Music Reviews

The best of Brit rock

Ocean Colour Scene is an English Britpop band from Birmingham. They have been together for over two decades and Saturday is their ninth studio album. The album opens with a psycho-folk track with subtle horns and woodblock percussion, 100 Floors of Perception, a song about economic recession.  Mrs Maylie has a blues and country-rock tinge.

The title track, Saturday, has an anthemic quality. Magic Carpet Days is almost psychedelic (like Pink Floyd) with a mandolin riff. What’s Mine is Yours is an artful mix of clarinet, piano and subdued vocals.  

The slow-paced Village Life is about British village life. This is followed by the fast-paced Postal, a song about the burden of everyday life. Harry Kidnap is a soft, dramatic ballad about a man right out of luck and time. The Rockfield is an ode to the studio where the album was recorded.

It has become quite a trend among many bands to sing paens about their favourite recording studio. The band has reinvented old sounds, drawing from the rich tradition of rock’n’ roll. In a way, it is a representation of all that is good and great about Britrock.
Michael Patrao

Soothing & relaxing

Listening to these sacred chants is bound to soothe you and calm your frayed nerves after a hard day’s work. And if you believe in the power of Lord Shiva, then, this is the right one for you. There is the calming Om Namah Shivaya by Shankar Mahadevan.

The steady chanting without heavy variations in pitch and minimal music accompaniments are designed to make you close your eyes and de-stress. All the compositions in the album are set to music arrangements that are contemporary.

There is Sikkil Gurucharan’s Bhoo Shambho, a pacy composition, and Unnikrishnan’s Bilvashtakam. Vijay Prakash (of the Jai Ho fame) chants the Lingashtakam, again a neat rendition. There is Nithyashree Mahadevan, Sadhana Sargam and Ravindra Sathe to add variety in terms of style. The album ends with Sanjeev Abhyankar’s Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Coming from the maestro from Mewati gharana, the rendition is a fitting finale to a collection of compositions on Shiva.
Savitha Karthik

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