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Yatra (Nomadic Souls)

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Album Review

Kailash Kher had picked up a massive following in India (and with expatriate communities) long before making a U.S. debut, but in itself, that doesn't necessarily provide a free pass to a good international release, especially with the stereotypes of Bollywood music behind him. In fact, Kher's success has come in no small part from being somewhat different from the bulk of Bollywood's other songmakers. Where much of the genre is formulaic, poppy, and seemingly manufactured, Kher reveals a tendency for vastly more soul, as he does on Yatra. His songs sound crafted, his vocals taking from Hindustani classical forms (dhrupad, most notably) and Sufi qawwal, and there is perhaps more Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in his voice than there is Mohammed Rafi (there's even a stray harmonium in "Kar Kar Main Haara"). The result is a surprising one. The songs float, with mere hints of more modern traditions buried within more timeless sounds. The music grooves rather than bounces. The backing vocalists sway and swoon rather than shout. The sound is actually casual, while Indian music tends to be anything but — Bollywood is often hyperactive, and classical music is often more rigid (though it flows, the rules are always followed). If one has ever wondered what Khan would have sounded like in a modern setting (aside from the various electronic remixes), Kher may be the answer. With basic dance tracks, touches of bhangra, long and soulful ballads, and even a couple of outstanding bits of acoustic dance, Yatra has a little of everything and a few items that are entirely unexpected. This may be the sort of album that only comes around once every few years, and one with something to hear that's completely new and special.

Customer Reviews

a new star

This is a really great record. If the legendary sufi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan had recorded a song based, contemporary record really fusing east and west, this would be it. Kailash has The Voice. The compositions are well thought out, the songs are catchy, and there is a lot of heart and emotion coming through songs like 'Chandaan Mein' and 'Teri Deewani'. Anyone remotely interested in music from India must get this album. It's a real breath of fresh air from all the asian electronica, the straight indian classical and the ultra cheesy bollywood tunes. I've been waiting for this album for years! It's a solid album from start to finish, fun, meditative, interesting, catchy, rocking, mysterious…. it's like a discovering a new star. I think we're going to be hearing a lot about Kailash Kher in the future. Great Record!

A must-have for all world music lovers, or all music lovers in general

Oh wow, how lucky was I to come across this album! It's amazingly beautiful, insanely catchy, and so much fun to listen to. If your looking for music that will enrich your life and leave you in a great mood, this is definitely the CD for you.

Yatra (Nomadic Souls), Kailash Kher
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Customer Ratings