Join dotcomUNDERGROUND on Facebook Follow dotcomUNDERGROUND on Twitter Get updates by email dotcomUNDERGROUND RSS Feed
Monday, December 12th, 2005

A Review Published on The Daily Star:

Megher Deshe
Love it or hate it? A neutral viewpoint

John Denver is probably one of the most influential and famous country musicians. Even to the hard rock and heavy metal influenced young audiences of Bangladesh he will probably feature as one of the top 5 favourite artists. He sang with great passion and his lyric writing ability will be unparalleled for the next even hundred years. I am personally a great fan and admirer of John. Which is why, when I heard that Sumon of Aurthohin will dedicate an entire album to him, I was elated. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the CD.

It is no mean feat to try and translate the beautiful lyrics of John Denver into Bengali and sing it with great passion. Furthermore, after a long time, Sumon’s wife Nazia is singing in an album. Of course there is also Elita. There’s a good reason why one shouldn’t even think twice about grabbing a copy of the CD. Sadly enough, as I went through one song after another, I was displeased and disgraced. There was much to complain about from my side and much more to contemplate from Sumon’s. Now let’s look at some of the good things about the album.

Megher Deshe is always going to be a very high profile project. Like I said before, Denver is one of the most phenomenal country singers of all time, so there’s that curiosity about out how well Sumon translated or sang his songs. So both the lyrics (translated) and the overall composition would have to be unique yet not too far away from the original. Sumon managed to make the songs sound very unique indeed. Most of the songs were duets. The duet of Annie’s song was very fresh. The song selection was also top notch. Sumon chose the best possible songs to render from myriad of unforgettable songs. The guitar work is awesome and refreshingly original. Sumon is not only country’s premiere bass player but also a great acoustic guitarist. I wish he would play more classical acoustic in some of his future albums.

Unfortunately those few words are the only good things I have to say and the cons over weigh the pros of the album. The first thing a Denver fan would want to see in the album is the translation. It is not easy to translate great songs, true, but this is not an excuse to literally change the songs in their core. Annie’s Song was okay, but fell really short of the feelings of the original. Sumon just mutilated the Leaving on a Jet Plane. The song was half translated and never delivered the same meaning as Denver meant it to be. There were lyrical discrepancies in other songs too. Most of them let me a bad feeling about the translation. Maybe summon should have left the translation to the real translators, at least they would have done a better job.

On the musical side, Annie’s Song was good. But, why O why would ANYBODY want to remix this song? And what a horrible re-mix indeed. Jewel, sir, you have all my respect, please do not ruin that by mixing a beautiful song into nothingness. Jewel has committed more crime with some of the other songs. If he is such a great guitarist, why doesn’t he simply take on his acoustic and add to the songs. I have no clue why he used electric solos. If Denver wanted electric solos with distortion, he would have had them originally. The use of electric solos was like an ear-sore to the tracks in which they appeared. With Annie’s song remix being the worst of them all. I would have liked to hear the last song of the with some good taste.

Did I say that Nazia and Elita sang very well? Yep, they did, in fact their singing was actually much better that Sumon’s. Sumon has a low pitch vocal and John Denver’s vocals were comparatively high pitched. Denver also used a lot of vocal sustaining and natural vocal vibrato, which gave life into the songs. But Sumon simply brushed aside these, as if he was singing in one of his regular Bengali albums, like singing a poetry with a tune. He should really have taken great care to match the pitch changes and scale of the song. When one pays tribute to a great singer, one must take great care to it that they do justice to the vocal parts at the least.

And what can I say about Sumon’s Leaving on a Jet plane. Most people would consider this song as the most passionate songs of Denver. He seemed to have indicated his death through his song. What did Sumon do? He turned the passionate song into some kind of calypso beat disco track. What bad musical sense! The harmonization of the male and female vocals throughout the album was also not done well. Sumon’s voice was nowhere near the pitch of the ladies. Maybe he would refrain from any further mixed duet songs. One song did stand out from the bunch though. Sumon’s version of Old Guitar was indeed very well sung. His voice had the right feel and pitch for the song.

All in all, I was much disappointed. I was disappointed in Jewel the most for just that one remix track. An of course by Sumon. According to him, the album took two years in the making. I bet he must have been really lost in those two years. I certainly don’t expect this kind of ludicrous effort from him, especially when Denver is in question. After listening to his album , I had to go through all the original songs. Just to remind myself how the original songs sound.

By Tanvir Hafiz

My comments:
(y) gr8 review
i do hope denver would go to heaven. n i also hope he wont get to hear this album there.
if he does… most likely he ll try to commit suicide!!!

Join dotcomUNDERGROUND on Facebook Follow dotcomUNDERGROUND on Twitter Get updates by email dotcomUNDERGROUND RSS Feed
Get updates delivered to your email:  Enter email address:  

Tags: , , , ,
Categories: Bangladesh, Music, SEO Spam

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Get Update Notifications

 Subscribe in a reader Or, subscribe via email:
Enter your email address:  
Find entries :

Browse by Tags »