A happy New Year to everyone and it is with great pleasure that I begin a new column on a new year. For the constant readers, this column is in its fifth year. And what changes we have seen in the past five years.
Shakira went Waka waka and Munni became Badnaam. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry broke onto the scene. Kings of Leon set Sex on fire and Taio Cruz Broke your heart. Michael Jackson died and Justin Bieber was born. Sheila’s Jawani aged overnight and Madonna kicked it with her Sticky and Sweet tour. U2 remained the biggest band in the world and Indian Ocean released their first live concert film. Iron Maiden came to India, as did Meshuggah, Porcupine Tree and Aerosmith.Hindi film music went rock and rock went… well, I don’t know where it’s gone. But I think we shall find out in the coming year.
So what all can we look forward to in the coming year? For starters, the electro-dance wizards The Prodigy hit two cities in January, blues legend Buddy Guy plays Mumbai in February and friend of India, Bryan Adams hits five cities as well. All this apart from the fact that Indian bands and musicians will tour like never before, and for my new year wish, I want all you kids out there to support Indian artistes when they hit your city… if I may say so.
Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny
Calling All Hearts,
For those who follow hip-hop, this is Keyshia’s fourth album. It continues in the trend of pop sensibilities that make up the genre. Fans of female hip-hop will appreciate the soft tunes relying on melodies that invite the odd rap once in a while. And like most albums of its kind, this one too arrives with its usual guest appearances. Nicki Minaj, Faith Evans, Timbaland et al. I didn’t really find any redeeming factors to this collection of songs that are just about alright. The choruses are average and the production is nothing exceptional.
No Boys Allowed,
Some sharp choppy rhymes, fat bass grooves and a truck full of attitude that slaps you in the face and upside ya head! Get a load of these lyrics, My name is Keri/I’m so very/fly, oh my/ it’s a little bit scary/boys wanna marry/looking at my derri/ if you touch it I could bury…. Now how can you not love that (heh). But seriously, this is some chutzpah at work; each track an attempt at setting up a different sonic hip-hop experience and you know what? It succeeds very nicely.
, Cher and Christina Aguilera
This is Christina’s effort at wiping out the debacle that her last album Bionic was. She’s joined by one of the biggest female icons — Cher, two songs by whom, Welcome to burlesque and You haven’t seen the last of me are classic Cher. The other eight songs by Aguilera showcase the powerhouse vocalist that she is. The opening song, her version of the Etta James classic, Something’s got a hold on me is a stellar tribute to the song itself. The other songs bring the sharp pizzaz and swagger to the soul of the theme of the film, and Christina and Cher make it all the more palatable this time.
True Grit OST, Carter Burwell
Coen Brothers’ fans will know that Carter Burwell has scored every one of their films with fine and superlative music. The result is no less this time around. The film is an update on the 1968 novel of the same name by Charles Ports, which was made into a Oscar-winning 1969 film starring John Wayne. The score takes inspiration from mid-west Protestant Hymns of the late 1800s and is largely sparse and minimalist. The central character of the story is Mattie who hires Sheriff Marshal Cogburn to track down her father’s murderers, and it is her sadness and journey towards revenge and subsequent redemption that forms the score.