The Indian music industry went through a reformation in my personal opinion in the last few years, and going back to it after a small break I was able to appreciate a lot of the new work. The opportunities for new talent has proven to be a great thing, and I for one have really enjoyed it and taken it as a new movement towards the better. Starting with Naresh Iyer doing a tremendous job with Rubaroo and for a change being lauded highly for it, there have been new voices, new faces, and new music on the scene. I especially like the fact that established music directors are willing to take chances…I mean, I loved Shankar even before he began experimenting widely, but I love him even more for that. Rahman has always been an experimenter, and he has the talent to do it well. The new atmosphere I think gives him even more room, and his new albums have all been proof to that. Ada had tunes that were very Rahman, and some that were very different, that you needed to give time to sink in. Same with Jaane Tu, which some die-hard Rahmaniacs still choose to look over and avoid talking about I am as loyal to him as ever, but I’ve opened up and am more welcome to the latest work by directors like the young Vishal-Shekhar duo (thank you for beginning to sing yourself too in your tracks, btw). The pop/folk scene has changed to, and begun to accept that it can only go so far in false clothes: Hindi cannot and should not be a rap language. It just doesn’t work. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other realms we can expand into, right? Rabbi’s been popularizing a new type of modern rock, and Kailash Kher has been taking us back to the earthy, folksy, rich tones, but with a twist each time. Me likes.
Anyway, after all my re-appreciation I kind of got diverted (blame the new Epik High releases and Alex’s solo album) and only just got back to exploring, based on a recommendation. I checked out Dostana, was somewhat pleased, and then excitedly checked out Rahman’s new Yuvvraaj, a Subhash Ghai offering. Most of the tracks I’m still getting used to, but one or two have already gotten stuck in my head, which is what happens when a Rahman song is destined to become a favorite. He gives, again, the reigns of many songs to new singers: great move
Most of Dostana I’m quite pleased with. I’m sure the majority loves Desi Girl which is a fun enough track (and reminds me of Shankar’s music, not just because he’s singing), but I’ve built quite a liking to the other tracks.
Anyway, here’s what’s playing a lot on my ITunes this week…
Dostana: Khabhar Nahin**, Jaane Kyun**, Kuch Kum*
*Shaan does a sad song? Shaan’s voice is always smiling, so Kuch Kum has this feeling to it…like someone is trying to smile through pain. Lovely touch.
**Um, Vishal Dadlani, can you tell me why you weren’t singing happy-bubblegum-upbeat-falling in love songs before? And also, can you please tell Shekhar to start singing to some of his compositions too? As long as you don’t take it too far like a certain nasal music director turned singer, I’d really like to hear more of those voices. Please to oblige. Thanks.
Yuvvraaj: Tu Meri Dost Hain*, Zindagi**
*Firstly, the lyrics really attracted me, and then the touch with which Benny Dayal goes “Tu hi to meri dost hai…” Its a very unorthodox song, unpredictable on the twists it takes. I really love the idea behind using the word dost.
**Feels like ages since I’ve heard Srinivas.
Also heard repeatedly: Alex’s Saranghaeyo, highly because of the instrumental parts, and Epik High’s One Minute One Second. Is there any limit to Tablo’s genius? I hope not.
Oldies I’m going back to: Naina Barse Rhimjhim, for its eerie beauty, and Baat Niklegi because you can never have enough of a good ghazal.
PS: While we’re on it: any recommendations?