Though rooted in the traditions of North Indian classical music, this album adds a subtle modern twist that makes it more digestible to Western ears. Soul Searcher
consists of one 50-minute track that swells and recedes, evolving into an epic composition of almost otherworldly beauty. The music combines all the common elements of traditional Indian music -- syncopated tabla rhythms, droning tamboura, dazzling vocals -- with Shankar
's breathtaking violin melodies, then adds keyboards courtesy of Peter Gabriel
, who featured the violinist's talents prominently on Passion. Indian music has always had an influence over Western rock & roll bands, from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to Monster Magnet, and Soul Searcher
is a wonderfully accessible introduction for newcomers looking to delve into the genre.