Album Review: What Colour Is Your Raindrop
Tajdar Junaid’s debut album is a visually-imagined experience featuring lulling melodies and long empty passages
In his debut album, What Colour Is Your Raindrop, Kolkata-based musician Tajdar Junaid displays an important artistic métier as a manipulator of mood. If artists before him have used their mediums to consciously stir up emotions between revulsion, anger, joy and ecstasy, Taj posits his music in the delicate zone between brooding and uplifting, reflective and reassuring, poignant grey and hopeful light. Let’s just call this a melding of twilight’s soft sensory sounds.
Taj — a multi-instrumentalist who has played guitar, ukulele, charango, mandolin and glockenspiel besides ably lending his voice to the singalong “Though I Know” and the title track — maintains continuity, even when for the first time in the 10-track album the guitarist in him robustly lets the distortion rip in the last track, “Yadon Ki Pari.” Track after track, Taj promotes a slow flow, like a driver opting for narrow, winding country roads over the expressway.
In many ways, What Colour is intensely self-contained. As much as the numbers feel like milestones in the composer’s personal journeys, tracks like “Aamna” and “Prelude to Poland,” being tantalizingly tranquil and restrained, make us voyeurs in the musician’s inner chambers. The elegant interactions between instruments and styles give the album an incredible lift. Lulling melodies, mixing board minimalism, long empty passages and Taj’s poise while coloring the canvas, makes What Colour a visually-imagined experience too.
Key tracks: “The First Year,” “Mockingbird,” “Aamna”