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Same trip again

Ek Dana brings Daler Mehndi back after a year-long break. He's still where you last saw him: riding the loudness bandwagon

Ek Dana
Rs 65

The original singing-dancing Sardarji is back with Ek Dana. Not only does he sing and dance, but this time around, he writes the lyrics as well. Other poets on the album are Shahab Allahabadi, Satya Prakash, Meenu Singh, Rajan Raj and Ajay Jhingran.

Daler Mehndi has also choreographed the video of Boom boom, and designed the clothes.

Boom boom takes some unexpected melodic turns, but that's not enough to make this a good album. In the video, he's out in the open air, dancing with a modern Punjabi 'kudi' of the slipping pallu. Ah, some things never change.

Daler Mehndi, trained in raga music and endowed with a voice that can sing almost anything, is sadly caught in the loudness trap. Most tracks blare out so loudly that even interesting melodic passages in songs like Boom boom get drowned. Guilty music composers: Ravi Pawar and Daler Mehndi.

Side B has the better songs. Kiski tamanna hai has a neat beat and bass and some lines are sung in the ghazal style, with syncopated notes. The intensity of Daler's voice is set off against the piano, and the melody flows smoothly.

Hum tere deewane hain is a qawwali-style piece with intricate harmonium passages. Tu kudi punjabi with its raucous laughter sounds like one those obnoxiously loud film tunes. Crude keyboard music fills the interludes. Daler might strain his vocal chords beyond repair if he continues singing at this pitch.

Medley sees him stringing in his forceful voice popular film songs like Kisi disco main jayen, Dam mast kalandar, Chamma chamma. As if we haven't had enough. Et tu Daler?

S Suchitra Lata

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