|Kailash Kher, performing live in Boston, November 13, 2009. Copyright Puneet Singh Lamba.|
I've been a fan on Kailash Kher ever since he came into limelight with the outstanding Allah Ke Bande (2002). After his appearance as a judge on Zee TV's SaReGaMaPa 2011, I also became a fan of his forthright personality and his shudh/pure Hindi.
I had the pleasure of seeing this amazing singer perform live in Boston on November 13, 2009 at the historic Somerville Theatre. It was an especially enjoyable show for me, given Karsh Kale's surprise guest appearance on drums.
Kailash Kher's long-awaited new album, Rangeele, is a more sober offering relative to his previous works. Understandably so, now that he is established, married, and a father. The album contains eleven delicious ballads, which I've reviewed below. This is the kind of CD we all long for, one that you can leave on continuous play and let it loop as it quietly seeps into your consciousness.
1. Rangeele. A thoughtful title song with horn and flute accents. The tune grew on me after a few listens.
2. Tu Kya Jaane. A gentle, meditative love song that lulled me into a trance.
3. Albeliya. A shorter, mesmerizing ballad. "Main to azaadi mein bhi kaid ho gayi."
4. Yadaan Teriyaan. A haunting, Punjabi song.
5. Daaro Na Rang. A slightly faster, catchy, irreverent offering with captivating banjo-like string work.
6. Kathagaan. A song of adoration. Continues the upbeat theme (and banjo?) from the previous song.
7. Babbaji. No one does spiritual songs quite like Kailash Kher. And this yearning song is no exception.
8. Yadaan Teriyaan (Acoustic). A welcome repeat, as is the entire album.
9. Hudkaan Maan Bitti. A playful song. Presents a change of pace before the fitting album finale.
10. Dharti Pe Jannat. A dreamy, short continuation of the upbeat groove. Left me wanting more.
11. Ujaale Baant Lo. The album ends on this lovely, uplifting anthem. My favorite track from the album.
12. Ambar Tak Yehi Naad Goonjega. My version of the album doesn't have this song.