12 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On this intriguing collaboration, the Indian vocal legend Asha Bhosle and the Kronos Quartet perform arrangements of songs by the late Bollywood composer, Rahul Dev Burman (1939-1994). Bhosle, who has sung on countless film soundtracks and was married to Burman, appears on eight cuts. The album also features the virtuoso tabla player Zakir Hussain and Wu Man, a master of the pipa, a lute-like Chinese instrument. The opener, “Dum Maro Dum (Take Another Toke),” which was originally used in a film about the hippie counterculture on the subcontinent, quickly displays Burman’s gift for melody. “Rishte Bante Hain (Relationships Grow Slowly),” flecked with a variety of delightful details, appropriately takes its sweet time. The instrumental “Mehbooba Mehbooba (Beloved, O Beloved)” is marked by striking string gestures and includes touches of accordion courtesy of violist Hank Dutt. The sassy “Ekta Deshlai Kathi Jalao (Light a Match)” has nice timbres, including one credited to “hammered violin.” Rippling percussion, hints of James Bond music, and Chinese flavors enliven “Saiyan Re Saiyan (My Lover Came Silently).”

EDITORS’ NOTES

On this intriguing collaboration, the Indian vocal legend Asha Bhosle and the Kronos Quartet perform arrangements of songs by the late Bollywood composer, Rahul Dev Burman (1939-1994). Bhosle, who has sung on countless film soundtracks and was married to Burman, appears on eight cuts. The album also features the virtuoso tabla player Zakir Hussain and Wu Man, a master of the pipa, a lute-like Chinese instrument. The opener, “Dum Maro Dum (Take Another Toke),” which was originally used in a film about the hippie counterculture on the subcontinent, quickly displays Burman’s gift for melody. “Rishte Bante Hain (Relationships Grow Slowly),” flecked with a variety of delightful details, appropriately takes its sweet time. The instrumental “Mehbooba Mehbooba (Beloved, O Beloved)” is marked by striking string gestures and includes touches of accordion courtesy of violist Hank Dutt. The sassy “Ekta Deshlai Kathi Jalao (Light a Match)” has nice timbres, including one credited to “hammered violin.” Rippling percussion, hints of James Bond music, and Chinese flavors enliven “Saiyan Re Saiyan (My Lover Came Silently).”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
15 Ratings
15 Ratings
Akimon ,

You've Stolen My Kronos

This is a strange production: the famous string quartet's take on R.D. Burman's music left me rather confused at first. But I do like it more and more as I keep discovering very interesting nuances in the musical fabric. My introduction to Kronos was through the violent soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream, and I was hoping for something radical here, a jazzy classical Bollywood fusion, but they almost disappear in the mix. The first question may be "Where's Kronos?"
I have been listening to Bollywood soundtracks for years and my Bollywood playlist has hundreds of songs, many procured here on iTunes: everything from good ol' Kishore Kumar to all the latest flicks, and this Kronos outing would blend in there just fine.
And that's the problem- some tracks on this CD sound just like the originals, especiallly Dum Maro Dum. But there are some enhancements, too subtle to pick up at first: strange sound of the instruments, old fashion keyboards adding surreal touch, dissonances and weird sounds- elephants, occasional laughter, and a wicked James Bond thing in Saiyan Re Saiyan, plus that woozy feel of string quartet gone native.
Asha Bhosle's voice is as good as ever- her and her sister, the great Lata Mangeshkar are like Placido Domingos of the Indian music, and will only retire when they are 120 years old. And I really loved the subdued, instrumental Mehbooba Mehbooba- if you know the raunchy original version, from the Sholay movie soundtrack, it's something new and different.
In essence, Kronos have stripped these compositions, leaving the skeleton and adding their own subtle colors. Nothing radical- but it is a gentle, tickling listening pleasure...
Once you have ingested a whole lot of mainstream Bollywood songs and yearn for something new and interesting, you should get A.R. Rahman's Dil Se soundtrack and start exploring the brave new world of remixes, but if this music is new 4U, Stolen Heart will serve as a great Bollywood appetizer, and a very tasty Kronos dish, all at once.

Manish ,

Amazing

if you are at all into the nostalgia of bollywood this is a great chance to experience some of the golden oldies. Asha Bhosle is one the worlds greatest singers and teaming up with the Kronos Quartet just makes her that much more amazing. you may be a little confused at first but it is well worth it!

Boolez ,

I like bollywood but....

Why must the Kronos quartet be so fawned apon for discovering Indian pop? I like the stuff on it's own terms and I don't need the Kronos to tell me to like it because they think they're special. Asha Bhosle is great, go buy her albums but PLEASE Kronos settle down and go play some quartet music for once!

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