Album Review: Akshai Sarin ”” Connected
Why Sarin’s latest album is a stereotype lost at sea among countless other mediocrities
Akshai Sarin ”” Connected
Universal Music IndiaÂ
[easyreview cat1title = “Connected” cat1rating = 1.5]
Connected is deceptive in that itÂ opens strong: a reversed sample in turn drowned and shucked over a reedy shehnai or pungi, “Moon Pyramid” shows promise as an introduction. Credits tell us, however, that this is the only track AkshaiÂ Sarin himself has neither co-produced or composed; if so, the lazy tempo devolves far too quickly in his own hands.
Off the bat, if you have the slightest sympathy for lyrical content,Â thisÂ is not an album for you. Track after track is crippled, if not by bubblegum mysticism (“Walk On Water”), then by the streetwise spoken word (“Dirty Money”) or sheer clunkiness (“Reborn”).Â
Then again, if it’s innovation you seek, there isn’t much solace to be found here either. Drawing samples from sources as diverse as “Tumhawar Keli Mi Marji Bahal” from Ram Bapat’s milestone soundtrack toÂ PinjraÂ (1972),Â every sweep and beat has been conceived, regurgitated and abandoned in the last decade.Â
The true embarrassment onÂ ConnectedÂ is “Love Is Killing”, the desi abortion of the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” and Justice’s excellent “Tthhee Ppaarrttyy.” If Anushka Manchanda telling you to “put your rain dance on ”˜cause when it’s wet it just gets better” fails to make you cringe, then congratulations, you have successfully been cauterized against absolutely any atrocity that third-world pop can throw at you.
ConnectedÂ comes off as anything but: at best it is an insipid compilation of musicians Sarin has befriended over his years in the music business, at worst, a stereotype lost at sea among countless other mediocrities. Tracks co-produced by Pavel Khvaleev sound no different from the Russian EDM act Moonbeam that he constitutes one half of, and DJ Yahel’s plays don’t sound too different from his umpteen commercial remixes either. Sarin’s album is meant to represent a synergy of influences, but he unfortunately has no tangible sound of his own to tie them together.Â
At the end of his grammatically challenged liner note, Sarin tells us “I’ve already started work on the next album. And it sounds nothing like this one ; )”Â (sic).
Perhaps there is, then, a thin ray of hope to clutch onto somewhere.
Key Tracks: “Moon Pyramid”, “Elephant Ride”.