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Re-jazzed classics

Bartender (Mikey McCleary) is the guy behind ad jingles like Vodafone’s the world is your playground… and the rerecorded versions of Khoya Khoya Chand… and Hawa Wawaai… in Shaitan.

music Updated: Oct 01, 2011 17:35 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

Artist: Bartender
Album: Classic Bollywood Shaken, Not Stirred
Label: Sony Music
Rating: ***1/2

Bartender (Mikey McCleary) is the guy behind ad jingles like Vodafone’s the world is your playground… and the rerecorded versions of Khoya Khoya Chand… and Hawa Hawaai… in Shaitan. His latest work is a tribute to old Bollywood songs of the 1950s through the ’70s, but reinterpreted in a casual, chill-out mood.Comprising ten songs including classics like Babuji dheere chalna… and Waqt ne kiya…, the album features contemporary singers like Mauli Dave, Suman Shridhar and Monica Dogra.

If you’re a fan of trip-hop acts like Massive Attack or lounge music of Café Del Mar fame, you’ll like a lot here. It’s no small feat to take on popular old tunes and give them an entirely different twist. But for the most part, McCleary manages to do this well, making his versions memorable. For instance, Dave’s singing in Jaane kya tune kahi… (Geeta Dutt sang the original) harks back to magic of the’50s. It’s jazzier too, compared to the rest of the tracks that feature heavier basslines and trippier tremolo-laden melodies. Khoya khoya chand… is reinterpreted nicely too. Monica Dogra’s Ajeeb dastan hain yeh is more contemplative and sounds like something out of a Portishead album. Other tracks include Tum jo mil gaye ho… sung by Suman Shridhar, Yeh sama, sama hai yeh pyar ka… and chalte chalte yun hi koi….

This album works best when heard at one go, as it’s a concept album with a consistent mood and theme. With excellent arrangements, great singing and some catchy tunes, here’s a thumbs up to revisiting old Bollywood.

What we like
Mauli Dave’s singing

What we don’t like
Some songs are average