BBC – Music – Review of Sachin-Jigar

Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya may be relative newcomers on the Bollywood music scene, but that hasn’t prevented them from getting noticed. Having worked beside top Indian composers Pritam and Rajesh Roshan, the pair started creating background music before moving onto full soundtracks in 2009, debuting with Teree Sang.

However it wasn’t till the release of 2011 youth flick F.A.L.T.U. that the duo created some serious waves with a hit anthem, Party Abhi Baaki Hai. This breakout song, which bore a passing resemblance to My Humps by Black Eyed Peas, became popular amongst India’s iPod generation, heralding Sachin-Jigar’s official arrival.

Three more soundtracks later the maestros are back with the music to Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, a frothy romantic comedy starring newly married (in real life) Bollywood sweethearts Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza. Reflective of the film’s genre and the cutesy image of the leading couple, it’s no surprise to find love songs taking centre stage.

So who better than Pakistani pop star-turned-playback artist Atif Aslam to croon the romantic duets? With a powerful voice honed during his Jal rock band days, Atif’s gift for being able to belt out a chorus at the top of the scale while sounding tender at the lower end is unparalleled. His melodious duet Piya O Re Piya, featuring the popular songstress Shreya Ghoshal, is a sure-fire hit.

Tu Mohabbat Hai boasts another impressive performance by Atif, sung in his trademark style and benefiting from a Western influence and a female touch from Monali Thakur and Priya Panchal. Like Piya O Re Piya, this harmonious track is given the remix treatment a little later in the programme, which in typical Bollywood style doesn’t really offer anything exciting.

Mohit Chauhan gets his chance to shine in Jeene De, another amorous number with a hint of Sufi. Changing the gear from mellow to macho is Punjabi Bhangra singer Diljit Dosanjh whose rendering of the boozy Pee Pa Pee Pa Ho Gaya is a fun addition. Equally exhilarating are Sunidhi Chauhan and Kailash Kher, who pop up in the pulsating but slightly forced item number, Fann Ban Gayi.

Catering chiefly to young Bollywood music fans, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya is an admirable start to 2012 for Sachin-Jigar. But if they want to enter the big league they will need to raise their game and cut back on the superfluous remixes.

BBC – Music – Review of Nanci Griffith

Nanci Griffith is a darn conundrum. Twenty albums in, and here she is landing square on the fence – like so often before – between mainstream country-pop and something truly original.

Still, it’s hard to resist her. It’s not just the mix of elfin beauty, Texas twang and perky delivery – the lady is a charmer, with a genial line in storytelling that is most perfectly captured, for this reviewer, on live versions of her rites-of-passage ballad Love at the Five and Dime.

She’s been one of the great unsung patrons of historic talent, too, bringing key figures from the past like Buddy Holly’s Crickets and folkie Dave Van Ronk into the studio and out on the road with her band, The Blue Moon Orchestra. And if there’s a suspicion that her success has been earned more by the personality conveyed in an edgy, wholly individual voice than by her music, there are worse routes to stardom.

The strongest song here, Hell No (I’m Not Alright), makes the point. Griffith hollers out the inarguable sentiment of its chorus with a relish that should attract future grumpy anthem-singers – and outflanks the sketchiness of the song in the process. Pacing is another of this short album’s strengths. There’s variety in its unfolding, with a brisk shot of energy two-thirds of the way through from a confident reading of Griffith’s 20-year-old Just Another Morning Here.

Not everything works, though. The Texan has always had a weakness for a sentimental ballad, and the set alternates tearjerkers from other writers with the more personal, confessional material of the album’s six new songs.

Recorded in Griffith’s Nashville home, the production is busy with tambourine rattles, bongo taps and pinging triangles. Downbeat words are buoyed up by light pop textures, leaning heavily for character on the fragile virtues of a voice that, while full of expression, is not designed for pop. Still ahead then, we must hope, is the record that will give that distinctive instrument an irresistible setting.

BBC – Music – Review of Kailasa

Released by and featuring the voice of Bollywood’s most famous actor, Amitabh Bachchan, Rangeele (Colourful), is certainly the best-marketed offering from popular group Kailasa, with extensive tour dates and promotional appearances tied to its release.

Having worked with Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, and captivating the masses all over India, Kailasa frontman Kailash Kher, and his somewhat raw voice, seems to know no bounds. Formed around brothers Naresh and Paresh Kamath, Kailasa have played at prestigious venues like Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and at a jam-packed Royal Festival Hall in London.

But while past successes speak for themselves, Rangeele might be the group’s weakest long-player to date. That said, what it lacks in innovation it makes up for with catchy melodies and grooves that shine, allowing it to stand out in the tough Bollywood music market.

Myriad emotions hit the ears and, due to the captivating instrumentation and sheer variety of genres covered, the language barrier does not present a problem in uncovering the heart of these arrangements. The country and western vibes of Kathagaan make it the standout track – its earthy, rustic, uninterrupted progression showcases the delightful voice of Kher in all its glory.

The title-track might not be original but it is instantly identifiable, following a similar scale to that used in Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The soothing Ujaale Baant Lo (translation: “let’s distribute lights”) features lyrics with deep meanings about togetherness; indeed, many of the tracks are lyrically well thought out. Daaro Na Rang (“don’t pour colour on me”) starts off in a melancholy fashion yet brings an innately Indian quality to the fore, revealing a bluesy edge as it continues.

Elsewhere, Babbaji is a stunning devotional, about the holy man above, watching over. The bonus track is a beautiful guitar-infused acoustic version of Yadaan Teriyaan (“memories of you”). The cutest song on the album is undoubtedly Hudkaan Maan Bitti (“about a village game”), featuring the toddler son of Kher, while Tu Kya Jaane (“the anger inside you”) has proven itself as a chart-topper.

Sax riffs and vocal percussion, the North African Oud and the banjo: many a constituent features on this eclectic offering. Atop this varied musical backdrop, Rangeele traverses the entire gamut of love-based emotions and is a charming, albeit habitual, latest step for its makers.

Flexera Software’s Joachim Haas to Speak on Software License Optimisation at the Software Asset Management Strategies 2012 Conference (we.connect) in Berlin


Schaumburg, IL February 7, 2012

What:
Joachim Haas, major account manager DACH at Flexera Software, will present a session on Optimising License usage as the next generation of software asset management at the Software Asset Management Strategies 2012 (we.connect) conference in Berlin.  Mr. Haas’ session will focus on the following software license optimization topics:

  • Making the leap from software asset management to software license optimisation

  • Minimising license consumption and software spend

  • Monitoring contracts and compliance: preparing for maintenance renewals and license audits

  • Product usage rights – The key to true license compliance and optimisation

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@FlexeraSoftware presenting on Software License Optimisation at Software Asset Management Strategies 2012 in Berlin http://bit.ly/zhv4Di

Why:
Enterprise License Optimisation solutions represent the next generation software asset management (SAM) solution for controlling, using and optimising software licenses while ensuring that organizations only buy what they need. Software optimization provides detailed insights into the software estate, including actual application usage and opportunities for cost savings. The result is unprecedented control of application usage, providing the strategic solution needed to drive upwards of 5-30% savings in software spend.

When:
Optimising License Usage as the Next Generation of Software Asset Management
13 February
16:00 (4:00pm)

Where:
Maritim Proarte Hotel
Berlin

About Flexera Software:
Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions- from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and enterprise license optimization – to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com.