Modern Indian pop (as opposed to the traditional Indian classical music one is likely to associate with sitar icon Ravi Shankar or devotees at a Hare Krishna festival) comes in many different forms. Some Indian pop can be quite energetic; bhangra, for example, thrives on funky exuberance. But the selections on Putumayo Presents: India spotlight the softer, more relaxed, and understated side of Indian pop. No one will mistake the material on this compilation for bhangra; from Susheela Raman's "Nagumomo" to Sanjay Divecha's "Naino Sey" to Bombay Jayashri's "Zara Zara," a laid-back ambiance prevails throughout Putumayo Presents: India. If one is looking for non-Indian comparisons, some good ones include Sarah McLachlan, Enya, Beth Orton, and Dido; Putumayo's picks could easily be described as an Indian pop equivalent of adult alternative or adult contemporary. Most of India is vocal-oriented, although the compilation detours into instrumental territory on Satish Vyas' "Homeward Journey" and Deepak Ram's "Ganesha." The latter is the closest that India comes to traditional Indian music, but even that track is essentially instrumental Indian pop. And the use of traditional acoustic Indian instruments like the sitar and tabla drums on some of the selections doesn't make the disc any less pop-oriented. Not that there is anything wrong with an Indian compilation being pop-oriented -- a lot of highly rewarding music has come from the Indian pop scene, and the word "rewarding" easily describes the memorable songs that Putumayo chose for this 42-minute CD. One wishes that the disc lasted longer; given all the worthwhile music coming out of India, Putumayo could have easily provided another half hour's worth of music. But if India is short on quantity, it isn't short on quality; all things considered, this is yet another thoughtfully assembled compilation from Putumayo World Music. – allmusic.com
Record label, Putumayo is committed to helping communities in the countries where the music originates and have contributed more than one million dollars to non-profit organizations around the world.