METRO PLUS

Nine emotions, one voice

SHANKAR MAHADEVAN needs no introduction to music lovers. Kicking off his singing career with a handful of songs for A.R. Rahman films, he became a household name when Breathless was released. His association with Ehsaan and Loy has produced many outstanding soundtrack albums starting from Zor to the recent Kuch Naa Kaho, and not to forget the Dance Masti series of remix albums.

This time around, Shankar comes up with a concept album, which musically projects nine human emotions, one blended into each song. Though he maintains that there are umpteen emotions which make up the human mind, Shankar reflects on the nine most important ones in the album. Javed Akhtar's lyrics do wonders to each of these songs, as the words seem to elevate the listener and sets him thinking. At the end of the album, one definitely relates to each of the nine emotions.

Nine (Sa Re Ga Ma Music; CD: Rs. 145) kicks off on a happy note with the first track, Oh Sahibaa projecting the emotion, joy. It is one of those feel-good songs, which brings a smile on your face. The lines go: Kitni pyari lagti hai duniya aaj mujhe; Har manzar lagta hai naya sa, aaj mujhe. The track — exceeding seven minutes in length — seems to build up tempo as it proceeds, and the dholak accomplishment combined with Shankar's classical rendering, joshes up the song and seems to energise you as it proceeds.

The second track, in contrast, projects sadness. Dil Nange Pair Jaise successfully creates the feeling and is aided by the guitar and bass accomplishments, as dard and tanhai underlies the song. Love is the focus of the next track, Hum Khoye Khoye hain.

The music is very mellow and soothing, but after repeated listenings, you may end up feeling that the pace of the track is too slow for Shankar's style of rendering. Nevertheless, hardcore romantics will find the song emotional and calm. In the next two tracks, Shankar treads on territories which have not been explored by musicians. Jealousy is the theme of Tezab Ugalta Hai reflecting the Zehar Hoton Par, Aag Dil Mein sentiment, the hard-hitting background music blends well with the mood of the song, which has a hip-hop flow.

Javed Akhtar projects impressive imageries of a new sun rising from behind a tall building and people throwing their guns away and working towards ujala in a song which projects the feeling of hope. A feel-good track, Maine Ek Khwab Dekha has a pleasant, breezy feel and stays in your mind for a long time. A similar feeling is created in Aye Fiza, which is all about peace.

One emotion which film industrywallahs use heavily these days is fear, with the past few weeks seeing an onslaught of bhoot movies. Sain Sain Chali Hawa gives you that eerie feeling, becomes faster and energetic as it proceeds and succeeds in musically creating a haunted mood.

Loneliness is projected in Jism Mein Kaise Jaadu (Passion), and the jazbaat emotion is successfully recreated in Jazbaat Ki Sau Rang Hai.

Shankar's music and Javed's meaningful lyrics, combine to make each of the nine emotions a memorable musical experience. In total, a true navratna.

A. VISHNU

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