Posts Tagged ‘ English ’

Before The Dawn [album] – Dream Alive

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As we enter 2015, it is quite simply remarkable how many of us – including me – reminisce the days of classic rock [late ’60s to the late ’80s, primarily focusing on the commercially-popular hard rock sounds of the ’70s] – and remain firmly entrenched in a time warp. Thank goodness for that as even the sounds of this generation have got their priorities right, even though none of them were probably born then, such as the Los Angeles based quintet – consisting of Nik Phoeniks [vocals, keyboards], Ramon Ryder [rhythm guitar, vocals], Karan Parikh [lead guitar], Martin Fredriksson [bass], and Stanley Love [drummer] – who are known together as Dream Alive. They have been slogging it out in and around their hometown areas, building up a sizeable audience because they deliver live too and, now, Dream Alive has delivered an album that not merely summarises their strengths, but captures everything that was good in those days of classic rock.  This is unabashedly mainstream rock, but there is a real urgency to the songs and the performances that provides the album a real emotional core, including the tight production – courtesy guitarist Karan who triples up as the album’s engineer and mixer too – that keeps the sounds tied to the early, pre-visual ’80s.  Among the surging tracks, some standing out more than the others, are “Don’t Say No”, which has a marvellous, brief interplay between bass and keyboards, then there is “Waiting For So Long”, which contains some remarkable guitaring from Karan and, far from taking it easy, the rockier “See You Tonight”. Many albums may have scaled to the top of the charts, many of them not so good but, in ‘Before The Dawn’, here is a band that is a hands down winner!

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Holiday – Hipnotribe

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Formed in 2008 by brothers Naresh [bass] and Paresh Kamath [guitar, vocals], Hipnotribe is supported by Kurt Peters [drums], son of luminary bassist Karl Peters, Abhijit Nalani [keyboards], Sankarshan “Shanks” Kini [flute], and Sanket Athale [tabla]. Their offering here, “Holiday”, is a lean, fluid sound of hip-hop that has a tremendous crossover opportunity with the ethnic sounds of tabla and flute. No doubt, the band has discovered a new music identity and approach to conventional sounds, and relies on original hooks, but by twisting them with a no fuss sound and subtle instrumentation where the entry into, and exit from it occurs from one of the primary instruments featured, the flute. With no flash – either in vocals or in instrumentation – the approach here is of a simple style that is easy to understand.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Nobody Cares – Deane Sequeira

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Heralded as India’s “youngest female rapper”, the Mumbai-based youngster not only sings hip-hop but, apparently, composes her own songs too. On “Nobody Cares”, Deane proves that her style of singing is no longer just a specialty niche genre, but has the crossover potential to be a commercial pop juggernaut, not only appealing to children, but to adults too due to its not intrusive lyrics. As Deane has made an effort to decipher and mellow sounds of hip-hop that usually appeal only to the select, she really does have her future work cut out to make improvements in her compositions, sounds, arrangements, and production to take her local hip hop sounds global. Nevertheless, it remains heartening to read of her aspiration to “set foot” someday as the Deane of Grammy Awards.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Morning Glory – Namrata Nath

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Apparently studying hotel management in Kolkata, on listening to “Morning Glory”, it makes me wonder why performer Namrata Nath is not studying music instead, although I have nothing against academics, but actually support it vehemently. Although it might appear that Namrata may have an uphill struggle in her career as a folk singer in the popular music field, her talent as a singer-songwriter is remarkable, as on “Morning Glory”, which is a refreshing piece of musical art in the burgeoning market for indie music. Namrata proves herself as a superior composer/interpreter with a clear voice, intelligently constructing contemporary folk-rock arrangements on this marvellous acoustic ditty. If the rest of her compositions are in a similar vein, may be it is time for Namrata to consider recording/releasing an album…

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Yo X 5 Jugni [mix] – Sunil Bhatia

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As one of the finalists of ArtistAloud’s ‘Rock Your November 2010’ campaign, and selected for ArtistAloud’s ‘First Ones’ contest, singer-composer Sunil Bhatia has a lot resting on his musical shoulders with the unlikely named “Yo X 5 Jugni [mix]”. After all, Sunil has been around for a while, providing his songs to Bollywood movies for years before he finally recorded this, and one wonders why it took him so long to do so. With obvious influences heralding reggae from popular music’s past, “Yo X 5 Jugni [mix]” seems almost tailor-made for fun, as Sunil comes across as a hopeless romantic, shifting lyrics from English to Hindi, lost in a musical skeleton of happiness [which is a good thing] with simple production and uncluttered arrangements as its backbone.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Bekarari – Shibani Kashyap

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One of the more recognisable and established musicians in India in recent times is New Delhi-born singer-composer Shibani Kashyap who commenced her recording career by singing the signature tune of AIR FM in 1996. She has since musically moved fast forward, broadening and enlivening her craft fairly quickly, shifting with ease from slow-footed ballads to richly textured mid-tempo guitar pop as on “Bekarari”.  Shibani’s unique voice – with its inimitable interplay on the track – actively aids this adult contemporary pop’s insistent melody, and simple arrangements, especially the fascinating rhythm pattern of the bass. Ultimately, Shibani’s strength is her embrace of the soft rock cliché including crawling chords and production dressing, which is why the propulsive tune here continues to be a step in the right direction for Shibani.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

This Feels Right – Ujjayinee Roy

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On “This Feels Right”, vocalist Ujjayinee Roy finally finds her true calling as a singer, as she takes a tangent towards jazz on this soft ballad and shows that there is a certainty to her singing career that goes way beyond her vocations as teacher, radio jockey, columnist, and actor, among other talents. With just a keyboard accompaniment, “This Feels Right” displays Ujjayinee’s vocal maturity, retaining not only her supreme confidence and precise intonation but, what I have always maintained, a wonderful voice. There are occasions when the simple arrangements may appear paradoxically bombastic, but listen patiently, and you begin to realise how it is the singer who suits the song. Even though the selection is poignant, ultimately it is Ujjayinee that makes the track impressive.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Fight For Our Right – Electric Pulse

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Call the sounds as “corporate rock” or “AOR” – or simply think Foreigner, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Styx, and ilk – the Rock Of Ages era from the ’80s makes a welcome return through the Goa-based quartet known as Electric Pulse, consisting of Anirban [guitar], Ashyar [guitar], Ricardo [bass], and Jonathon [drums]. In other words, the sound of “Fight For Our Right” is very obviously reminiscent of an era when bands attempted to appeal to both pop and rock audiences, by combining arena-worthy choruses and tough guitar riffs, topped off with a healthy scoop of melody and, in all this, “Fight For Our Right” appears as a faithful snapshot.

 

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

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

 

Ye Ankhen – Rust Rewired

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From Patna, arrives a trio of musicians – DjShak, Samrat Singh aka S King, and Roshan Gulrez – known as Rust Rewired. Their effort, “Ye Ankhen”, commences with a wonderful, dreamy set of piano sounds, creating a sonic dreamscape that is engaging until the vocals of hip-hop are introduced. Turning to unconventional chill out material thereafter, “Ye Ankhen” succeeds in its simplicity till the song takes another tangent, introducing a radical change with a heavy metal guitar based interlude towards the song’s finish. That, in reality, is the true highlight, leading to an unprecedented mixture of disparate sounds that makes “Ye Ankhen” a gorgeous, dreamy, unconventional, and unprecedented song amalgamating multiple genres which, apparently, is a Rust Rewired trademark, for which they deserve to be applauded.

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

 

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Closure – The Tankbund Blues Band

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From the Toronto-based The Tankbund Blues Band that had its roots in Hyderabad, “Closure” absolutely marks a distinguishing direction for the sounds of rock, one that commences with what sounds like chants which immediately places you in a trance, as the slow starting rocker builds layers to culminate into a crescendo. The guitar lines are melancholic and sad, yet simple but, when the drum arrives to support the vocals and the instrumentation, “Closure” perks up to another level. Enjoyed the distinctive voice too, which blends well with the rhythm section. While simplification and streamlining of the sound appears intentional, “Closure” is yet melodic and immediate. While I could not capture the sound of “blues” that appears as part of the band’s name, “Closure” is definitely a worthy listen for those about to rock.

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

 

– Review by PARAG KAMANI