Too Little Weight

When a 13-track album boasts heavyweights like Mick Jagger,Damian Marley,Joss Stone,Dave Stewart and A.R. Rahman,one expects a “superheavy” album.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published: October 1, 2011 11:48:10 pm

SuperHeavy

Universal Records

Rs 395; rating: **1/2

When a 13-track album boasts heavyweights like Mick Jagger,Damian Marley,Joss Stone,Dave Stewart and A.R. Rahman,one expects a “superheavy” album. But what one gets,instead,is a mishmash of diverse styles — it is an intriguing idea and gives us an interesting title track,but it gives some of the tracks a plain awkward sound.

The artists,brilliant in their respective genres,do have their moments but do not together give us that great musical rush that they have often given individually. Marley gives some relief with his toasting raps. Rahman’s moment comes with Satyamev jayate,which begins as a reggae track,but takes a rock route later. He has interspersed in it a violin solo with a Carnatic classical base to make it sound fresh.

The disappointments: the boring I can’t take it anymore and World keeps turning,which unsuccessfully tries to be a We are the world kind of anthem.

Mick Jagger,well,is Mick Jagger. It is a known fact that when the Rolling Stones frontman tries to produce music without the star band,something massive does not happen. After going reggae in some numbers and rendering the extremely quavery and joyless Never gonna change,we keep hoping for one good track from Jagger. And that turns out to be One day one night,in which his voice sounds intoxicated against a piano and a fiddle playing in the background. Marley reveals a softer side to his voice too.

Joss Stone’s soaring vocals in Beautiful people are plain gorgeous. Add to them Jagger’s nasal twang and you have a cheerful number that has the good ol’ Rolling Stones touch to it. Another good track is Rock me gently,which has Stewart showcasing his guitar skills. The album concludes with Rahman’s Mahiya,listed as a bonus track. He tries to bring the Punjabi dhol to the song’s rescue. It is fine,but we have heard better from him.

So,have too many cooks spoiled the broth? Well,in some parts,for sure,but what saves it is its spirit.

suanshu.khurana@expressindia.com

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