Sunday September 15, 2013
Coke Studio @ MTV, Season 3, Episode 5 (Music review) – Papon
Papon ropes in Assam-born, Bhojpuri singing sensation Kalpana Patowary to join him in a Assamese-Rajasthani song… how is that for fusion! That interlude featuring Akhlak Hussain Varsi’s harmonium and Kalyan Baruah’s guitar, and the consistently impressive backgrounds from traditional instruments including Nagada (Nathulal Solanki) and Ravanhatha (Sugana Ram) make this song a winner! Papon, in particular (besides Kalpana), is superb with his vocals, loaded with infectious enthusiasm!
Papon is in Boitha maro re territory, making complete use of this phenomenal singing skills! But the very Eastern song takes a gorgeous Punjabi take mid-way with Aslam and Hanif Dafrani’s dholak kicking in, and Harshdeep Kaur sudden appearance (she isn’t even waiting or visible till then!). The fused tune is scintillating, with the music getting progressively more modern and in line with the infusion of energy from 2 states!
That Papon’s composing skills are exemplary was never in doubt. And his first original tune in this edition of Coke Studio is thoroughly engaging, but with more Indipop’ish sound than any fusion – not that there’s anything wrong with that, anyway! But yes, Omkar Madhukar Dhumal’s shehnai infusion adds an extra dose of pensiveness to the song, though it pales in comparison to what Papon brings with his magical voice!
Dulal Manki and Simantha Shekhar join Papon for the wonderfully catchy Jhumoor, with its very eastern lilt, backed by Nirmalya Humtoo Dey’s flute. That Shuru pathare interlude that goes almost Bappi Lahiri’esque is an interesting distraction!
The least interesting song of the set, though salvaged by Benny’s lively act (complete with never-before seen Dalmatian-style pants made out of what was once a very good bed sheet!), Sameer Chiplunkar’s accordion and the 3 backing vocalist ladies’ (Shannon Donald, Crystal Sequeira, Gwen Dias) African style humming that reminded me of what Anu Malik lifted from The Cover Girls’ Because of You, for Baazigar’s Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen! The African-Assamese fusion did not work for me at all, in general.
Benaam si khwaayishen
Papon’s second original song in his set is an exemplary ghazal in sync with his Baarish ki bounden from The Story So Far. Anweshaa is fantastic with her vocals, bringing life to the already beautiful tune. Not to be left behind is Pritam Ghoshal’s sarod and the brief Duduk by Nirmalya Humtoo Dey. The minor change in rhythm around Patjhad jaaye is where Papon leaves his stamp as a really good composer!
Papon set is – as expected – very, very earthy with a lot of focus on the tunes. Khumaar, Baisara beera and Benaam so khwaayishen are my favorites from this episode – the last one, in particular! This is a good time for Papon, with this set and his songs from Madras Cafe getting fairly popular – have heard many, many folks really like Khud se and Sun le re!