Hok Kolorob: Mellifluous melodies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 04, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Hok Kolorob: Mellifluous melodies

Hok Kolorob: Mellifluous melodies

Shayan Chowdhury, better known as Arnob, made a strong first impression in the country's music scene with “Chaina Bhabish” in 2005. His music had depth, the arrangements were uncommon, and his lyrics were poetic and reflective; yet, it did not attain booming popularity. The reason, some said, was that it was not music that everyone could easily relate to or hum along. His second album, “Hok Kolorob” (2006, Bengal Music Company) made up for that, and some.
The album opens with the simple, happy tunes of “Bakshey Bakshey”. The tune is catchy, and the song somewhere feels connected to the Malvina Reynolds/Pete Seeger classic “Little Boxes”.
The next song, “Tomar Jonno” is a beautiful romantic song, done on a plucked acoustic guitar. The lyrics speak of a man's young, blossoming love and the things he feels and dedicates to his paramour.
The title track is up next, and is a little bit more flavoured like his debut album, but on a happier note. The lyrics are somewhat nonsensical, almost Sukumar Roy-ish, and leaves the audience swaying.
“Tui Ki Janish Na - 1” is the next song, a gripping instrumental track with serious, poetic lyrics of the yearning to express the innermost feelings to a beloved. Sahana's backing vocals add a lovely dimension to the song. The percussive arrangement is also wonderful on this one.
“Bhalobasha Tarpor” is next on queue, and begins on a melancholic note with vocals very prominent on a soft guitar-keys track, and gets expressive as it moves along in a simple yet wonderful melody, with the lyrics delving in the respite that love brings in our lives, despite the sadness and struggles.
“Tor Jonno” goes back to the charming, funky element back the album promised in the beginning. The subtle use of electronica-type effects plays along perfect with the purposefully juvenile lyrics.
The next song deceptively opens like a serious, contemplative number, before going into a funky, carefree and sort of rappy lyrics that changes the mood altogether. “Shomoy Kaate” has a wonderful groove to it, and the middle part that speaks of a lazy youth's daily routine feels incredibly relatable.
“Chalak Tumi”, the song to follow, is more like a heartfelt letter to a loved one on a melancholic note, but the music is upbeat, with electronic percussive arrangement and muffled electric guitar works without much distortion. Ornob's subtle vocal works also get an exercise here.
“Muhurto” moves away from the typical guitar-plucking that is the staple constituent of many songs in the CD, and is more keys and synth-based. The track is soft, but groovy. The vocals get a little radio effect here and there, for a nice variation.
However, “Prokrito Jol”, the next song, sort of takes back the listener to the “Chaina Bhabish” ambiance. There's ambient sound of pouring water, a hollow-chamber clay instrument creates an eerie sound, and the bass-line is prominent. The lyrics are abstract and poetic, and the vocal output is in a different gear from its precedents. Jalal Ahmed's marvelous flute-playing takes the song elsewhere, particularly the one long solo.
“Shobdo” is another soothing number with the typical mildly-strummed acoustic guitar, and a female vocal humming in between verses. One of the more 'comforting' tracks of the album, if not the most striking.
The album closes with “Tui Ki Janish Na - 2”, which is basically the same as the first song, just on a slightly different instrumental arrangement, among which is a cute baby-voice in between the song, and a more electronic-styled arrangement.
Overall, the album is a relaxing mix with no track requiring a skip; perfect to be playing in the background as one sits in a rocking chair on a balcony on a weekend afternoon, or drives to the outskirts of the city for a breath of fresh air.

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