From Switzerland but born and raised in India, Ajay Mathur, the much-admired prolific and Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, surprises us with this release called Common Mistake from his current multiple award-winning album Talking Loud. In November 2022, Common Mistake won the prestigious The Artists Forum Music Competition 2022 in New York in the category rock/alternative. On December 17, Ajay Mathur received an incredible 4 awards at the jury award ceremony of the 40th German Rock & Pop Award 2022. Talking Loud won in the following categories: Best English-language Album of the Year 2022, Best Alternative Album, Best Crossover Band and German Alternative Award.
In Common Mistake, Ajay seeks to question societal values which some may see as the reflects on Common Mistake: ‘As a cultural collective we tend to make the common mistake of looking in the wrong direction or assuming that certain things in life are set in stone by the virtue of convention or tradition, when we are searching for meaning. Common Mistake hits home when it comes to reflecting on the national psyche, especially in the age of entitlement, self-focus and fear. This attitude is magnified and laid bare in the song as it asks uncomfortable but consequential questions.’
As for as this release is concerned, it’s a retro sounding track thanks to the great use of organ and electric guitar, with the instrumentals providing a solid foundation for Ajay’s bold and powerful vocals. It’s upbeat and fun and it contains a deeper message with engaging lyrics. The production values are clear, and there is a skilful mix of vocals and instrumentation which complement each other, both to the foreground but neither seeking to dominate. In fact, as a vocalist he feels relaxed, almost laid back, in stark contrast to some of the hard-hitting questions about life and values asked in the punchy lyrics. While the overall sound may feel somewhat retro, the message very definitely is not, and so the final impression is a relevant, energising engaging whole.
Mathur manages that rare skill: Tackling real-world issues without preaching or sounding less that up-beat. He is every inch the professional, every inch the rock star, and he wears it well. This is a performer at the top of his game in very aspect of the performance. This track, and indeed the whole album, very much deserves all of the accolades received and should definitely be part of every discerning listener’s collection. Whether you are a rock fan, or simply appreciate great music, this is one not to be missed.
Review Made by Lucy Cicioni
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