This review appeared first here – https://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/04/08/kailash-kher-ishq-anokha-music-album
You can listen to my music review on B.B.C. here – http://www.bbc.com/hindi/multimedia/2016/04/160407_bbc_music_review
The ‘title’ song is generally something that sets up the tempo for the entire album (and most likely the one that gets the first ‘video’). On the freshness count, the song is not exactly something that would make you want to reach out for the repeat button. Kailash Kher sounds lost and disinterested amidst the maze of confusing arrangement and tunes that sometimes fall short of accommodating words. Forget about splash, the title song here doesn’t even create a ripple.
O Jogi has a jive like sound but the disinterested singing and low energy of Kher in the beginning is just too out there. In terms of arrangement, this is the quietest and the most well behaved song and as a result in the later part, the song picks up but it is just not enough to dazzle you. Foot tapping? Just about.
With strings being the best part about the song, Meherbaani Teri has a unique tonal structure that doesn’t sound familiar ‘Kher-wise’ and that is refreshing. Not only that, the accompanying members of the band are also not bad on the mic in this one.
This is a good song because Kher is in familiar territory in terms of melody with contemporary fusion and earthy set of words. The sax in the song is really good but the overall arrangement (yet again) tries too hard when this could have been just a good song without the occasional noise that puts you off.
I still cannot understand the shehnai like sound that repeats the first line of antrawith Kher in Vaari Vaari. Not only does it disturb you, it makes no sense because when you use an innovative technique too much in a song, it becomes tiring. There is just so much happening that you are overwhelmed. The electro version of this song is no different. It has a rather funny sound of the other members of the band and just in case you forget that it is an ‘electro’ version, there is way too much ‘electro-ness’ thrown in. Disappointing and disturbing
With the most promising opening lines of the album, this song has a mystic character that gets horribly diluted and turns into a joke fairly quickly. The sheer cacophony of instruments and Kher going at it in the highest pitch fathomable might be mistaken for ‘range of the song’ but as a listener, it irked me because it wasted the fabulous start that the song has.
What is a Kher album without an ode to the biggest guru of all? The sound of the song has a ‘Kher of the past’ sound to it, which is again (surprise!) mixed and processed so much that it kills the earthiness which the lyrics promise you otherwise.
A contemporary presentation of somewhat traditional lyrics (which is Kailash Kher’s forte) is nice but there isn’t a drop of newness in the song singing wise and add to it a rather annoying ending and it qualifies for a song that is inconsequential
With the body of work that Kher and his band have, we expected much more than what is presented here. A bit too much effort has gone into sounding ‘electro hip’ and interruption was probably mistaken as arrangement. While I try to make out why Kailash Kher sounds so disinterested at most places in all of the 9 songs, give this a try only if you are a Kailash Kher fan. If this is Ankoha, I’d rather have the Mamooli please!