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

NOOR-E-ILAHI ITUNES FINAL SS LOGO

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.

Unarvugal [Album] – Shakti Sivamani

Album Art 600x600

If a definition of a musical prodigy is required, treat Shakti Sivamani as one of the primary examples as this 15-year-old is a producer and a singer from Tamil Nadu who has learnt production for eight years, and has been performing live since seven. That Shakti is passionate about his work is obvious, as you weave yourself through this album named ‘Unarvugal’ [which means “feelings” in Tamil], featuring Shakti handling instruments/percussion, composing music, and penning lyrics too. The influences of dubstep and R&B are obvious too, as one of the notable tracks on his album are “Penniyam”, which contains lyrics penned by his mother, Manonmani Appu, featuring singers Vrusha and Vishwa.

Shakti’s versatility is also evident on “Un Paarvayil” and “Maaman Ponnu”, but the most poignant of them is “Kanavugazh”, dedicated to his father, Appu Sivamani, which has the following anecdote as its basis: Appu was a successful entrepreneur when Shakti was born but, unfortunately, the flourishing business took a dip resulting in the family becoming homeless, before Appu returned to riches. Many of the tracks on ‘Unarvugal’ deserve recognition beyond its Tamil-language basis, especially several songs that I could immediately connect with: the infectious “Ulagilae”, the melodic, guitar-based “Kai Korthu” that contains fine vocal harmonies, and the ballad of “Mazhai Thuzhi”. If some of the selections could be recorded in other languages, the future certainly appears to be bright enough for Shakti Sivamani to consider wearing shades!

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Aye Re Chandni – Ronkini Gupta Collective

RGC2

Leader of the pack, Ronkini Gupta, is a Sangeet Visharad from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Mumbai. The Collective that she fronts is an extension of her experimental and creative side where she blends her learning of Hindustani Classical with contemporary musical sounds. On this venture, Ronkini works with Arohi Mhatre and Anup Satam on vocals, Darpan Suthar on guitars, Nitish Ranadive on percussion, Suraaj Parab on bass, and  Adinath Patkar on piano. On “Aye Re Chandni”, the ladies showcase their respective vocal talents both independently and together on a composition from Ronkini that picks up pace as percussion and the sounds of guitar join this mid-tempo track. While their arrangements noticeably show a more developed instrumental edge, there is no denying the Collective’s sincerity in pursuing their world musical passion with a melody woven in Raag Bhimpalasi and intertwined with sargams sung in harmony.

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Translucence [album] – Divya Krishnan

Tranlucence-Divya-AA

With no essential information forthcoming regarding Divya Krishnan, this “mystery” singer is still undeniably the artiste of the week as the five diverse tracks on this album are all supported by fine musicianship, marvelous arrangements, and tight production. From the soft “Angel”, quiet idealness of “Utopia” [containing passages reminiscent of John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane”], the R&B querying “You Know”, the guitar carnival of “Stairway Blues”, to the concluding – and this reviewer’s favourite – harmony backed, folky “Warriors,” Divya and her musical crew bring worldliness to both lyrics and to melodies that lead them to the level of A-listers. For most part, if not all, ‘Translucence’ is certainly one album that is destined to take this pop artiste to the top of her game.

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Tum Sang – Swapnil Mistry featuring Anwesshaa

Tum-Sang-AA

Trained in Hindustani Classical vocals since seven under various gurus, Swapnil Mistry is a composer too, as can be gauged on “Tum Sang”. This lightweight bandish comes alive due to two factors: live instrumentation – flute [Ninad Mulaokar], violin [Manas Kumar], sitar [Prasad Rahane], tabla [Satyaprakash Mishra, Vijay Dhumal], and percussion [Deven Pandya] – and, most importantly, the lead vocals from singer Answesshaa, who appears to be moving from strength to strength ever since her participation in ‘Bollywood Unwind’. The music on “Tum Sang”, programmed and arranged by Abhishek Mestry, is contemporary with the light usage of keyboards in support and the distinctive sound of flute making the arrangements topical.

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

A Touch Alive [album] – Chaitanya Kolluri

A-TouchA-Live-AA

While it can be easy to dislike and dismiss instrumental electronic music, the challenge lies in finding reasons to listen to it again. Such is the case with ‘A Touch Alive’ by Chaitanya Kolluri. While Chaitanya may have broken no new ground with the release of this album, especially if you have been a listener of keyboard-inflicted electronic music during the ‘70s, nothing changes the fact that this self-taught keyboardist/pianist/programmer continues to create original music in his own style. Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery. ‘A Touch Alive’ neither challenges nor offends the listener, but it is a truly sincere effort of expressing music through changing tempos and multi-layered sounds. It has its moments and, while it may neither soar nor plunge, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Woh Pal – Tripet Garielle

Woh-Pal-Tripet-Garielle-1400-AA

Music director-producer Atif Ali really comes into his own with the title song – with lyrics by Waqqas Sheikh – that is featured on British Indian singer Tripet Garielle’s debut, as the strong set of songs along with this track, dedicated to the victims of last year’s terrorist attack in Paris show. Displaying progressive compositional leanings, it is the simpleness of this acoustic-only arrangement by Atif Ali ( Additional guitar by Fakhar Abbas)  that makes it special. In addition to the musical arrangements, it would not be fair to ignore the talents of the vocalist, singing in a “language that she cannot speak”, who undertakes the onerous task of vocalizing on a musical arrangement that could have exposed her limitations but, on the contrary, she excels in ‘That Moment’!

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers