Gems are generally found in the deepest places, and so you miss them. Devika Chawla is probably such a gem. At least some of her songs are. Devika’s second album Saari Raat consists of some touching songs. Barkha Bahar aaye to start with.
The album is called Sufi but I’d say it’s more a fusion album than Sufi. But then, it hardly matters to me what type it is as long as it’s good to ears. So here is my take on Saari Raat.
Barkha Bahar: Barkha Bahar aaye, piya nahi aaye. The lines say exactly what they are. A soft, soothing, slow song which is presented with some more western instruments, giving a fusion that is, I can say like the songs of Shibani Kashyap, to give you an idea.
Saari Raat: I thought it was the chorus and the original song will start. But it went on and on like that and I was kind of lost in the tune. Though just kind of and not exactly. Good, worth a try.
Unka Khayal Aaya: This one sounds more like a remix of an old song than an original song. The song has soul but seems the instruements have overtaken the voice. Could be better.
Andheri Lagan: Another song in the same league. Nothing new in the song, sounds just fine.
Rehna Tere Bina: Music is fine, mixing interesting and singing OK. But the song doesn’t seem to click instantly. Probably due to its lyrics that sometimes don’t fit the music and sometimes mix too much of Hindi and Urdu together.
Kothe Utte Chand: About the last song, I said it didn’t click. About this one, I’d say, it clicks. There are no words in the first 45 seconds of the song, but I still had a feeling by that time that there was something in the song. And as the song proceeded, my ‘feeling’ was coming true. The song is definitely a good one. Though I don’t know exactly which dialect of Hindi/Punjabi it is, I get the gist. Lovable.
Sajan Kyun Nahi aaye: I am going to listen to Hindustani Classical Music. Yes, if a song like this credits Hindustani Classical Music in the composer’s place, I think I would love Hindustani Classical Music. No, the song is not some Aalap you need to be afraid of though there is an interesting aalap at the end of the song. It’s a slow, soft, touching song with beats and a lot of western instruments you would most probably love to hear. Try the song.
Barkha Bahar (Live): Heard the first one? By the time you’d be in love with the song and maybe not mind all the applause in the background. The song seems to be a bit faster than the original song and a bit more lively, though I don’t know if the song is fast or not. Worth listening to, again.
On the whole, the album is good and gives some songs worth listening to. Barkha Bahar, Kothay Uttay, Saajan kyoon nahi aaye are wonderful. Saari Raat, Unka Khayal and Rehna tere bina are fine. In short, out of eight songs, there is hardly anything that needs to be skipped, which is quite good by most standards.
I’d say if you like to go out and experiment, here is something you must check out. It’s definitely above average.
And if you are shy of experimenting, just find out Barkha Bahar (preferably live version) and listen to it.