Clinton Cerejo: Ananthaal – Music Review (Fusion Album)

ananthaal posterMusic video and full credits at the end of the review.

The placid melody of Thukraaye is delivered very well by Vijay Prakash and Bianca Gomes, the former in particular with his classical nuances. In an arrangement that is as laidback as the song, Dhruv Ghanekar’s classical-tinged guitar solo in the second interlude stands out for its neat execution. Ananthaal also presents a Tamil version of the song, Manasellam Megham written by Mohanrajan (the Hindi version is written by Manoj Yadav). But for the lyrics and Vijay choosing to replace some of his short alaaps with notes, everything remains same and is as effective as Thukraaye. Quite liked the ending that Clinton gives the song(s) – Dhruv’s mellow, almost melancholic notes fading away into silence. Vijay’s classical improvisations make for an engaging fusion with the dominant jazz flavour of Kaare Badra that has Bianca and Clinton handling the Western vocals. Groovy arrangement here – Gino Banks on drums, Pozy Dhar on guitar and Sheldon D’Silva on bass ruling the set – before Gino’s father Louiz Banks steals their thunder with a blazing keyboard solo in the final minute.

Vijay Prakash is the star of the unhurried Aage as well, confidently handling the uncertainty-laden lyrics by Siddhant Kaushal, though Bianca Gomes does well on her part too. Clinton makes smart use of Vijay’s sargams during the interludes – presenting it in a vocoded format in the first one and with Embar Kannan’s violin beautifully shadowing his voice in the second one (abheri/bhimplasi raga in the latter case). Was hoping that there would be a solo show from Embar though. Paabandiyan is one of the album’s liveliest tracks, riding on an addictive groove and an interesting interplay of vocals from the three singers. Once again the interludes are brilliantly done, featuring an almost jazzy progression with the classical notes. Haal-e-Dil is another one that scores high on the liveliness aspect, thanks to an interesting rhythm and the jazz flavour, and engaging vocal harmonies throughout the song. I could be influenced by the video that accompanied the song when it came out a few weeks, but my favourite from Ananthaal’s debut album is Inayat. A song where each of the singers get their solo segments singing Shellee’s Punjabi lines before they all converge on the title hook. The song’s spiritual feel goes beautifully with the awe-inspiring landscape of Leh where the video is shot.

Impressive debut from Clinton Cerejo’s Ananthaal. Good to see a partnership that presumably came about due to Coke Studio at MTV three years back (at least that’s where I saw them perform together for the first time) progress beyond the show, into an independent and promising ensemble.

Top Recos: Inayat, Thukraaye, Paabandiyan, Aage


Full Credits


Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: ShelleeH


Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya


Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: Manoj Yadav

Kaare Badra

Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: Siddhant Kaushal


Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: Siddhant Kaushal


Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: Siddhant Kaushal

Manasellam Megham

Music: Clinton Cerejo & Ananthaal; Lyrics: Mohanrajan

Ananthaal are:

Clinton Cerejo – vocals, guitar, keys

Vijay Prakash – vocals

Bianca Gomes – vocals

The Band

Drums – Gino Banks

Bass – Sheldon D’Silva

Guitars – Pozy Dhar, Clinton Cerejo

Keyboards – Beven Fonseca, Clinton Cerejo

Guest Artists:

Guitar solo on Thukraaye – Dhruv Ghanekar

Keyboard solo on Kaare Badra – Louiz Banks

Violin solo on Aage – Embar Kannan

Produced and arranged by Clinton Cerejo

Additional production and guitars: Sachin Mitra

Recorded by Chinmay Harshe at ENZY studios, Mumbai

The Groove Room, Mumbai by Hemant Baral and Sachin Mitra

Gino’s Den, Mumbai by Kuber Sharma

Voice and Vision Studios, Chennai

Asst. Recording Engineer at ENZY Studios – Abhishek Sortey

Asst. Recording Engineer at Voice and Vision Studios – Lijesh Kumar

Studio Assistance at Groove Room – Avinash Khengle, Datta Shinde

Mixed at the Groove Room by Clinton Cerejo

Additional Mixing – Sachin Mitra and Hemant Baral

Inayat mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC

All other tracks mastered by Tom Coyne at Sterling Sound, NYC

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