Monday April 4, 2011

Rewind: Nine Lost Memories (IndiPop – Band Called Nine)

Posted by Karthik

Neelesh’s small town introduction is heart-warmingly worded. The song tied to it – Shilpa Rao’s Yaadon ke idiot box mein opens the musical part of the album delightfully; a gorgeous mix of Shilpa’s vocals, Neelesh’s words and Amartya’s music, topped by Sabir Khan’s haunting sarangi. Tanha logon ke highlights changing India through the protagonist’s mom sending him an English sms, while Maazi gains more from Shilpa portions than Suraj Jagan’s. Canteen ki mez sees a romantic Rudraprayag wedding being proposed, even as Suraj Jagan’s version of Yaadon ke idiot box has all the ingredients to become this generation’s Purani jeans!

Pyaar ka monsoon has the best words for all voiceovers! Neelesh and Shilpa follow it up with Roobaru, a soft, jazzy and sax’y (Rehys D’Souza) melody. The simple wedding is narrated remarkably in Hamare jhagde topped by that ‘Ullu’. Shayad, the track that follows is the album’s best; a charming rock ballad. The cracks appear in Main koi mohobbat and even that sounds beautiful in Neelesh’s words, as they do in Suraj’s Aangan, Amartya mildly evoking his ex-band mate Amit Trivedi. Aakhir shaadi takes the plot 3+ years ahead and Naina tore that follows is a fabulous showcase of Shilpa’s singing, with pulsating backgrounds that contrast the pensive lyrics.

The eventual meeting happens again in Shayad main while Unka khayal sees Neelesh and Shilpa take on ghazal-like verses amidst bewitching music. Takleef explores men’s fascination for pain quite appropriately while Shilpa’s Dil raffu is a catchy exploration of a similar sentiment. Aapke jaisa hi hoon closes things in an attempt to let the listener identify with the protagonist. Verse-wise Rewind is almost as good as Gulzar’s similar, earlier attempt, Sunset Point. Amartya’s music too is delightful, making this an irresistible package! A brave new IndiPop attempt not to be missed!

Keywords: Neelesh Mishra, Shilpa Rao, Amartya Rahut, Band Called Nine, Rewind, #200

PS 1: This is technically a 200 word review. It goes up to 300 words ONLY because this happens to be a 19 track album!!

PS 2: Band Called Nine, musically, consists of Neelesh Mishra, Shilpa Rao and Amartya Rahut.

PS 3: The mobile downloads page of the CD lists 23 tracks in total, with 4 extra tracks in the form of 2 more variants of Maazi and extra versions of Roobaru and Unka Khayal. I’m not sure why they were left out in this version of the release – waiting for a second version, perhaps?

Notes: I bought this album via Saregama’s online portal. The purchase itself was a fairly smooth and quick process, but the download process was a phenomenal mess. The 19 track album’s download page did not have a ‘download album’ option, like F.A.L.T.U’s online purchase page. And, after downloading the first 6 tracks uneventfully, the site refused to let me download the rest of the tracks. After a few frantic attempts, I just let it be and came back to it after 30 minutes. I was then able to download the rest of the tracks.

Each download opens a separate download option and you cannot download multiple tracks either. After each download, the entire page refreshes, quite annoyingly. The interface to download the music, to put it simply, is horrendous. As a friend put it so brilliantly, “Saregama is the worst possible online music store out there. These jokers neither deserve your money nor the treasure trove of music they own” – I cannot agree more!

My advice – try the mp3 purchase option at your own risk. I’d highly recommend you buy the audio CD from Flipkart (affiliate link), a far more reliable option. You also get the complete album art in that case anyway.

The most interesting fact is that the song links came from Manoramic.com, another legal music purchase website that launched officially, late last year. From Manoramic’s launch news, it seemed like they are mere music providers and have music from multiple record labels. But Saregama, with the Hamaracd.com infrastructure (for CD purchase) and this online portal (Saregama.com), enabling downloads from Manoramic’s server seems rather strange.

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