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Bengali releases from the First Half of August – Reviewed

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The first half of August sees some patriotic songs as expected, but indie releases are non-existent this time. The commercial labels on the other hand have banked on Rabindra Sangeet covers or formulaic songs which hamper originality.

 

Shrodhanjoli – Shimu Dey 

This is an ode to the struggle the forefathers of the nation went through to give freedom to the land’s people. Shrodhanjoli is a tender flow of respectful words and gentle music. In this case, the artist sings praises of Sheikh Majibur Rahman, a key figure in the ‘Bangladeshi Liberation Movement’.

A piano creates a dynamic bed which presents lots of opportunities for the subtle string section to make its stand. The multi-voiced chorus evokes a feeling of patriotism and love for the motherland when the sound of a wooden flute takes the music into ambient spaces.

Rating– 7/10

 

Listen to the song here

Bondhu – Raj Goon 

Bondhu translates to a friend in Bangla. This is an ode to the strangers who lent helping hands during the crisis caused by the second wave of COVID in the country. 

Help coming from unexpected quarters in times of need builds the core of the song.

The music has a rock inclination. The deep cutting drum beats, over poignant arpeggiated guitar chords work out a rhythm. The vocals also carry the emotions just right – it doesn’t try to overdo it and is earnest. 

The soundscape builds into a dense wall at the end, which is rather adrenaline-pumping and invokes a sense of pride for the sense of community that Indians share.

Rating– 8/10

Listen to the song here

 

Tumi Ki Swadhin – Jubin Mitra 

Independence Day inevitably sees new compositions come up every year. ‘Tumi Ki Swadhin’ is such a song, written and composed by Jubin Mitra. It sees several talented singers from a reality TV show grace the song with their voices, whose chorus is, unsurprisingly Vande Mataram.

The singing is impeccable and touches upon diverse moods, which is taken a notch higher by the flourishes of the sarod. The ‘Vande Mataram’ part sees indigenous percussion being used, which lends a different flavour.

But while the political song title might imply something grave considering the political state of affairs in the country, the lyrics fall miserably short of delivering any substantial content. As a result, it ends up as a song that could have been great but is plain ordinary.

Rating– 6/10

Listen to the song here

 

 

Uttar Bangla Banglar-e-Mukh – Durnibar Saha 

The song starts with the promise of something different with a sarod twinkling in the background, while a flute takes flight.

The primary soundscape is provided by an acoustic guitar and minimal drumming. But then, the singing starts, and it follows the typical, over-used style of contemporary Bengali singing. Lyrically too, there is nothing substantial but banal praising of north Bengal.

But the music saves the day – the sarod, flute and some melancholic outpouring on a sarangi elevate the song to a different league altogether. One only wishes the song could have been an instrumental track, where the musicians were let loose to do their thing.

Rating– 7/10

Listen to the song here

 

Amar Desh – Nachiketa Chakraborty 

Veteran singer Nachiketa Chakraborty still carries the charisma and weight that made him dear to Bengalis across the globe.

In this patriotic take Amar Desh, he warns enemies of raising a finger at his language and land, while declaring love for his country in the same breath. Such a balance can only come from years of experience.

Musically, diverse styles through the Bangla ‘khol’ and flute find a place along with Western instruments.

The interludes see movements akin to orchestral music, lending the whole affair a royal affair.

Rating– 8/10

Listen to the song here

 

Amader Brishtite – Kalidaser Daal 

A new band on the block, Kalidaser Daal shows promise. Playing a modern form of rock, the three-piece Bengali band hits all the right notes on Amader Brishtite.

The song starts subtly on staccatos, which moves into a dense chorus. The rhythm section is well defined and robust. Lyrically, they go for a philosophical bent of mind as well as playing with psychological motives, including different personas.

The singing is defined by a balance between melodic passages as well as gritty vocal throws. However, the guitar solo is warped out way too much with effects, which shows that they went over the edge with experimentation.  A solid, old-school solo might have served the song better.

Rating– 9/10

Listen to the song here

 

**The review has been written by Shaswata Kundu Chaudhuri **

Aakanksha Sharma

Author: Aakanksha Sharma

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