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Chords & Notes

Kisson Ki Chadar (Saregama HMV, Rs. 65):

SHUBHA MUDGAL and composer Shantanu Moitra have earlier worked together on two albums — Ab Ke Sawan and Man Ke Manjeerey — both of which broke away from the Indi-pop genre. Kisson Ki Chadar has the two working together again, and this time, some beautiful lyrics by Nivedita Joshi make the fare more interesting.

The album opens with an introduction by Nivedita on a woman's search for meaning in life. ("Main zindagi dhoondhne nikli")The opening "Jee le ne do", that has a woman urging the world to live and let her live life her way, is sung with verve. Some sitar and harmonium phrases woven in provide an interesting counter to its fast pace. The nostalgic title track "Naade ki narm dhoop... " has the feel of an East Indian boat song. "Gali gali dagar dagar" is a somewhat predictable peppy number. "Har safar itna kathin... " has a wistful air, accentuated by sweeping violin passages.

Side B opens with "Us raat chaand phir lauta nahin", which is sung with feeling. "Ajeeb si yeh shaam hai... " appeals with its easy flow. "Jalte hue man me jab... " disappoints with its predictable fusion style, despite the ornate alaap at the end. You will like Nivedita's lyrics if you don't altogether abhor floweriness, since it comes coupled with depth and imagination. And Shubha does justice to their beauty.

Kabir by Abida (Times Music, Rs. 75)

"BY PROFESSION he was a weaver, and perhaps, that is how Kabir wove simple words into something so wonderful as his poetry," say the sleeve notes of Kabir by Abida. The compositions in this collection, presented by Gulzar, stun you for the way they convey the most profound in the most deceptively simple language. One expects something out of this world when such fantastic poetry is presented by Gulzar and sung by Abida, the diva of Sufi music. Abida, of course, charms with her raw, androgynous voice. There are some pleasing phrases of the flute (in "Mann lago yaar") and some unpredictable guitar counters ("Sahib mera ek hai"). But one is rather disappointed because the overall musical format remains that of bhajans. Though the last composition ("Bhala hua meri matki") has a ghazalish feel to it, the rhythm pattern again remains that of a bhajan.

This tape is worth a buy for its wonder poetry, rather than its musical content.

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