under the influence of her Pakistani father, Khan primarily grew up listening to Indian music, specifically old school Bollywood tracks. Then one day the girl picked up a guitar, and has been trying to rock the Twin Peaks ever since with the help of a great drummer, a guitarist/sitarist and a bassist/cellist.
Khan primarily plays keys on the album, but sings impeccably on practically every track. She even does her Tori Amos impression on "A Thousand Times No," which intermingles traditional Indian sounds with some pretty cool drumbeats.
Besides The Violettes' signature sound, another admirable quality is the fact that no two songs sound alike. The surf punk of "The Deep Blue Sea" puts you in the mood to watch "Pulp Fiction."
"In Sh'Allah" (an Islamic phrase that roughly means, "God willing") has more of a new-wave ballady sound. "Pretty Flowers" covets a sort of Portishead creepiness and the organs on "Sunday" remind you of church, even if you've never been inside one.
Trying to cash in on the whole eastern new age sound ain't easy. But The Violettes managed to successfully pull it off by proving that being versatile also means being talented.