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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Review: Connor Desai - Connor Desai

Connor Desai – Connor Desai
2007, Connor Desai

Seattle’s Connor Desai has been warming up Northwest winters for music fans for several seasons now. In 2007, she broke onto the scene with her self-titled EP, Connor Desai. Desai has one of those sultry jazz voices you expect to hear in a seedy jazz club on a Saturday night; a dusky alto that might have been a key to success in any era of jazz. Partly the wanton-woman neo-torch toughness of Fiona Apple and partly the ultra-smooth style of Norah Jones, Desai brings a little sass back into vocal Jazz/Pop.

Desai opens with Trouble Is, exploring a deep and powerful crush that causes you to wake in the wee hours of the morning thinking about no one else. The vocal line and musicianship are A-1, and Desai captures this scenario in picture-perfect fashion. Do I is all about a relationship in transition. The narrator is trying to figure out what she feels, and the hesitation speaks volumes. At All features a lush vocal line set against an almost minimalist arrangement, allowing every nook and cranny of Desai’s voice to shine like the sun. The melancholy and self-doubt of the song almost seems to magnify the emotive qualities of her voice. Wake Up is a funky bit of jazz with enough pop sensibility to make it to the airwaves; it’s a wonderful bit of songwriting and one of the surprises of the CD. Will You Love is more in the Norah Jones style but with more vocal dynamics and a bit more chutzpah. Desai closes out with Deviance, a lush song about the darker side of human nature. Desai crafted this song with a dissonant undertone that eventually becomes a consonant yet separate part of the harmony. The line, like deviance itself, starts out as a musical anomaly, only to become a working part of the full character of the song (or person), separate yet nearly inseparable from the rest. This is the highlight song of the album and some of the most subtly ingenious songwriting you’re like to hear.

Connor Desai has a voice that will floor you, and a songwriting ability that will keep you interested once the novelty of her voice has subsided a tad. The potential for greatness is here, and has already actualized on her first CD, Connor Desai, easily one of the best Jazz/Pop hybrid albums of the past few years. We here at Wildy’s World are excited to see what comes next!

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Connor Desai at You can purchase a copy of Connor Desai at


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a nice article!

Connor Desai said...

Indeed. Thanks, Wildy!

My next album (full length) is set to release soon, and you can find information about it, and what I've been up to here:
(there are some pretty saucy fans on there, so you - yes you- should be one too!)