The first thing I thought when I got "Obey the Cattle" was: "Whoa. This is a small release." I didn't really mean it in
regards to its length, as it's plenty long. I meant it in the way the CD has been put together. This CD features ten songs,
none of them titled. 9 of these songs are instrumental, with a guitar being the main instrument. There is only one painting
as album art, no thank-you's, no lyrics, and not even any pictures of the man. The only words on the entire album are on the
spine (which clearly tells us that this is "Obey the Cattle" by Rajiv Patel), and on his record label's insignia (Sunset Alliance).
So, this is a very unassuming release. That's rather odd, as Mr. Patel is very, very good at playing his guitar, and good
guitarists are usually full of themselves. But not this time: Patel continually amazed me with his humble, mellow style that
borrows heavily from Indian (India the country, not Native American) music. The music gives you a feel of drifting away, which
is very nice.
The problem with this is one that plagues many instrumental albums: It all runs together. And not only does it all run
together, but as you get to the songs farther and farther into the album, it gets harder and harder to enjoy. It's already
a peculiar playing style, but once this peculiar style is over-exploited, it just becomes hard to swallow. Once you finally
break through the shell (around the 6th listen to the album yes, I have spent that much time listening to this album) all
the subtleties break through to you, and this becomes a stellar release, full of intricate touches. It just takes a long time
to break into, Like Radiohead, only less pretentious.
Best Feature: Unique guitar playing.
Genre: Instrumental Indie-rock
Label: Sunset Alliance
It's clear that Mr. Patel wants us to judge the album as a whole instead of judging songs alone. The impressions left
after listening to the album all the way through:
- He's a really, really good guitarist.
- He's really hard to get into.
- If you take the time to get into it, you'll REALLY like this.
If Mr. Patel were to push his album, it would probably sound something like this: "You know, you could...maybe....buy my
cd....cause it's cool music......perhaps......". And that's a tragedy, cause this deserves much more laud than it has received.