Poor Abhijeet Sawant.
Nish, Tot, remember that Mary Burchell we liked? Where composer Oscar Warrender takes Promising Voice Anthea something under his wing and then refuses to let her sing commercially till she's fully trained because they would ruin her voice and corrode her soul? That is what has happened to this young man. SET India clearly is determined to extract full value from its creation and he’s much the worse for it. He appeared on Jassi last week, part of the Jessica Bedi launch hoopla – strained, unhappy and belting out notes without soul. I’m beginning to think Amit Sana was luckier.
Sowmya has lent me her Indian Idol CD. (I’m a bit late reacting to it – it’s been out for months, but hey, this ain’t no magazine or newspaper now, see? I feel like, so I write. Yippie!)
I have no idea how the album fares on its own merit in terms of music worth buying, but since it was an offering from singers whom we the voters have practically nurtured, I felt a certain materteral interest. Rahul Vaidya, of course, exhibits that fine control we’ve become accustomed to from him with Woh hain zara khafa khafa. Rahul Saxena too comes up with a nice version of Meri bheegi bheegi si. Prajakta Shukre’s Rangeela re disappointed a bit, mostly because Leslie Lewis clutters the background with a very ‘remixy’ concoction of sounds.
Naturally, which song makes a difference too – Sawant, for instance, gets Dream Girl, which I’ve never really cared for, while Harish Moyal draws the RD Burman classic Tum Bin.
But the surprise and the delight of the lot, to me, was Vishal Kothari. He sings Ye dil diwana hai, which is a brilliant song in the first place – soft, romantic, whimsical. Plus, Lezz gets him to do these fantastic muezzin-like vocals in the background. Superb. What a pity he went out so early in the contest.
Have you seen the new Aapka Abhijeet Sawant video? It’s the unfortunate Mohabattein lutaunga again, which I hear features twice in the album. "Main bhool ise na paunga?!"... how awkward is that! Try saying it, leave alone singing it and you’ll see what I mean.
The video isn’t much better. Indian Idol on beach, bheegoing in the rain, dancing with women swathed in yellow billowing garments, signing autographs and whatnot. Hmmph.