Sherni – Hard Kaur

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Born Taran Kaur Dhillon, this Meerut born’s success as Hard Kaur occurred when she returned to Indian shores after having based herself in Birmingham. Hard Kaur’s entry was quite dramatic too as she had one record label initiate promotional gigs in 2006, but the rapper signed onto another label, culminating with her solo debut, ‘Supawoman’, the following year. Since then, Hard Kaur has indulged in Bollywood as well continued a parallel career as an independent singer with evolving sounds from pop rap to – and in living up to her name – hard core as on “Sherni”, where the lyrics have been written and the music composed by the artiste herself. While her new musical identity and rap approach makes Hard Kaur’s sound leaner as on the existing arrangements of “Sherni”, her rapping has got tougher and more fluid, and the results seem to have worked on this song that appears to work well for an audience ready to accept an Indianised twist on Western hip hop.

Listen and Download the song here: http://bit.ly/2bigPDl

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Ehbaab – Sunil Kumar featuring Dalbir Virdi and Roop Sagar

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Punjab-born Sunil Kumar is a ghazal singer and composer who is also academically qualified in the musical sphere that he indulges in and, having completed his masters in music, he is apparently pursuing a doctorate in ghazals. Of course, this assists on “Ehbaab” where Sunil’s soulful voice and clear diction on the poetry of Roop Sagar, who has got his poems published across several books, combines well with music director Dalbir Virdi’s arrangements using Western instrumentation with Indian, notably santoor. All this while maintaining ghazal traditions that are closely tied both historically and by contemporary sounds that remain appropriate on this light guitar-laden, mid-tempo selection which is melodic, pleasant, and soothing.

Listen and Download the song here: http://bit.ly/2bigPDl

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Ranjha Ranjha – Chintoo Singh Wasir

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Bringing a certain – and effective – reading on his rendition of “Ranjha Ranjha”, a classic poem by Baba Bulleh Shah, Chintoo Singh Wasir’s arrangements and earthy vocals fit perfectly into making the ethnicity of the track surprisingly contemporary. Much credit to Chintoo’s arrangements and instrumentation, including his usage of the Rubab, a lute-like musical instrument that had its origins in central Afghanistan. Synthesizing Indian folk and sufi sounds with ethnic instrumentation appears to be undertaken with comfort and with cleverness by this multi-instrumentalist who has, through the years, diversified from being a competent guitarist to his proficiency on playing the Rubab, an instrument that he also played on Shania Twain’s 2002 multi-platinum selling ‘Up!’, a word that is also appropriate for the manner in which Chintoo’s career appears to be moving!

Listen and Download the song here: http://bit.ly/2bpJfdc

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Unmeiyal Vesham – Sam Systematic Seelan

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Tamilian Senbege Seelan arrives from Malaysia to foist his brand of tight and punishing metal sounds to the unsuspecting Indian listeners in the guise of Sam Systematic Seelan. His solo material here, “Unmeiyal Vesham”, is a song that describes the struggle within a man’s faith and belief, but don’t let those sentiments fool you as the fast, abrasive, and technically demanding tune receives just the right amount of melodic might from Seelan’s vocals. The expected fast tempos and defiant, do-it-yourself attitude is all inbuilt into “Unmeiyal Vesham”, making Seelan’s sounds of speed metal evolve into probably the world’s first solo musical piece of Tamil thrash metal.

Listen and Download the song here: http://www.artistaloud.com/SamSystematicSeelan

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

I Ran – Twist To Break Seal

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This quintet of Mumbai-based musicians – Austin [guitar], Pratyush [guitar], Warren [drums], Aaron [bass], and Sagar [vocals] – who, as a band, go by the unlikely named Twist To Break Seal revive a two year old song on the strength of its usage on the soundtrack of TV programme ‘Chase The Monsoon 2’. No complaints though as this bunch of regular day-jobbers caught up in comparatively mundane activities ranging from advertising to computer programming, and from wallpaper trading to sound engineering, burst out of their corporate shell to indulge in the world of music.  And, on ‘I Ran’, Twist To Break Seal do it with élan: check the ’70s-style orchestral soul and funky psychedelia mixed with biting rock guitars. Looking forward to hearing their album!

 

Listen and Download the song here: http://www.artistaloud.com/twisttobreakseal

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Kehna Tha Tumse…Wahi! – Anurag Dixit

 

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Singer Anurag Dixit makes effective usage of his growing compositional skills on this mid-tempo rocker, “Kehna Tha Tumse…Wahi”, as this guitar-based selection relives memories of ’70s pop rock.  Anurag’s distinctive voice remains intact as he adds power chords to the lightly produced melody with effective usage of keyboards in tow. However, the usage of artificial applause within the track does get irritating – which otherwise works fine in a music video – but nothing takes away from the fact that “Kehna Tha Tumse…Wahi” is constructed, much like his other tunes, very carefully as, by now, Anurag knows his target audience and wants them to continue revelling in his brand of mainstream pop/rock.

Listen and Download the song here: http://www.artistaloud.com/AnuragDixit

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Noor-E-Illahi | Salim-Sulaiman featuring Abida Parveen

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Celebrating the spirit of Eid, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant are among India’s most respected composers, having scored more than 100 films and about 20 TV shows, and composed several albums incorporating multi-genres of music. On “Noor-E-Illahi”, the musical talents have managed to obtain the support of the legendary Abida Parveen, a Pakistani singer, and one of the foremost exponents of Sufi music (sufiana kalaam) with a career spanning over four decades. Her voice continues to have a highly distinctive timbre that perfectly fits the song’s warm, rich sounds that support the musical composition – with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya – and its production by Salim Sulaiman. With the usage of several instruments, it is the appropriate usage of the oud by Tapas Roy, which further enhances the tightly focused song here, resulting in “Noor-E-Illahi” becoming a flawlessly crafted melodic masterpiece from the musical Merchants of India.

Listen and Download the song here: http://www.artistaloud.com/Salim-Sulaiman

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

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