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Beatstreet


Piya Piya - CD

Times Music

Rs. 150 (CD) – Rs. 45 (cassette)

Upbeat, tuneful and melodic, the Times Music album Piya Piya featuring several well-known names in the music world is soft on the ear.

What do you get when Ustad Sultan Khan, Roop Kumar Rathod, Richa Sharma, Harshdeep and Vasu Rampal come together for a melodic meet? The expected harmony is no doubt there.

Take the title track, “Piya Piya Morey Piya”, for instance. The main singer, Sultan Khan’s prolific Hindustani background comes across and the well-tuned number gets contemporary touches from Hanif Khan and Tarannum, which makes for a smooth aural glide juxtaposed well with the beats.

Ustad Sultan Khan, the renowned Indian sarangi player and singer is one of the members of the Indian fusion group Tabla Beat Science with Zakir Hussain and Bill Laswell. Belonging to the Indore Gharana, Khansahib’s sarangi and vocal gayaki ang make his classical repertoire something to remember.

The nine tracks of the album, with roots in Indian music, stretch themselves elegantly to bring in more modern overtones. Romance, mysticism, nostalgia and yearning are some of the sentiments that the album spans across with good orchestration.

“Chithiyan” by Richa Sharma takes you along a different scale of tune, while an elaborate and soothing pastoral mood is set in “Saajan Aayo Re” by Harshdeep, L. Narayan and Vasant.

The lovely, deep voice of Roop Kumar Rathod in “Jhir Mir Jhir Mir” is a treat and the excellent beats conceived for the background is something one should not miss. The raag chosen too aptly suits the mood of the lover yearning for his beloved and it’s full marks to Roop Kumar for his emotive presentation that has some vocal rhythm too for variety.

“Soniye Mithi Mithi” by L. Narayan, Uma Shankar and Pratik ripples along the surface, with some soft handling of lyrics by the artists. Vasu Rampal in “Jisko Dekha Hai” also has Tarannum for the styled format of informal add-ons.

“Tuta Tuta Dil Ye Mera” by Vasu again also has a remix version with the initial one going slow in its pace while “Dholna Ve” by Anita, Narayan, Hanif and Tarannum starts off well with English lyrics and fast beats that continue for the Hindi lines too.

Overall an interesting blend produced by Laxmi-Vasant-Pramod with music by Laxmi-Vasant and lyrics by L. Narayan.

Namee

Times Music

Rs. 125 - CD

The album Namee by Times Music contains Ritika Sahni’s contemporary tracks produced by Ashish Manchanda and Ritika herself.

From jingles in Kolkata to Hindi numbers for various well-known names in Bollywood, it has been a fast and smooth sail for Ritika. She’s been around with recordings for quite long compared to her contemporaries.

The Calcutta girl, now based in Mumbai, started her singing career with Chena Shukher Khonje, a Bengali album in the late Nineties and the Hindi pop album happened in 2000 with her playback singing for Bollywood continuing side by side.

Even the recent film “Rakht” starring Yana Gupta features Ritika’s number while her numbers for Shyam Benegal “Hari Bhari” came in for a lot of appreciation. Now Ritika works with children who are physically challenged and does many recordings for them.

Her album Happy Day, which came out in 2002, had Ritika sing nursery rhymes. It came with a special booklet of lyrics in Braille for the visually challenged.

Albums, television shows, Bengali channels and stage shows keep her going, admits Ritika.

In Namee she has come up with numbers on love. “From seeking, to experiencing the depth of affection and from pining for the lost one, to nurturing intimate feelings, the album contains numbers with all the moods,” she says.

Her soft and melodic voice suits the temper of the lyrics too wherein Ritika has composed three out of the eight tracks in the album.

The numbers “Bheeni Bheeni” and “Sundar Sundar” also has music videos where Ritika comes out as a good entertainer. Petite and vivacious in her rendering too, her voice leaves an impression that it could get across to both children and adults. No wonder she has varied interests.

RANJANI GOVIND

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