Pragata Bhayo Bhagawan [Raga Bhimplas] – Arunkumar

Raga Bhimpalas

Pragata Bhayo Bhagawan [Raga Bhimplas] – Arunkumar

There is a legion of devotional music fans who want their genre to sound exactly as it has always been by convention but, with the appearance of academically qualified vocal musician Arunkumar singing “Pragata Bhayo Bhagawan”, he turns experimental. Arunkumar’s focus appears to be towards a younger audience and, in that, he succeeds with modern instrumentation accompanying a traditional bhajan, notably the usage of guitar and, in turn, it makes the song contemporary enough to cut across generations.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

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Alonely EP – Paloma and Adil

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Alonely EP – Paloma and Adil

As part of the several decades long musical legacy of Kolkata, arrive Paloma Majumder and Adil Rashid, a duo whose mission is to convert experimental electronic music into easy listening. Composing music together since 2016, Paloma’s ethereal vocals are clear and perfectly fit into Adil’s musical compositions – which are augmented with adventurous electronics and controlled guitar work – that work well across the five tracks that appear on this EP. None better than their selection from 2016, “Hold On [Or Let It Go]” but, besides that, “City Lights”, the ballads of “Keep Me In Mind” and “Fly A Little”[which contains a marvellous interlude of harmonies], it is the guitar strumming on the title track, “Alonely”, that makes this a highly listenable EP atmospheric, seductive, and beautifully produced. Here’s to Paloma and to Adil for continuing the Kolkata musical legacy.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

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Aao Mhare Des Mein – Rishabh Srivastava

Aao Mhare Des Mein

Released to celebrate Republic Day, “Aao Mhare Des Mein” is a folk-based song from Noida-based singer-composer Rishabh Srivastava who started composing at 16. Since then, as an adult, Rishabh has no doubt matured as a singer and as a composer as can be reflected on this audio track which showcases arrangements that are tight, laden with an infectious groove, perfectly supported by Indian instrumentation combined with effective keyboard usage, and powered throughout by Rishabh’s vocals soaring above the arrangements. A marvelous production from Deep Chakraborty that rightfully provides focus on Rishabh Srivastava’s singing.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

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The Love Letter – Imcha Imchen

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Singer-songwriter Imcha Imchen arrives from Nagaland and “The Love Letter” was appropriately re-released by him, this year, on Valentine’s Day. Although originally released in 2014, this remixed rendition combines English and the language of local Ao Naga tribes of Nagaland. “The Love Letter” is written and composed by Imcha with help from his mother but, for me, the core of Imcha’s talent is his sensitiveness to the melody, one who obviously prefers love tunes to, perhaps, songs of protest, something that is quite evident on “The Love Letter”. Although Imcha pours out his heart armed essentially with an acoustic guitar, he is a troubadour who is quite comfortable with luxurious, shimmering textures and a buoyant melody like this one.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

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Aseem Mohabbat – Sam Christy Varghese

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Kochi-based Sam Christy Varghese is an event organizer, traveler, writer, and a music director and, whenever he is not too busy with his professional life, Sam also finds time to promote “Love, Hope, Faith, Peace, and Joy”. One way for him to express his emotions is composing songs, and that is precisely what Sam has undertaken on his album titled “Aseem Mohabbat”, which contains 12 tracks recorded through the years.

On the musical front, the songs have an underlying rock feel, and Sam provides varied vocalists an opportunity of showcasing their respective singing talents. Sam throws a few pleasant musical surprises too as he shifts to a prayer on “Mai Dil Se Chahta Tujhe”, a bit of funk on “Meri Zindagi Ka Taj”, and bluegrass on “Hallelujah Mere Bhaiya”, but my personal favourite is undoubtedly the rock solidness and harmony-filled “Yeshu Hi Prabhu Hai”.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

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In Her Shoes – Shipra Malhotra

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“In Her Shoes” is the title song of a play inspired by case studies of ‘Serenity Surrender’ therapy. For the uninitiated, this therapy relates to the removal of negative karma from our past and present lives, with the play being produced by Nupur Majumder Sandhu and directed by Aarushi Thakur Rana.

Now, on to the music. From being a post graduate in HR, and also a certified calligraphy professional, Mumbai’s Andheri-based singer, Shipra Malhotra, who is also a trained Gwalior Gharana classical singer, has composed, provided lyrics, and sung “In Her Shoes”,  a catchy pop song that heralds the sounds of the ’80s. Although Shipra’s voice is a wee bit thin and has a limited range too, in surrounding herself with co-singer and guitarist Tanooj Mehra, the result is a song that places sheen on a potential pop gem that is unfortunately too brief at 1 minute 39 seconds.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

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Jagga – Chintoo Singh Wasir

Jagga Artwork

Indian multi-instrumentalist Chintoo Singh Wasir has since diversified into becoming a Sufi singer too and, on this single track, “Jagga”, Chintoo goes from strength to strength with his rendition of the traditional folk song. With the music arranged by Chintoo himself, and backed by his earthy vocals, the song perks up due to the usage of the Rubab, a lute-like musical instrument that has its origins in central Afghanistan. Chintoo has amalgamated Indian folk with Sufi sounds through his mastery across string instruments along with his musical maturity across the global music industry which includes his having performed on Shania Twain’s 2002 multi-platinum selling ‘Up!’. Looking forward to hearing some originals now, Chintoo!

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
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