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Debojit

Sa Re Ga Ma, Rs.145One more bubble goes bust. The staged euphoria of talent hunt where the winner is promised an album often acts as the final nail in the coffin of a bloated talent who is promised a sky before finding his ground. Here is the turn of Debojit of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge. It is easy to find fan following through the emotion-riddled episodes of a series where viewers hardly have to spend anything. It becomes a different ball game when you expect the same viewer to buy your album. Here Debojit hardly shows any range to interest the listeners. All the songs are sung at the same pitch, no highs, no lows and hardly any pathos. Towards the end he tries to salvage the album with some old hits, but the effort shows. The only saving grace is "Jeena". Lyrics haven't helped him either. Moksha by Amjad Ali KhanEMI, CD, Rs. 350If you picked up Moksha, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan's latest album, hoping to sink into intense moments, it's not going to happen. This album is different; it moves away from the classical canon and is a collection of eight compositions, all ragas composed by the maestro himself. The pieces are in the semi-classical mode, exuding a lot of energy. They are racy, with a breezy alaap. So breezy that it's over even before you savour it. For instance, the opening piece "Sandhya", in raga Shyama Gauri, begins with the characteristic meends, long and nuanced. And just when you unconsciously break into a "wah!" over a poignant phrase, the main piece takes off rather loudly, only to completely offset the prayerful, opening notes. It's a catchy tune. The piece in Charukeshi is the best piece on the album. It also probably captures attention because it is the most elaborate piece in the album. The taans in the stream of conscious mode are truly beguiling. Their circular movement gives the piece one seamless feel.Bhatyali (Amaan Ali Bangash) has a typical Bangla folk feel. The finishing of the composition jars with the rest of piece, since it slips into the classical mode suddenly. "Moksha", the composition based on raga Bahar, has a good sound to it. For one, it mixes sarod with the human voice. The tarana recited by Amjad Ali Khan (one assumes) has a raw, untamed texture to it. Each of them is an expressive mood piece, marked by brevity. However, most of them, set to one rhythm frame, make the album sound extremely monotonous. It is clear that the maestro made this album for the Western audience, but it works as a good entry point even for beginners back home.

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