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Listen to the music

Back in the day, Mumbai had a great bandstand culture where, after a day’s work, people would gather in their public gardens and watch the local band play some relaxed tunes.

music Updated: Apr 11, 2011 15:16 IST
Luke Kenny

Back in the day, Mumbai had a great bandstand culture where, after a day’s work, people would gather in their public gardens and watch the local band play some relaxed tunes. Of course, back then it was police or military bands who would rehearse waltzes and sambas and regale the wandering audiences with their lilting melodies and foot-tapping rhythms. And while those days can never be revisited, they can certainly be emulated.

And that’s exactly what is happening, for a few Mumbaikars have gotten together and have revived the culture but with a contemporary spin. The three bandstands at Bandra, Dadar and Malabar Hill have been selected, and every Saturday, folk musicians and police bands along with Mumbai’s best Hindi and English rock bands and stellar solo artists will perform, bringing back that innocence for a while.

There are some great things that Mumbai had in the popular culture scene and it’s good to be able to see and be a part of that in this day and age… if I may say so.

English Review
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Avril Lavigne
Sony Music

It’s been four years since 2007’s The Best Damn Thing, during which Avril got married and divorced, and the album reflects that. The fourteen songs oscillate from glossy pop-rock to gentle introspection — some of it obviously inspired by ex-husband Deryck Whibley. This is Avril’s growing up album and it kind of made me think of Alanis Morrisette when she did Jagged Little Pill way back in 1995. And ironically, both hail from Canada. So here’s more of Avril for her fans and her angst ridden teens, for whatever it’s worth.

Hello Monotony
Rating: **1/2

Femme Fatale
Britney Spears
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She’s back with all the sensuality and sexuality that she’s been so famous for. And as with all of her songs, these twelve talk about sex and melancholia in varying aspects. ‘Inside out’ is a slow groove burner and ‘Hold it against me’ says it like it is. But the highlight is the, ‘Big fat bass’. But through it all, one can’t help but notice how Britney’s vocals have lost all emotion, and sound completely processed and cold — almost machine like. Oh well, that has never stopped her from singing anyway.

Rating: ***

Late Nights And Early Mornings
Marsha Ambrosius
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You might have heard a female voice backing up artistes like Queen Latifah, Macy Gray, Common, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, right? Or the soul/RnB outfit Floetry, maybe? This is one half of that. Marsha’s first solo album is pure soul and groove. A sensual voice that, at times, reminds you of early Prince and just that right hint of Diana Ross-meets-Dionne Warwick. She has a love for basketball that influences her work. But other than that, this is some chill-out soul for those quiet summer evenings.

In-between music
Rating: ***

Lucinda Williams
Universal Music

One of the best kept secrets in American songwriting, 58-year-old Lucinda has been around since her first album ‘Ramblin’ in 1979. In her 32- year career, she has released only ten albums so far. Her sound is a bluesy, boozy, and oozing with the ghosts of Southern America. Having grown up in Mississippi on a staple diet of low-country blues, Lucinda has never compromised on her sound — a slow-driving rhythm that slowly creeps under your skin with a weather-beaten road sign like voice that stoically braves all winds of change.

Rating: ***