“I’m here, I’m here, I’m here…” That’s how Shilpa Ray starts her new album, praying for her New York minute, begging to be seen, announcing her presence. Her voice is distinctive. It’s not full of gymnastics, it’s not astonishing in terms of pitch or quality, but the way she uses it…It’s full of emotion and reality. You know her. You know Shilpa. And she has a lot more to show you.

Then she moves into telling us about “Morning Terrors Nights of Dread,” and we get a story that’s so personal and so specific that we’re there, with her, in her dream…Even though she is singing, “I want to fit in the picture of someone else’s dream.” No she doesn’t. And we’ve all been there, experiencing reality a little too much. Being a little too present. It’s scary, but we know we’re alive.

And life is what breathes through this album. This is a woman who is alive and wants us to know it. And by telling us, maybe she’ll realize her own vitality.

By the end of this second song, she’s screaming and we can tell she’s got a voice full of power, range, and excitement. She was holding back before. Now she’s in the room with us.

And from now on, the record never lets us go. She recently was interviewed on NPR where she walked through the entire record, track by track. It’s a great read. And this is a great album. A GREAT album.

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