Archive for June, 2016

Woh Pal – Tripet Garielle

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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.

Chokhe Amore Trishna – Suresh Mendoza featuring Pragya Das Gupta

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There remains a certain calmness in listening to musical content that is acoustic and that is just what occurs while listening to this Bengali song by Pragya Das Gupta. The power chords from his past musical associations may be missing, but the promoter of Glam Slam Recording Studios, Suresh Mendonza, provides a far from completely stripped down sound as, besides the obvious acoustic performance, the intermittent usage of keyboards and percussion, and the prominence of bass, only goes to make the production – on which Suresh excels – tight and complete. Often arrangements like these do not work but in this case, in the able production hands of Suresh, it not only does so, but extremely well too. The final result is full of tastefulness.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Shirin Charania – Darmiyan

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From Yavatmal, Shirin Nazim Charania arrives on the music scene after diversifying from “13 years of marriage and family life” to finally pursue her passion. And Shirin is doing a tremendous job at it if you follow her “new” career as she appears to have found just the right music director[s] to bring out the best of singing talent in her. So, too, on ‘Darmiyan’, a mid-tempo ballad that is pleasing to the ears – thanks to the compositional skills of Abhimanyu Singh – who effectively utilises the high pitched vocals with the emotion that this keyboard-based song deserves. Shirin continues to excel in her phrasing, ensuring that Shirin scores yet another fine and soothing selection with ‘Darmiyan’.

 

Listen and Download Shirin’s songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/Shirin

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Drifting Away EP – Dream Alive

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What a year it has already been for Los Angeles based quintet Dream Alive – consisting of Nikhil Koparkar aka Nik Phoeniks [vocals, keyboards], Ramon Ryder [rhythm guitar, vocals], Karan Parikh [lead guitar], Martin Fredriksson [bass], and David Myers [drummer] – as far as India is concerned. In January, two members of Dream Alive held an unplugged performance at Mumbai’s Blue Frog – namely, Nikhil and Karan – a set that included originals [mainly tracks from their EP, which is being reviewed here], their debut album, as well as covers, including a marvellous tribute to the late co-founder of Eagles, Glenn Frey, whose “Take It Easy” was memorably performed. In April, Dream Alive collected a ‘Best Video’ award at the 5th Artist Aloud Music Awards for “Don’t Say No” from their debut album, ‘Before The Dawn’ and, although members of the band were not present, the award was collected by Karan’s father, Ajay Parikh, an entrepreneur also known to play mean guitar. And, with the much awaited release of their ‘Drift Away EP’ in India – which made its debut in Los Angeles a year ago – things can only get better for Dream Alive, and they do…
On their debut album, Dream Alive were perhaps still trying to find their signature sound but, on this EP – consisting of four tracks – their maturity appears complete. The title-track flings Dream Alive steadfastly into the now bygone AoR arena with the wide-ranging vocals of Nikhil, who also plays simple and effective keyboards but, it is the grand yet immensely palatable guitar playing of Karan, who provides the true lifeblood for this EP, which has an obviously rock-flavoured theme, with more hooks and a harder cadence compared to their debut album. “Time To Go” spotlights the sweeping fervour of Karan’s guitaring on this uptempo scorcher, who goes completely manic with the instrument just after the song’s only soft spot, where passages of the track recall The Beatles’ “Revolution”. “What We’re Looking For” is comparatively softer but, appropriately, leads to the final track, “War In The Sky” which, for this reviewer, is undeniably the pick of the lot.
The very David Gilmour-esque guitar opening makes for an extremely well-crafted song that appears to be both cerebral and introspective and, if anything, appears to be a perfect ode to the post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd era. Support for the EP arrives from its extremely tight production – courtesy guitarist Karan who triples up as the album’s engineer and mixer too – where not only all the instruments are provided complete clarity, but without compromising on the clear vocals of Nikhil. The ‘Drifting Away EP’ keeps the sounds firmly tied to the early ’80s and to an era that influenced that very decade, resulting in songs that, through the years, should become timeless and, with a common thread in their thankfully very obvious influences, the tracks have a way of rekindling the innocence of youthful romance and the rebelliousness of growing up, built from Dream Alive’s amazing heartfelt songwriting and, of course, their sturdy musicianship. Go for it!

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Sajna – Sraboni Chaudhuri

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While “Sajna” talks about a woman’s yearning for her beloved and an anticipation of being united with her male counterpart, this music video supports the talent of singer Sraboni Chaudhuri whose rendition of the song has been undertaken in a semi-classical  Hindustani style with traditional instruments like the harmonium, tanpura, tabla [by Kishor Pande] and sarangi [by Sandeep Mishra]. The video features Sraboni, of course who, besides singing in a studio, is also shown wearing her make-up, along with the original musicians who perform on the track. This simple, special effects-free video from Rohan D’Souza is precisely the reason what makes it so effective, much like “Sajna”, the song itself, 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, thanks to the distinctive vocals from Sraboni Chaudhuri.

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

Holi – Ehesaas

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Mumbai-based folk-rock band Ehesaas may be inspired by several of their progenitors, but the quartet – consisting of Amarabha [vocalist, rhythm guitar], Chiranjit [drums], Roy [lead guitar], and Saumit [bass] – still retain a distinct, independent flavour for festivities on “Holi”. Incorporating local elements with modern sounds appear as the musical differentiator for Ehesaas as their acoustic sounds are supported by simple lyrics sung in a very traditional, ethnic manner, but it is the live instrumentation  – especially the bass which lends tremendous support to the rhythm section –  that provide Ehesaas’ music its unique character, which is amply displayed on “Holi”.

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.