Classic Kid Sid/ Na Jaane Main, Artist Aloud
Last year, Classic Kid Sid, the brainchild of Siddhant Sharma, had released the track ‘Har Dua’. His band was essentially into English rock, and this was a fine attempt to sing in Hindi.
Now, Sharma comes out with ‘Na Jaane Main’. It’s a good, guitar-backed rock composition, and the singer adapts his voice in a kind of effeminate falsetto manner, instead of following the Lucky Ali-ish style he opted for last time.
Though there is a faint resemblance to the Barfi song ‘Kyon’, stand-out parts include the vocal trumpet effects and the scat outro. The rhythm section holds the track together. The song should appeal to the younger crowd.
Rating: 8/ 10
Mohit Gaur/ Main Hoon Woh Palak, Virtual Planet
The commendable thing about Mohit Gaur is the way he controls his voice, smoothly moving between the middle and higher registers. ‘Main Hoon Woh Palak’ is a simple love song, reminding you a bit of Silk Route.
A short but sweet guitar solo by Shon Pinto adds to the charm. The video, directed by Vikram Singh and featuring Gaur and Jigyasa Singh, captures pleasant outdoor locales.
The song grows after a couple of listens. For the younger audience, it’s a refreshing sing-along tune, and Gaur shows good potential.
Rating: 8/ 10
Ujaan/ Strings of Yaari, Artist Aloud
Kolkata urban folk band Ujaan presents this number as part of the No 1 Yaari Jampad series. It’s a routine folk-rock piece, presented well but not offering anything extraordinary.
Singer Indira Majumder is all smiles as she sings the lines “Yeh hai Number 1 yaari, ae doston”. Music has been provided by Saurav Mukherjee, though one wishes all musicians had been credited, as there are some good solos on guitar and percussion.
The video, shot live in a studio, sticks to an oft-used formula. As a friendship song, this should strike a chord, despite its limitations.
Rating: 7/ 10
Sonam Kalra/ Hum Dekhenge – Where The Mind Is Without Fear, self-released
Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’ recently created waves as part of the nationwide anti-CAA protests. Many music lovers are familiar with Iqbal Bano’s older live version which reflected crowd hysteria.
In contrast to Bano’s angry and rebellious tone, Sonam Kalra’s rendition is introspective and slower in tempo. By blending it with Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’, recited by Sunil Mehra, she gives it a different touch.
Musically and vocally, this is a haunting and powerful piece, with Manish Sahriya’s arrangements adding value. However, Kalra sings only one stanza, probably because some words in the other two attracted controversy. This reduces the impact a bit.
Rating: 8/ 10
Pooja Gaitonde/ Ishq Karaa, Amore Music
Over the past few years, singer Pooja Gaitonde has established herself in the ghazal and Sufiana field. Here, she makes her first attempt at a private single – and acts in the video too.
Composed by Durgesh R. Rajbhatt, ‘Ishq Karaa’ has a catchy hook and supple arrangements. Gaitonde shows fluctuations in her voice texture, and the Sufi influence is obvious, both in her singing and in the lyrics by John Reckless.
The video, directed by Vinay More and featuring Shreyas Khare, has elements of a Bollywood love song. It says ‘to be continued’ at the end, indicating a continuing storyline.
Rating: 8/ 10
Rohit Kulkarni/ Dreaming, self-released
As vocalist and guitarist of the Pink Floyd tribute band Think Floyd, Rohit Kulkarni built up a strong fan base. He now comes up with ‘Dreaming’, available on music streaming platforms.
Kulkarni’s voice is in perfect shape as he sings, “When I’m dreaming, I think I’m leaving, to the place I want to be, I want to be.” Though there is a slight Floyd influence in the opening atmospherics and tempo changes, the song has a character of its own.
The song is part of Kulkarni’s debut album The Boy Who Dreamed. A highlight is the way the guitar is used, both in the solo and the backdrop portions. Neat job.