The second half of November sees commercial music labels crowding out independent releases. Also, traditional folk songs get interesting makeovers, pointing out the future for that genre.
Adore Chhui- Barenya Saha
Another run-of-the-mill love song about how time passes effortlessly when dwelling in the thoughts of a lover, ‘Adore Chhui’ does not leave a mark on the listener. Carved out in the contemporary pop formula, it is indistinguishable from numerous other similar songs. Hence, it is forgettable. The singer hits some sweet spots in the three-minute song but the music is commendable as there are lots of elements in it which blossom at the right moments, sprucing it up.
Shurey Shurey Jodi- Tansener Tanpura 2
The sarangi is an instrument that is usually not heard much except in folk and certain Indian classical compositions. Seeing it take center stage in a film song is pleasantly surprising to say the least, especially when it has done such an impeccable job of carrying the song and drawing out other elements such as the tabla, rhythm guitar, synthesizer, and string section in the background. The lyrics are simple – it says that if there is something too complex for a tune to express, then use the instrument for a clearer expression.
Jodi Takey Chai- Tansener Tanpura 2
Another song from the same movie but is from a completely different world. It is soothing, ethereal, and rides the sonic wave on the lucid twinklings of a sarod with the tabla covering the rhythm spectrum. The lyrics speak of love and the flirtatiousness that exists between lovers. The music is also playful and happy. Arunita Kanjilal’s voice leaves no stone unturned to bring out the exact emotions that the words profess. In a nutshell, if one closes one’s eyes while listening to this beautiful song, the listener might just be transported to a land of sunshine, waterfalls, and mushy clouds.
Sundori Kamala- Paulami Ghosh
Everything gets a glittery makeover, even evergreen folk songs. ‘Sundori Kamala’, a traditional Bengali folk song, is a song that is probably known by all Bengalis and has been rendered in several ways by different artistes. But this modern makeover done by the singer and her team is a big cry for help! Simply adding a few electronic effects, classy beats, and motifs to a traditional arrangement and singing style do not make a great song. Rather, it spoils the original essence. Such reusing of old songs to make a mark in the industry is a worrisome trend as it shows artistes are not being creative enough to come up with their own stuff.
Kalare Koiro Go Mana- Romita Sinha
Romita Sinha’s voice has a flair for darkness and she embraces that spooky edge as she belts out the folk-rock number ‘Kalare Koiro Go Mana’. Originally a traditional ‘baul’ song, it has been given a hair-raising makeover which demands several listens. The pace is slow but the music creeps in while Romita’s voice awes and scares at the same time. During the bridge, the guitarist becomes imaginative and plays a riff with an electronic effect. If this is the new direction that folk fusion music will take, it is certainly not disappointing and is definitely an excellent way to preserve age-old folk songs.
**The review has been submitted by Shaswata Kundu Chaudhuri**