Sunday, September 6, 2009

Album Review : Namee by Ritika Sahni

Namee, Words painted with love
Artiste : Ritika Sahni
Label : Times music
CD Price : Rs 125

Cassete : I don't know, haven't seen any.
Website :

You can by the whole album as mp3 downloads from for Rs 38.00 only
click here!!!

I happened to remember Ms Ritika Sahni from my early teens, a time when India was ripe for music beyond bollywood cliche's. But no sooner, this non-bollywood genre would be itself absorbed into bollywood rendering itself to new set of cliches and then pop singers joining the rows and ranks of bollywood's second class citizens, i.e. "Playback Singer". Ritika was one of the few or many would I say, who perhaps chose not to do so, remained aloof from bollywood music occasionally having sung only two or three of them.

Ritika's debut album on Sony Music

Year 2008, 8 years after launching her debut album, she has came back with her new album called Namee(moistness, humidity) elaborated as Namee-Words painted with love. The album is essentially about love from a woman's point of view. The different emotions and moods a woman goes through once she realizes she is in love. each song is distinct from the other and speaks of different shades of a woman's emotions when she is in love.

The opening track Bheeni Bheeni is an extremely sweet song. The song once heard will not be able to register in our minds which is already rendered numb by bollywood's stereotypical, convoluted and chaotic music. But listening over twice or thrice will send sonorous chimes into thg depth of your mind. The song tells about a girl remembering her first time sweet encounter with love. A young girl having fallen in love trying to discover and interpret the changes having taken place in and around her. The song is literally very mild, very basic maybe intentionally so. The arrangements seems to be very limited and so seems to be the number of instruments, sound effects etc with the drummer's plate being hit repeatedly disallowing you to fall asleep(hey I don't mean boring at all!). I personally think a better reworked enhanced version of this song would have been more marketable. The song's video is also very well shoot with less budget(seems so) and less gadgets. the sepia overlay throughout gives it a coffee-house, jazzy kind of flavor. The use of sitar is simply AWESOME, beyond any words. I personally think Nescafe should pick this song for their ad-jingle, it will fit very well and also more people will come to know about this much deserving album.

The next song More Ghar aao Sajnaa has traditional kinda lyrics juxtaposed against fast paced music. Truly nice, especially a tremendous nice shift from the relaxed mood of bheeni bheeni to that of an anxious desperation. The song depicts the desperation of a woman waiting for her beloved for a long time. The lyrics of this song are written in somewhat less urdutised(bollywoodish), more shuddh hindi way. I liked this change especially the lines, "shan dauru, shan bhagu" etc

Sundar Sundar is a very untypicall song. The song has a very strong north eastern flavor and can amazingly blend with an Assamese Bihu dance act. The song has a folk music appeal as if a country side roaming village girl awaiting love in her life, asks nature, the trees, the wind, the streams, the flowers and birds to route her lover to her or herself to her lover.

Then come's a song called Sayyian Main Ab Huyi Deewani speaking of a girl gone crazy in love. Frankly speaking, I felt this song somewhat kind of a filler and being inherited from bollywoodish themes. But still it is a good song and lyrics are also well woven.

Track number 5 is a cool teenage love song kind of stuff. Jhoome Le, Tu Pyaar Kar is perhaps the most catchy song on this CD It has a switching pattern. The song switches between two very different sounds, one which is sensual, adult-kiddish type and the other being sweet, peppy and kiddish-kiddish type. The song is a very good track to dance along especially the thumbas and percussion make it literally a latino dance song good to be seen with two salsa dancers dancing to its tunes.

Jab Raaho Mein Andhera Chaaye is the next song which speaks of a woman's readiness to absorb her lover's pain, troubles and fate. She is ready to do anything that would stop her lover from collapsing. The girls in the song tries ti instill confidence into her lover boy. The song has a very American country rock flavor, dizzy-dizzy, good to booze along with, understand what I am trying to say, I hope . This is not the song that I would listen to when I am listening to the CD a third or fourth time not because it is not worth it, but because there are better songs in this album and I probably might have less time also (I have so many other CDs to listen to). But one thing I really liked about this song is that it has added to the versatility around a common theme(woman's love) ingrained in this album.

The penultimate song of this album is a soul version of More Ghar Aao Sajnaa, I have not yet patiently listened to this song as I am ethically against repeating songs in an album and that too in one which has only 8 songs (which now makes it a 7 track album). I would rather not write about this for now.

The last song is Oh Piya Mujhe Pyaar Do. The song is a extremely sensuous one with sensuous dialogues(verses, better say)
...............oops! intersecting the songs melody beautifully. The song depicts the emotions of a woman desirous of sensuousness and physical pleasures from her lover-boy. Kind of a taboo in our Indian society, but who cares! The song is a sexy one and could be played while you are making love with your partner, really I bet. It will literally double your pleasures. Especially I like those lines, "Sparsh ka ehsaas do", this really defies the typical don't-touch-me attitude of the Indian girls.

Overall this album is very good and is in no way monotonic. Perhaps the USP of this album is that even though it is based on a common theme, the songs are very distinct, individualistic, flashing a spectrum of colors from a single ray of light. One good thing about this album is that it does not have any song called "Maahi Ve", or any of those repetative Bhangra track. It also does not contain any "yo-yo" hip-hop or raggaeton nonsense(bollywoods new cliche') in its tracks.

So for any reasons you agree and disagree with, go and buy the album. It will most probably be available at the landmark stores or in fact you can even place an order with them, they will bring it to you. Planet M seems to be good only for mobile phones, DVDs, VCD's, VCD players, T-Shirt and bollywood crap.(tomorrow you might be buying washing machines and MDH garam masala also)
Go buy it, listen to it and kindly put comments to my review.............STOP! Please do not start Googling around for a free illegal download. Simply buy this stuff, it is humbly priced at Rs. 125 with Jewel Case(I hate those pitch-board boxes) and a voluminous CD cover with all the lyrics and credits. Although the inlay and cover design are a bit basic (Ritika pehaps needs a good Photoshopper friend. Nobody has cared to smudge off the wrinkles on her face, in the pics at her website. BTW I am available, are you listening Ritika?) but still worth a music lovers collection.
There are also some free stuff at her website. You can go and collect at her official site here.

Last but not the least, Hats off to Ritika for carving out an album and following your heart's desires in a music market which is literally plagued with baniya mentality and utterly unwelcoming to non-bollywood independent musicians. Your album on the stores speaks more of struggle than love, I guess.

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