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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vivek Shraya - If We’re Not Talking
Release Date: May 15th 2007
Label: Skinsongs

At the core of If We’re Not Talking, the new release from Toronto-based Vivek Shraya, is an electro fireball about ready to explode. Perched in a position that borrows the mainstream experimentation of Justin Timberlake and the independent sensibilities of the underground electro scene, Shraya has crafted an album that wastes no time introducing him as a star for the modern age.

Unlike Timberlake, Shraya’s music is uncluttered by trends and catchphrases. Instead of trying to fit into the mainstream, he shows us why he should already be a part of it. Opener I Won’t Envy forgoes elaborate production for a simple, hook-driven melody. Things only get better from there. Your Name (featuring backing vocals by the latter half of fellow Canadians Tegan & Sara) melds rock and electronica in the perfect summertime recipe, while tracks like Chemistry and Scratch offer edgy dance grooves and playful, charismatic vocals. They’re songs so heated that you can practically feel the sweat dripping off of them. When Shraya slows down, as on the achingly beautiful closer SOS, he shows off both the stunning tone of his voice and his gorgeous, simple melodies.

A perfect record for the heat of the summer, If We’re Not Talking shows exceptional promise and deserves acclaim not only from indie circles, but also the mainstream, where Shraya is undoubtedly capable of heading. People may not be talking about it so much yet, but I doubt whether that will last much longer. B+

Key Tracks: Your Name, SOS, Fevered


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