Fans who enjoy the rock stylings of bands like Jal, Strings, and Junoon will really enjoy Raeth’s new album, “Hum Yaadon Ke Sang”. Raeth is Wajhi Farouqui (singer) and Hassan Farabi (Guitar). This rocking duo scored the hit “Bhula Do” from their first self titled album, that took the Indian subcontinent by storm (make sure you check it out for some cool tunes). Now they are back, and are a band worth rocking back and forth to.
First off, let’s get this straight, though the lead singer Wajhi Farouqui has a similar quivering almost out of control emotional voice that Atif Aslam has, he is not a clone, there are subtle differences that become clear as the album progresses that show that Wajhi is a talented singer in his own right.
Next up, “Waada”. From the yearning of the first track to the out right romance of the second, we have romance served up Raeth style. Soft in all the right places, the vocals and lyrics really shine on this track. One can picture the moon shining a soft blanket of love over the midnight sky. Wajhi’s voice soars to emotional heights that will carry you along. Romantically rock on!
The third track, “Mein Chala”, starts out with fast guitar licks and drums that flow really well. This is the kind of track that can really get going and has that nostalgic rock anthem feel thanks to the guitar work and the keyboard (Hammond organ sounding) by Jaafar. Groovy…so rock on!
After the sweat inducing third track we have, “Tum Meri Ho”. Another soft rock romantic number that relies on the strengths of the lead singer to emote, this one will make the ladies swoon. The only problem is that it’s a slightly by the book rock patterned melodic track, but still holds up quite well. Swoon and rock on..as you whisper to your girl, “tum meri ho”.
By this point, you are wondering where Raeth will go, since we’ve pretty much covered the usual rock stylings. Well, the answer is retro electro synth club believe it or not. “Bolo Toh” starts out with some synth work, followed by guitar play that sounds like it’s from the 70s. This track is a departure for the band, and it’s nice to see them experimenting with their music. Hassan Farabi rocks out on the guitar solo midway through! The track is awesome and very listenable. The music, vocals and lyrics create an atmosphere that makes this track addictive to listen to. Flare pants out…and rock on 70s style..swishing this way and that!
“Bolo Toh” props up the album with something different, and that is followed by, “Jhoothi Kahani” that returns the band to the atmospheric rock they do so well. Unfortunately after “Bolo Toh” this track seems more déjà vu’ish. It’s not bad, but my fingers kept threatening to skip back to “Bolo Toh”. Still worth a slight…rock on!
“Aag” picks up the slack with an emotional melody that grabs the listener from the first few seconds on throughout the track. It’s all about fire, the fire of inspiration, and the fire of love, and the fire of life. You’ve got to blow out the sub woofer on this one by pumping up the volume. Fast and furious guitar work that works itself into a sweat soaked frenzy! Fast tracked, the track is another anthem like rock track that will make you….rock on!
Rounding out the album is another standout track, “Dil Nahin Manta”, that captures the imagination upon first listen. Yah mon, smoke it reggae style! You have the laid back beat, that will make you want to go to the beach and hang out with your friends. Within that casual reggae melody, the heart just doesn’t listen. Great way to ease listeners into a pleasant mood so say goodbye with…and to say, “Yah mon…go dis way and dat….and you be sure ta rock on…”.
That’s the album, what follows next are the bonus tracks that include the dreamy acoustic version of “Hum Yaadon Ke Sang” which could be a track on the old MTV unplugged show. It’s Great to hear real instruments and vocals with very little synth work. This is followed by the club version of the song. “Hum Yaadon Ke Sang” is wrapped in the euro trance stylings of Robert Miles. Not bad, but I prefer the original (as is usually the case with remixes). Finally we have the club mix of “Waada” that retains the romantic atmospherics of the original with a mid temp beat, not bad.
I can’t recommend this album enough for any rock fans. Raeth really bring it on their sophomore album, and that’s a relief…for most bands that start off strongly on their first album fall into the dreaded sophomore slump….but not Raeth. Take your time and truly listen to the album for Wajhi Farouqui and Hassan Farabi have really poured their hearts and souls into making music that goes beyond the generic music from other artists. Rock on indeed!
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