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Nine wonders

Shankar (Breathless) Mahadevan projects nine human emotions in his latest album, "Nine"


SHANKAR MAHADEVAN needs no introduction to music lovers. Kicking off his singing career with a handful of songs for A.R. Rahman, 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 has come up with a concept album, which musically projects nine emotions through nine songs. Though he maintains that there are umpteen emotions that make up the human mind, Shankar reflects on the nine most important ones in the album.

Javed Akhtar's lyrics do wonders to each song, as the words seem to elevate the listener and sets him thinking. At the end of the album, one definitely relates to all 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 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 a tempo as it proceeds, and the dholak accompaniment to Shankar's classical rendering, adding josh to the song.

The second track in contrast projects sadness. `Dil Nange Pair Jaise' is aided by the guitar and bass accompaniments, as `dard' and `tanhai' underlie the song.

Love is the focus of the next track, `Hum Khoye Khoye Hain.' The music is soothing, but after repeated listenings, you may end up feeling the pace of the track is too slow for Shankar's style of rendering. 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 talks of hope. `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 about peace.

"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.

A. VISHNU

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