The debut long-player by Indian-born and Euro-bred soul singer Asha Puthli is a wild mix of electric, funky grooves and mystic spaceship R&B. Puthli, who contributed vocals to Ornette Coleman's Skies of America album, and Columbia tried to establish herself as an international pop star with this album. Utilizing her wide range and weird voice and an even stranger choice of material, Puthli came off as some soul singer turned sexy jazz maven who was beating a slick path to the dancefloor with sensibility not unlike Donna Summer's a few years later. This isn't so odd in and of itself, but when you consider her song choices: George Harrison's "I Dig Love," J.J. Cale's "Right Down Here" and "Lies," Jimmy Webb's "This Is Your Life," and Jim Weatherly's "Neither One Of Us Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye," among others, and arrangements and backing that don't even closely resemble the originals, you have one very strange album. The best track is "Lies," which is full of screaming, wailing, yelling, and completely freakazoid echo, compression, and phase shifter effects -- before Giorgio Moroder made them standard on every record. Puthli's jazzed-up rendition of Neil Sedaka's "I Am a Song" that steams over into an anthemic disco romp is a riot. This may be an album of its time, but Puthli is an original as a singer. She's a stylist at the very least, and, at most, a campy genius.
|Right Down Here / J.J. Cale||Asha Puthli|
|Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) / Jim Weatherly||Asha Puthli|
|I Dig Love||Asha Puthli|
|This Is Your Life||Asha Puthli|
|Love Lies||Asha Puthli|
|Let Me in Your Life||Asha Puthli|
|I Am a Song||Asha Puthli|