Sunday September 22, 2013

Coke Studio @ MTV, Season 3, Episode 6 (Music review) – Amit Trivedi

Posted by Karthik

The severely under-rated Tochi Raina is the highlight of Rabba. The man lords over the lovely melody Amit cooks up, with some support from Jaggi’s rap. Sukhjinder Singh’s constant algoza sound is a lovely native Punjabi infusion in the tune, while the three ladies providing backing vocals – Dawn Cordo, Murishka Dcruz, Ardelia Dcruz – are fantastic too! But it is Tochi, with even pained, in-character expressions, who wins here, outright!

Amit throws a googly with Shaher mein, where he changes the hook’s tune to a fairly unusual note from how the song flows initially. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics are fantastic, eliciting the madness of city life and Tapas Roy’s charango is a lovely accompaniment! If there was one thing that seemed amiss it is Tanvi Shah’s choice for this song. The usually adept Tanvi seems a bit flat for the song and I just wonder if this needed a more powerful singer – I don’t want to name anyone in specific, but someone with a full-bodied voice to bring out the loss of character in the nameless millions of the city.

Khari khari, despite star vocalists like Kavita Seth and Kutle Khan, seems fairly templatized. Arshad Khan on the esraj makes a difference, but the overall song is very look-ma-I-am-feeling-these-emotions-in-Rajasthan feel that changes note only twice – once, when Arshad joins the percussion, and again, when the song ends on a different note.

Things get progressively better with Naariyan. It starts with the perky lyrics by Kausar Munir, that has a nice conversational style, though the male portions are lesser and more of an after-thought’ish addition. Shalmali Kholgade, with not just her spectacular vocals, but also the expressions she throws at Karthik, is a superb choice for the song! Kishore Sodha’s trumpet is a great addition, as are the silences Amit fills the song with at strategic points! Karthik, at one point, even adds a lovely whistle interlude on his own to join the trumpet. And then that fabulous ending with manic energy from all involved! This is Amit going for the kill!

But no, the man has to top that too! And he does, in style, with Kyun na! This is Amit’s trademark – the layered music, led by Finix’s violin, the sudden outbursts… all intact here! The optimism and outlook portrayed by Ozil Dalal in the lyrics adds life to the already enjoyable song. The singers too – Karthik, Dhruv Sangari, Chandana Bala and Amit himself – are superb in their respective roles, and in the overall scheme of exchanging the lines amongst themselves that plays out beautifully like the musical equivalent of Rashomon! The lyricless portion in the middle – featuring beatboxing by Alan Desouza, Shree’s kanjira and Rais Khan’s morching is a throughly imaginative addition!

Amit’s set is completely original, with no folk/traditional covers! And that’s where the man excels, in his usual style! The overall tone is markedly more urban compared to the few earlier episodes that revelled in non-metro’ish, folk music that was great in its own way, of course. Barring Khari khari, this is a very, very good episode, albeit worth complaining that it has just five songs as against the usual six!

  • Subhendu Bhowal

    Absolutely the second best episode after Rahman. Then Rahman was 94/100, Trivedi 76/100. Significant difference :P

  • Amit_t

    look-ma-I-am-feeling-these-emotions-in-Rajasthan feel ?? That line is so insensitive! Very poor standard for a blog. If you wanted to take a shortcut with words I am sure you could have thought out a bit. You trivialized an entire creation with shortcut language!! Not commenting on your view because after all this is YOUR view and thats where it all ends. But definitely have an issue how you put that across in instances like these!

    • milliblog

      I disagree with your stand. And I apologize for not being you, and for being myself.

      • Amit_t

        No need to apologize since I did not expect you to be me (that would be absurd). We both disagree on this one and we both have stated our views independently. Now its there for people to make whatever sense of it (and judge for themselves which side they see themselves in)

        • milliblog

          I was being sarcastic :) But you’ve got the crux, anyway…

          • Amit_t

            Did not get the sarcasm at that time (my fault). But do get it now :)

  • jeanjohny

    Is Amit_t, Amit Trivedi, the composer?

    • milliblog

      Going by his previous comments on Raja-Rahman in another post in Milliblog, I do not think so. Also, I don’t think – at least in my mind – that the actual AT will react like this to a negative review of one of his songs… I may be completely wrong, so call it wishful thinking, instead of an assumption :)

      • jeanjohny

        Yeah, it cannot be Amit Trivedi. I felt that the line, ‘Very Poor Standard for a blog’ is so cheap that somebody mature won’t comment like that! Maybe my fault, as I have not seen the so called ‘standard blogs’! :)

      • Amit_t

        I am not Amit Trivedi. and like Karthik points out, Amit T would not be reacting like this to negative criticism (he will be beyond all this and right now creating the next gem!). I am just an AT fan (that too just ‘one’ of them)

        To clarify, I had no problem with the criticism as such. Just the way it was put across in that phrase sounded very condescending and insensitive towards the artists that had earnestly tried to for a folk song from that region.

        No hard feelings meant for anybody otherwise!

  • Amit_t

    Some observations:

    1. Overall an underwhelming episode when compared to Amit’s last year episode (though I haven’t seen any piece of work in the world that comes close to the music delivered in last year’s episode, so to start with, the comparison is unfair)

    2. Dhruv Sangari loses notes in many places. He is the Alisha Bhatt of this season. While the latter is nothing more than a youtube cover singer, the former is an accomplished Sufi singer. So really puzzled what went wrong and why they didn’t go for another take.

    3. Didn’t expect much from Karthik as he has always sounded limited being a ‘film playback singer’ and not a classicalist. But he delivers cleanly within whatever was asked. Nice whistling

    4. Tanvi Shah fails to take the song to the level that it is required in Coke Studio format. But again, shows like Coke Studio are where you differentiate the Men/Women from the Boys/Girls

    5. Really missed Dilshadji this time

    6. See Amit has moved from Amit’s to AT Studio (congrats on that!).

  • Jaydeep

    Only 3 tracks work for me. Kyun Na, Rabba & Naariyan in that order. And IMO in Sheher mein, its not Tanvi’s vocals but its melody that’s flat and hardly does any justice to city’s madness as penned by Swanand.

  • Ateka

    Amit Trevedi is awesome…..

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