Yaadein

T-Series, Audio CD: Rs 130

A press note for Indrajit Dasgupta’s Yaadein notes that while most songs are “pleasing” and “good”, there is one song on the album which is “not up to the mark.” You simply don’t see statements like these anymore, and in a press note, to boot.

Perhaps one must view the music of Yaadein itself with a similar lens. Yaadein is eight songs of old, but not necessarily traditional, sounds (think monochromatic female choruses, a never-changing tabla, and all manner of melodic instruments piled on), the kind one doesn’t often hear often today. The album also has appearances from Anuradha Paudwal, who hasn’t been seen in the non-devotional album space for a while.

All eight songs have lyrics that are responses to grief, in some form or the other. For instance, one especially desperate track has the singer writing his last-ever letter, and thus exhorting the listener to store it with care. Lyrics are, among others, by Nusrat Badr, who has previously written lyrics for the 2002 version of Devdas.

Musically, too, the songs sound largely similar. Album openers “Woh Rooth Gaye” and “Bure Naseeb Mere” fit squarely into the mournful category. “Teri Yaad Mujhe Tadpaye” begins with sound effects from a rainstorm, and then goes on to repeatedly detail the singer’s painful, unrequited love, with the monsoon as backdrop. All songs have flutes and strings in prominent roles supporting the vocals. Even the two appearances from Anuradha Paudwal, in “Jaane Kyun” and album-ender “Main Tera Kyun”, manage to briefly enliven the album.

The one song that distinctly breaks away from this dominant sound happens, curiously, to be the one enlisted earlier as not being up to the mark. This is “Yaad Mujhe”, which adds a dash of variety to the proceedings with its major-scale, slightly upbeat music.

Indrajit Dasgupta has a voice that, with its occasional quivers, aptly voices the mournful material of the album. The album might be pleasurable listening for those who enjoy music that’s light and even pleasant at times, if predictable. For others, it could work – if at all – purely as a trip-down-memory-lane-style exercise, at best.

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