Never Say Goodbye [Album] – Shehzad Bhanji

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A banker by profession, Karachi-born, Qatar-based Shehzad Bhanji launches his debut album, ‘Never Say Goodbye’, with his innovative guitar style making this 11- track album almost a mandatory primer for ’10s guitarists, with its ever changing chord progressions and Shehzad’s use of harmonic minor scales and, often, his improbably quick picking techniques, including the effective sweep-picked arpeggio [a sort of cross between strumming a chord and picking each note individually]. From the frenetic – such as “Rockin’ Blues” – to the quiet – like “Together Forever” or “Coming Home” – this album has talent written over it. Welcome to the Asian guitar age courtesy of Shehzad Bhanji.

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/ShehzadBhanji

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Dhadkan – D-BOY

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While D-Boy has apparently been building the career of various U.K. talents, ranging from D-Sarb [Danny Sarb] to The107 for his record label, Beatcircle, he is now ready to step out on his own and, one way for him doing so, is with the release “Dhadkan”. The lyrics are simple, and the harmonising on this track – defined in his bio as U [for “Urban”] Desi – is irresistible, as this catchy soft, mid-tempo R&B ditty is a potent combination of a fabulous hook and personal charm that makes “Dhadkan” a thoroughly enjoyable affair. This is one D-Company that you can feel musically safe with!

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/dboy

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Maa Aa Bhi Ja – Koustubh & Shreyas

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This Pune-Mumbai based duo who go by the name of ‘Rainbow – Colors Of Life’ are Koustubh Sapre and Shreyas Dharmadhikari, both of whom are qualified engineers but, apparently, passion appears to govern their respective lives as Shreyas composes a poignant ballad – with straight forward lyrics shared by him with Koustubh – on a song, as the title suggests, which is an ode to mothers. Shreyas’ keyboard playing is effectively backed by the sounds of guitar and melodica – courtesy Dharmesh Mistry – and supported by Swarat Chakraborty’s arrangements, but it is the harmonies from Shreyas that really brings out the true feeling that the song emotes. A marvellous effort!

 

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/KoustubhandShreyas

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Sajna – Sraboni Chaudhuri

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For the uninitiated, thumri is a genre of semi-classical Indian music that is both romantic and devotional in nature, often focusing on a girl’s love for Krishna. The lyrics are usually written in dialects of Hindi called Brajbhasha, Avadhi, Khadi Boli, and Bhojpuri dialects. Welcome the talented Sraboni Chaudhuri into the fold, both as a disciple of the legendary Shobha Gurtu, and on her own accord with the performance of “Sajna”, a selection that has its own structure and content which cannot be defined strictly as classical or as folk, but still remains essential hearing for listeners of thumris with Sraboni’s voice providing the common thread.

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/SraboniChaudhuri

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Reaching 30s – No Band Men

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No Band Men – featuring Zoultu [aka Gaurav] on guitar and vocals, Abilash on bass, and Nithesh on drums – may not be perfectly polished but, on their obviously autobiographical “Reaching 30s”, it does establish their sound, attitude, and quirks. Simply put, the song is a little raw rock record, filled with fuzzy guitaring, barrelhouse rhythms, and what appears as contrived accents. No Band Men have a good, rock sound that hits at a gut level and, if the production is loose, it is probably because either No Band Men are still learning to hone their craft or have intended to leave their sound as such. Nevertheless, whatever may be the argument, this three-piece suit of musicians ensure that “Reaching 30s” works!

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/NoBandMen

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Dil Ko Har Waqt – Samir & Dipalee

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The singing duo of Samir Date and his partner, Dipalee Somaiya, have built a fan following across genres and across the globe with the diversity of their repertoire that includes both originals and covers. On “Dil Ko Har Waqt”, the singers take the composition of music composer Ravi Date with lyrics by Shaji Hyderabadi, and focus their uncomplicated light weight vocals – supported by Dipalee’s singing high – with a paradoxically strong rhythmic ghazal that provides complete justice to a song that is beautifully written, and marvellously arranged on keyboards with the sounds of guitar playing in the background. Certainly a sincere effort deserving commendation.

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/SamirandDipalee

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Navkar Mantra – Kavita Seth

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I can certainly relate to the “Navkar Mantra” which, among Jains, is undoubtedly one of its significant mantras, if not the most important one. This is the first prayer recited by the Jains while meditating and, for Bareilly-born Kavita Seth, having completed formal academics in music along with receiving tutelage in Hindustani classical music under the auspices of N.D. Sharma of the Gwalior Gharana, Vinod from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, and from Iqbal Ahmad Khan, Kavita’s music/production consolidates her reputation as one of India’s prime vocalists who cuts across genres. Just in case any validation was required, it arrived her way at the recently held 5th Artist Aloud Music Awards wherein Kavita won an award for ‘Best Genre’. On her rendition of ‘Navkar Mantra’, Kavita is well supported by the brilliant arrangements of Debarpito Saha who utilises subtle percussion and light guitaring on a track that is backed by keyboards. A truly evocative reading of a traditional mantra.

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/kavitaseth

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

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