Monday, 3 November 2008

ALBUM REVIEW: Nitin Sawhney, London Undersound

Nitin Sawhney has himself described this album as an album of collaboration that sets out to explore how "London's heartbeat has changed" since 9/11 and the London bombings of July 2005.

The vivid and descriptive opening track, Days of Fire, was co-written and performed by London singer Natty. The track was inspired by Natty's experience of witnessing the London Bus Bombing. I was very surprised as it is a very easy listen, pleasant, upbeat track although there is a slight grittiness to it.

Hard hitting, Bring It Home, includes vocals from Imogen Heap. The track’s up-beat tempo coupled with Heap’s delicate tones helps illustrate what life might be like in the busy city. While the Paul McCartney collaboration, My Soul is a very moving and poignant piece which is given an Asian edge with backing vocals from Reena Bhardwaj.

The sensual tones and spoken Spanish of Interlude II flow effortlessly into the next track, Distant Dreams. Interlude III brings some classic funky Indian music and vocals.

The tracks seem to flow perfectly from the relaxing piano piece with the most beautiful female vocals, Ek Jaan through Transmission, Last Train to Midnight and the simple, understated instrumental of Firmament.

This is a truly remarkable piece of work which evokes a whole range of emotions as it deals with the change in attitudes on the city of London so perfectly.

Track listing

1. Days of Fire2. October Daze
3. Bring it Home4. Interlude 1 - Ghost Image
5. My Soul6. Interlude 2 – Soledad
7. Distant Dreams8. Interlude 3 - Street Sounds9. Shadowland
10. Daybreak11. Interlude 4 – Identity
12. Ek Jaan13. Transmission
14. Interlude 5 - Tension15. Last Train to Midnight
16. Interlude 6 - Ronald Gray17. Firmament
18. Charu Keshi Rain

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