Putumayo’s India is a pretty country. Sounds move gently. People do not shout. Their voices are low and soft. No one is messy, everyone is considerate, and even the tablas prefer to bloop slowly rather than go off into rattling spasms. The mood is romantic, candlelit, occasionally lively. There is no harsh folk music, no piercing woodwind, no sweaty Bauls, nothing classical that is not transformed into something resembling filmi music. If sweet, sleepy filmi India is your idea of India too, then this is going to be a nice compilation. And at least it gets us away from the holy filmi trinity of Lata-Asha-Mohammad. But be aware that Putumayo’s India is not India per se. It never pretends to be. It’s the India of the tourist brochure.
// Notes from the Road
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