Anupama Roy/ Imkaan, self-released
Legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote as much about protest as he did about hope. Here, Anupama Roy chooses one of his optimistic works ‘Imkaan’, meaning possibility.
Like most Faiz creations, this one is filled with high-flown Urdu words. The translation is provided in the YouTube video, and there are mentions of the possibilities of spring, garden of liberation and promise of emancipation.
The instrumentation revolves around Bhupendra Gove’s harmonium and Amey Thakurdesai’s tabla. Roy’s singing complements them perfectly, and the words are much-needed in today’s times.
Rating: 9/ 10
Natalia Lesz and Sonu Nigam/ Fire In The Sky, 9122 Records
Polish singer-actress Natalia Lesz teams up with Sonu Nigam on this ballad, shot on a beach. Rahul Sud’s video has a retro feel, with comets and vinyl records appearing in the frame.
By itself, it’s a melodic composition, and Lesz displays a good range and sense of emotion. However, Nigam barely sings on this, except for brief portions in the middle and at the end. And why that formal designerwear on the seafront?
Tight choruses lend weight to the song. It’s contemporary pop with a 1990s hangover, and worth a few listens, if not more.
Rating: 7/ 10
Sharmistha Chatterjee/ Guru Nanak aarti, self-released
After singing for the Mekaal Hasan Band, singer Sharmistha Chatterjee recently released the Sufi composition ‘Maye Ni’, with guitarist Sanjay Divecha. She has now recorded the Guru Nanak aarti ‘Gagan Mein Thaal’.
The song is part of a project initiated by Madan Gopal Singh, vocalist of the band Chaar Yaar, to mark Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. Chatterjee sings the aarti marvellously, using the simple backdrop of Anugrah Pandey’s bass.
The words ‘Kaisi aarti hoyee bhava khandana teri’ linger on, and the tune gives you complete peace of mind. A wonderful tribute.
Rating: 9/ 10
Sadu/ Mausam, Sadu Music
Singer Sadasivasan K.M. Nambisan, aka Sadu, was part of the popular 1990s Indipop band Aryans, which had hits like ‘Aankhon Mein Tera Hi Chehra’ and ‘Dekha Hai Teri Aankhon Ko’. He now comes up with the solo number ‘Mausam’.
It’s a pleasant pop-rock tune, with clean and emotion-drenched guitar lines and vibrant drumming, though one wishes the band members were credited. The lyrics, written by Sadu himself, begin, “Tanha main khada in raahon mein, Teri hi kami khal rahi mujhe, Mausam bheega bheega, Chand madham madham”.
Like many Aryans songs, this has a hook. Good to sing along.
Rating: 8/ 10
Uchana Amit ft. Badshah/ Kamaal, Saga Music
This song begins with the line ‘Kamaal Hai’. Funnily, it sounds more like ‘Kama Le’. Maybe making a quick buck was topmost on the agenda of Uchana Amit and songwriter Badshah.
Part-reggae, part-rap, part-Punjabi pop, this one also has an epic sentence that goes, “Teri mummy, tere papa, teri didi, tera bhaiyya, tera chacha, teri nani, teri Jamuna Nagar wali mami, kamaal hai”. What an illustrious family tree.
The presence of the pretty Alina Rai in the B2gether Pros video does little to save the song. If you survive it, kamaal hai.
Rating: 4/ 10
Nakash Aziz ft. Chitralekha Sen/ Superstar, Virtual Planet Music
Both Nakash Aziz and Chitralekha Sen have done their rounds in Hindi film music, and the former has sung regularly in other languages too. Now they team up for ‘Superstar’, with Angad Gill playing the main video role with Sen.The song and Divyaprakash Mishra’s video have a very Bollywood feel, involving group dances. One can almost imagine Jeetendra or Govinda doing those steps. Though there’s nothing new about Naresh-Anand’s tune, it’s got an infectious beat and catchy hook.
Anand B. Seshadri’s lyrics talk about how nobody has become “mere jaisa superstar”. The song is clearly aimed at the masses with a dream on their minds.
Rating: 7/ 10