One of the hardest genres for artists to cover in music is something that often bears the name of intelligent or sophisticated pop. Essentially, it is a genre that usually covers the ground from pop as such through rock, jazz, classical music, and anything else in-between.
But to be able to do such music requires both equal (and hefty) amounts of talent and musical knowledge. That is if you want your music to have any possibility to sound good and appeal to listeners.
Leap of Faith may be “only” Arnab Sengupta’s third album, but in its eight tracks, he shows that he certainly has both the talent and knowledge to produce high-quality sophisti-pop akin to some of its best and well-known progenitors like Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren or those lesser-known proponents like Chicago’s Aluminum Group.
That talent element is something you’ve got or not, but that knowledge element with Sengupta, who now operates from Sydney, Australia, certainly lies in the fact that he’s an alumnus of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the fact that he has been involved with music for over 30 years now, something that certainly helped him assimilate music deep into his pores.
“For Leap of Faith I wanted to try out some new styles and sounds. The creative ideas for the songs on this album have spanned over 5 years, which entailed my migration to Australia, my experiences of setting up life in a new environment, my learning and regular practice of Vipassana meditation, and dedicating my musical direction to learning and practicing jazz piano,” says Gupta.
That jazz-influenced vibe is felt throughout this album, particularly on tracks like “This Way” or “Alone But Not Lonely,” where Sengupta also shows some incredible vocal and instrumental skills. The long line of collaborators on the album at no point lag behind and also show Sengupta’s arranging skills, something so essential for an album that covers such a wide musical ground.