On his latest record 9 to 3, Switzerland based singer-songwriter Ajay Mathur has written an energetic album that bridges together a wide variety of influences to create a record that shows his passion for music and a talent for his craft. 9 to 3’s opening song “Sitting By Your Cradle” is a pop tune that has a laidback feel with nods to an early Elvis Costello influence and as we listen, it’s obvious that Mathur knows how to write a catchy song that hooks you in right from the start.
“My World (SOS To The Universe)”, the release’s next track, is a darker sounding song that while sounding interesting has one flaw that drags the tunes overall feel down. Towards the end of the song, we hear children chanting “sos” on an almost continuous basis until the track finishes. While that’s an interesting component to add since Mathur’s music has many different pieces to it, it doesn’t quite mesh with the creative vibe that Mathur is trying to get across. Cringing as we listen, we cannot wait for “My World…” to be over.
The records next track is a slower tune that is appropriately called “Sleepy Moments.” While Ajay is wonderful at getting his crowd energized, he also wants to make sure his audience has been exposed to his slower cuts, and while the ballad style songs are few and far between on 9 to 3, its artsy guitar riffs and pretty sounding female vocalists, present a different angle to Ajay and his work. As we sway back and forth to Mathur’s intricate guitar parts, we know that he has the ability to write great slow tracks for every mood and emotion.
“I Mantra” is 9 to 3’s closing song, and where Mathur has stayed with the pop genre for most of his record, this tune is where he introduces his Indian roots, including a sitar, a traditional Indian instrument adding a more complex piece to the puzzle that makes up his latest release. Clocking in at over six minutes long, the song feels like it goes on too long to keep our attention, though at this point we have grown accustomed to Mathur and his long, but still creative tracks, as he tries to illustrate that he can do his craft well.