Featuring a drumbeat that could make anyone a fan of their seductive swing, Ananda Xenia Shakti and Love Power the Band are determined to make a moody melody even sexier in “I Am Love,” the closing cut and highest-trending track from their new record Love Is Where You Are. Although steeped in a springtime pop sensibility that affords other songs like “Devi” and the title track a little extra bounce where they need it the most, Love Is Where You Are often feels like a perfectly balanced collection of light and dark themes, the best of which, mind you, come together in an emotionally charged juxtaposition of melody and mindful lyrics.
There’s a ton of duality to unfold in “Devi” and “Radha Grace,” but it doesn’t split the narrative in this record right down the middle – the opposite, truthfully. We wouldn’t be able to appreciate the depth of Shakti’s singing were she not put in front of so many conflictive aesthetical compounds in a track like the epic “Mahisasuramardini,” but this is a situation where she’s able to really cut loose and show us everything she can produce inside of an intricately designed arrangement.
You can’t stop the magnetism of a piece like Love Is Where You Are, and to be honest, I don’t know who would want to. Ananda Xenia Shakti and Love Power the Band have some retro elements to their sound that some will call too alternative for mainstream radio, but I think if they’re able to cultivate them beside the lyrical lashing they offer us in this record, this rookie offering is going to represent but a drop in the bucket of what they can accomplish together both in and outside of the studio. This EP poses more questions than it answers, but right now, that’s all we need Love Is Where You Are to do.