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All the reviews this issue, at a glance

New age devotional from a debutante
Preeti Uttam, daughter of music composer Uttam Singh, takes her first tentative steps with Sur

Song for mother of 284
Why is Thimmakka every Indian environmentalist's role model?
And why is she celebrated in a new Kannada film ballad?

A young Santhanam, live in Bangalore
In concert features Maharajapuram at the Fort High School, singing a dignified Shankarabharanam and an ebullient Shanmukhapriya

A princess from yesteryear
Moods and Memories features early Hindi film songs in Rajkumari's grainy voice. She was very famous in the 40s, and reminds you of Shamshad Begum and Zohrabai

Sing, sing and yet be a knave
Jatin-Lalit prove their versatility again in Sarfarosh

Wish lucre wouldn't sway Daler
Daler Mehndi is capable of warm, wonderful music, as he shows in his latest album Tunak Tunak Tun. Why then is he content with childish, inane ditties?

From Russia with love
The Best of Tchaikovsky is a selection from the romantic oeuvre of the great Russian composer

Rare collection from a jazz great
Louis Armstrong started out in jazz's first decade, around 1920. And how he grew!

Ilaiyaraja rediscovers his magic touch
Good news: the maestro is back in form. After disasters like Kadal Kavithai he bounces back with stylish tunes for the Karthik-starrer Nilave Mugamkattu

Several moods of quintessential jazz
The baritone, tenor, and alto saxophone were essential ingredients of any big band in the swing era of jazz. Blue Moods features 17 "cool sax gems"

Sonu Nigam's singing devotionals
Sanskar is like any other cassette of bhajans, except that it comes from a well-behaved young man who hosts a popular TV show

Rajnikant and A R Rahman pair up again
You heard them doing a jiggling Tillana tillana some years ago. They're back in Padaiyappa, known as Narasimha in its Telugu avatar

Backstreet Boys' success formula
With Millennium the Backstreet Boys have yet again come up with a smash hit album. The success must lie in their ability to come up with fresh sounding tunes and beats in the jaded world of pop.

A taste of Reetigowla and Kamboji
This Madurai Mani Iyer recording is a 1997 re-issue of one of his rare studio recordings, and it gives us a glimpse of his nonchalant mastery

Peppy music from a new duo
Hello! Sanjeev-Darshan's tunes for Mann manage to sidestep the cliches that plague today's composers. Nasha yeh pyar ka is mint- fresh!

Thinking of Mehbooba
There's reason to remember R D when you hear the music of Dahek: a dance number begins somewhat like his Mehbooba mehbooba

Two good tunes, thank Malik!
Amitabh Bachchan's last few films have been disasters musically. But Sooryavamsham can boast of at least a couple of well-composed songs

How to be Weepy No 1
If the puerile story of Biwi No 1 irks you, its music is no great shakes either

Why is KVN so disappointing?
K V Narayanaswamy sounds weak in this live recording, and his selection of compositions is inexcusably uninteresting

Hamsalekha's back at his ribald best
The hit pair of Hamsalekha and Ravichandran is back with its trademark ribaldry in Preethsod Thappa

Classical? Says who?
Classical Favourites is a collection of Lata Mangeshkar's songs. Most of them are from dance sequences, classical-sounding rather than actually classical

Jaaved Jaffrey is the real Mum-boy
Among the various artistes in Bombay Boys, only Jaaved stands out with his rap-style Mumbhai

Mohd Rafi as a 'fun'kaar
Fun Songs is a collection of 17 songs chosen from Rafi's prolific output for the jumping heroes of the 1960s, mostly Shammi Kapoor and Biswajeet

Mukesh, master of melancholy
He couldn't yodel like Kishore Kumar or do a Yahoo! like Rafi. He haunts with his understated pain. This excellent five-cassette Legends collection tells you why jilted lovers forever swear by Mukesh

TV hits on tape again
HMV 20 Hits is a double album of songs that monopolised TV countdown shows over the last three years: A R Rehman, Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan, Uttam Singh and Jatin-Lalit are all there

This Rajaji is no scholar
No, this isn't a biopic on C Rajagopalachari the scholar-statesman; it's a Govinda film, Rajaji, with utterly forgettable music

Jack of all trades makes a hash
Run! It's T Rajendar, script writer, lyricist, music composer, cameraman, and director of Monisha En Monalisa

Songs from Rajkumar's heyday
Songs from three Kannada films, including Doorada Betta, featuring two lovely tunes composed by G K Venkatesh

Javed Akhtar's favourites: yours too?
What happens when a serious poet writes for commercial cinema? Something good and something bad, if you go by My Favourites

Melodies from Shah Rukh's films
With Love presents 10 songs from Shah Rukh Khan films. It spans six years and features hits from films like Dil Se and Baazigar

Three brothers on the bow
Violin Trio features L Vaidyanathan, L Shankar and L Subramaniam, known for their diverse musical explorations. Their Viriboni varnam is unquestionably traditional

Richard Clayderman offers a Spanish delight
Tango is easy-flowing piano on an orchestra of Latin American bent. It's not great music, but it's pleasant all right

Britney Spears, Lolita of pop
She's a 16-year-old schoolgirl who's topping the charts with unabashed pop, and you can hear her in Baby One More Time

A phenomenon called Whitney Houston
My Love is Your Love is Whitney's first studio album in eight years, a period when she rose to fame with her songs for Bodyguard, Preacher's Wife and Waiting to Exhale. It's awesome!

. Songs you've heard on MTV
Max 4 features a judicious mix of established hits, would-be hits and difficult-to-trace hits. Brandy and Monica's The boy is mine, for all its pedestrian words, is a remarkably well-rendered track

German technology talking
Alone is Modern Talking's eighth studio album, released early this year. The German techno-pop duo has nothing new to offer

Singing from the heart
One of the three great female vocalists of the swing era of jazz, Billie Holiday tells you what a little moonlight could do

A boy from Sa Re Ga Ma
Mohammed Vakil won TVS Sa Re Ga Ma's mega finals. He has now bagged this offer to sing an album of ghazals, Kasak

Mumbai with a southern flavour
Mumbai Chori is an album of non-film Hindi love songs by southern singing stars like SPB, Unnikrishnan, Sairam and Sujatha

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