Anjuli Dawn,
(Nova Aurora, 2004)

Anjuli Dawn is a young singer-songwriter out of the Detroit, Michigan area. In many ways, her music is reminiscent of Lisa Loeb.

Anjuli is still in her early 20s, but she has already had almost 20 years of musical experience. She began playing piano at age 5. Since then she has added guitar, mandolin and bouzouki to her repertoire. She began singing in her teen years and has a voice to match her expertise on her instruments of choice. Anjuli's third full-length album, Reason, was released in 2004.

One of my favorite tracks is the bizarrely named "Under the Name." These words are part of the lyrics, but they don't leap out at you as an apt title. What does jump out at you is the instrumentation as well as some well-placed quotes. The song starts off with "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" (attributed to "some psychologist") and ends with "Destiny's not a matter of chance. It's a matter of choice. It's not a thing to be waited for. It's a thing to achieve" (Eleanor Roosevelt).

"Here in My Temple" is a great guitar piece. There is some serious strumming going on. Anjuli sings with passion when she sings the chorus: "I am here in my temple, behind my guitar. And if you'll meet me halfway, I think I can go that far. Emotion is coming like a river. I'm gonna let it run. And if you are a mistake, you're a beautiful one." I almost get choked up as she repeats the last two lines multiple times. (This track often gets repeated at least once on my CD player before listening to the next one).

Anjuli wrote all the lyrics and played all but double-bass (Joshua Granowski) on Reason. At one point in her life, she had plans of going to college to focus on environmental studies. A car wreck a few days after her high school graduation changed her direction in life. Realizing that life was a blessing, she decided to focus on her musical talents. Maybe that car wreck happened for a reason. But wait, just two paragraphs ago, I stated, "Destiny's ... a matter of choice." OK ... I'm glad she was in a wreck (but not hurt past a point she couldn't recover) so that she made the choice to pursue a music career.

Anjuli Dawn might not be a household name like Brittany Spears or Jessica Simpson, but she is, in my opinion, a much more highly talented musician. Folk-rock is definitely underrated compared to pop. Of course, if you wanted Top 40 pop reviews, you wouldn't be reading Rambles. My guess is that you will agree with me regarding Anjuli. Check out her website and listen to samples from her third release, Reason, to find out what you think.

by Wil Owen
19 November 2005