Somesh Mathur, Time Stood Still Review
by Shannon Smith
Somesh Mathur, fondly called Panditji has devoted his life to the discovery of new vistas in the field of music. A guru of Indian Classical Music and voice culture. A scholar at heart, Somesh combines the discipline of a classical singer with the thorough professionalism of an M.B.A. graduate. His creativity and panache stem from the environment in which this child prodigy has been brought up. His illustrious father, Pandit Sarvesh Chandra Mathur is an exponent of the Agra Gharana. His talented mother, Smt. Sudha Mathur is a Violin maestro, being one of the foremost disciples of one of the greatest doyens of Indian Classical Music – PANDIT V.G. JOG. Their encouragement saw a 4-year-old Somesh give a virtuoso performance of a Chota Khayaal a classical rendition in Raga Durga.
His discography includes: Ek Nayi Baat (1986), NAZAR MILAA KE MAGNASOUND (1998), Music Mehfils, Vol. 1 (2014), SOMESH MATHUR – MY WORLD (2018), SOMESH MATHUR – Love Me Blue (2018), SOMESH MATHUR – MANN: THE MESSIAH (2018) EP, and now TIME STOOD STILL (2018). Time Stood Still was recorded in Los Angeles and Produced by Scott Kinsey.
“What’s With The World” is a powerful example of Mathur’s magical relationship with music and lyrics. Starting with a relaxed groove that incorporates R&B and jazz-fusion into a musical flow that is mesmerizing. Mathur’s vocals have a strong presence to them, he emits authority and a technical command that is felt as much as it is heard. The lyrics are positive and elicit spiritual connections. The bridge is magical. The band gets into a funk and jazz-fusion space that Mathur speaks over. The tune develops to include influences and sounds of Sufi and Indian classical music. This is the perfect blend of East meets West that is absolutely musical.
“Sweet Beats” is a wonderful up beat selection that features Steve Tavaglione’s delightful flute work, vocal harmonies, an expansive song form and highly impressive vocalizing by Mathur add to the delight of the track. Mathur’s command of the Indian Classical techniques and scales combined with R&B rhythms are in full form here. The track has male and female background singers that Mathur sings counterpoint to in soulful phrases. The band lays down a feel that is both danceable and sophisticated. The lyrics are interesting and have inner meanings that are just as enjoyable to explore as the many layers of music that create the multiple sections of the songs form. Powerful music that will make the soul sing with ecstasy and exuberant vibratory joy.
Time Stood Still is a beautiful mixture of different styles of music, including Sufi, Indian Classical, Ghazals, R&B and jazz fusion. Vocalist Mathur offers a honied vocal style that unites the captivating variance of music contained within Time Stood Still.