Monkemoner Station – Music Review (Bengali Album)

You can listen to previews and buy the album here.

The title song sort of belies the overall gaiety and freshness of the album Monkemoner Station, with a melancholic template that has become all too familiar to Bollywood followers courtesy the Bhatts; and relies heavily on Shreya Ghoshal’s soulfulness to not get bogged down by the déjà vu. Thankfully composer Joy Sarkar‘s arrangement for the rest of the album has enough fodder to help him hold his own without being overshadowed by the singer. The other sad song of the album, Chhoker Bali, sees some lovely sarangi over an Arabic flavored arrangement. The brilliant use of guitar is the highlight of Dyaakho, beautifully complementing Shreya’s rendition. There seems to be a touch of nostalgia in the lyrics (excuse my limited knowledge of Bengali). The composer’s adeptness at the employment of guitar comes to the fore in the very hummable, almost unplugged, Bandhu Kotha Rakhis as well. Lovely use of backing vocals as well.

The singer is at her exuberant best in Ja Khushi Saratadin and Aaja Benche Ne. While the first features an interesting mix of genres in its arrangement, the latter is an out and out rock ‘n roll piece. Chithira Chhilo Elomelo too follows a retro, albeit slower, format. The use of instruments is absolutely spot-on here, particularly endearing being the accordion. The crackling record sound at the start is such a nifty touch! And finally there is the yaman (kalyani) raga-based Sondhye Naame, the best song of the album, for the way the combination of Joy’s sublime guitar-led arrangement and Shreya’s impeccable singing works out.

Monkemoner Station. Delightful album from Joy Sarkar and Shreya Ghoshal!

Music Aloud Rating: 8/10

Top Recos: Sondhye Naame, Chithira Chhilo Elomelo, Dyaakho, Ja Khushi Saratadin

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