[95] Asha Bhosle – The Rough Guide To Asha Bhosle

30 Jan

I finally understand what the people behind Cornershop were so excited about in their 1997 hit, “Brimful of Asha”.

The Rough Guide To Bollywood Legends

The Rough Guide To Bollywood Legends

This career retrospecitive (at least through 2003) of the “Most Recorded Artist in the World” spans half a century, and the listener can follow the twists and turns of popular music throughout the latter half of the 20th Century in the 16 songs presented here.

Despite being solidly routed in the Bollywood tradition these tunes, mostly taken from movie soundtracks, chart a course that reflects the big band swing of 50s musicals, 60s girl band sounds, and 70s Bond-theme-like grooves, all interspersed with more  traditional Indian ballads.

The range and scope is dizzying.

Ashaji’s voice is subtly assured throughout, never overpowering or truly flamboyant, and her control is such that you can’t help but listen to what she has to say.

Despite lacking knowledge of the language or the helpful hints that the movie visuals would provide, I find myself empathizing with the emotion behind each song even if I miss the specific meanings.

It is a beautiful mix of familiar and alien, and it is heartwarmingly universal.  Highly recommended.

Next Week:  Big Daddy Kane – Long Live The Kane

Owned before blogging? No. (9 of 95 = 9%)
Heard before blogging? No. (14 of 95 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (77 of 95 = 81%)

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