Album: Ishq – Songs Of Love
Artistes: Hariharan, Bickram Ghosh
Genre: Love songs
Rating: 8/ 10
Over the last two years, prolific tabla exponent Bickram Ghosh has collaborated with violinist Kala Ramnath on the albums Paperboats and Rang. He now teams up with ace singer Hariharan on the six-song Ishq – Songs Of Love.
It’s a wonderful partnership, with Hariharan’s voice in perfect shape, and Ghosh producing some marvelous arrangements. Naturally, the songs which talk of different facets of love are filled with intricate rhythm structures. Moreover, the five of them use Prateek Srivastava’s sarod smartly. Three writers share credit for lyrics, ensuring variety.
The opening track Baaton Baaton Mein, released as a video directed by Arindam Sil, is a charmer with a fleeting 1970s Salil Chowdhury influence.
Lyricist Sugata Guha writes, Baaton baaton mein roothi ho kahin, tum jo kaho toh manaaoon yahi, and Abhisek Mallick’s sitar complements the tune.
Although one feels the ending is ebrupt, this is the kind of song one can play on loop.
Guha also pens the uptempo, guitar-backed Mann Mora Mehka and the melodious Dil Hawaii Hai.
Thus the song begins, Dil hawaii hai, aaj udne de, naram kadam taley, ab toh girne de, main jo mar jaaoon, teri baahon mein, phir na beh jaaoon, un nigaahon mein, barson se jaaga hua ab neend aane de, dhoop chaaon mein yeh kismat phir sanwarne de. Wow.
Rajiv Pandey chips in with words on Radha and Bawra Ye Mann.
While the former doesn’t really create much impact, the latter shows Hariharan in total command – check the way he builds up a short sargam stretch to suddenly reach the note ‘pa’.
The album ends with Naina, penned by Sanjeev Tiwari, with a warm folk flavour.
In typical Ghosh style, the songs impress with their vibrant use of percussion and smart production.
However, due credit must also go to programming arranger Sayan Ganguly, who ensures a rich sound. As expected, Hariharan is remarkably consistent, though melodically Baaton Baaton Mein and Dil Hawaii Hai have an edge.
These two songs are like vintage 1970s fare.