agatha & tjoe

Live Review from Underground Detour 2010:U_Detour_075.jpg

Setlist:

  1. It Could Be Love
  2. Sundayride
  3. Butterscotch
  4. Overjoyed
  5. Red Bean
  6. Time

Usually, when you hear highly melodious singing and sweet guitars that don’t really have a pronounced style, you can conclude that you’re listening to some form of acoustic pop music. Mainstream, popular, and commercial are words that may come to mind (I shall refrain from using other epithets). However, sometimes you get to hear people executing such pop music with such ease and sincerity, it reminds you just why it’s so popular. I’ve always been of the opinion that you can tell a good (read: skilled) singer from the very first note they sing, and Agatha was no exception. With a rich and deep voice, that is not needlessly forced into higher frequencies, hers is a refreshing change from the female voices one normally gets to hear in this neck of the woods. So, while they may not cause consternate and challenge musical perceptions, they do what they do well, and that’s just as valid.

The guitar was ably handled by Tjoe (who, if I recall correctly, also plays for Pick Pak Zhai), although if they are to remain an act, he must incorporate more rhythm into his playing – songs like Overjoyed tend to suffer from the lack of it. As does the general sound, which needs him to play more major chords than barre, in order to round out the lower end of the soundscape. The guitars were arranged to flourish alternately with the vocal, and this made for some fascinating listening, especially on Sundayride, which had a lightly ska feel as well. To their credit, nothing was over-sung or overplayed, and this allowed songs like Overjoyed to be quite down-to-earth, much like Jack Johnson’s songs are. The offbeat strumming and greater attitude in Time bodes well for their musical future, as it had an accelerated rhythm and stronger singing that makes them sound a lot better, and it was on this positive note that their set concluded.

– Shashwati

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