Enhancing the Dark
Being of a race where people tend to judge a book merely by its cover, I must admit that the first impression that I had upon casting a glance at the black and red cover-sleeves of Adhar thrust into my hands by a patron of music, was not a very agreeable one. I thought to myself, another group of youngsters drenched in bloody tears, dressed in black rags, visiting grave yards on a weekly basis to define the so-called 'heavy metal' culture in Bangladesh? “I don't think I can deal with another one,” I smiled politely at the patron, hoping that he would not take it too hard since he Shaun Wright-Phillips believes Chelsea have been able to maintain their relentless pursuit of Premiership leaders Manchester United because every player feels part of Jose Mourinho's family.
Wright-Phillips scored twice as Chelsea closed the gap on United to three points with a 4-1 win at West Ham on Wednesday. But the England winger is convinced it is the team's all-for-one mentality rather than individual talent that has kept them on course for an unprecedented quadruple.
The reigning champions underlined that comradeship with another demonstration of their unbreakable will to win just hours after a missile was thrown at their team coach en route to Upton Park, shattering a window and shocking the players.
Chelsea hardly needed any more motivation to get the victory they sought to keep the pressure on United. But just in case they weren't sufficiently fired up, the mindless supporter provided further incentive.
As a former West Ham player, Chelsea's Frank Lampard knows passions can run high in east London and he said: "A window got broken on the way. The outer layer shattered and there was a huge bang.
"It's football. These things happen when emotions are running high. West Ham are coming here fighting for their lives. But nobody died so there is no point making a big deal about it."
If Chelsea really are the close-knit community that Wright-Phillips describes, then he must be the long-lost relative who suddenly turns up on Christmas Day.
The 25-year-old has been anonymous since his move from Manchester City in 2005 and the fact that these were his first Premiership goals for Chelsea merely underlined the extent of his struggles.
In the past he has often appeared over-anxious to impress during his cameo appearances, but for once he managed to channel his boundless enthusiasm into a match-winning display.
While he admitted his two fine strikes gave him a measure of personal vindication, it was their impact on the title race that was more important.
"It's an indescribable feeling and I just have to thank the other lads for being behind me all the way," Wright-Phillips said. "It's only normal that the more games you play the more confident you get.
"It was very important for us to cut down the gap again. We know what we have to do. We have to win every game to put them under pressure.
"The determination is unbelievable. Even if we go a goal down, we believe we can get back into it. That's the strength we have as a family at this club. We're always together."
Lampard claimed Chelsea's players had been inspired by the negative publicity surrounding Mourinho's frosty relationship with Roman Abramovich.
Mourinho's future is still uncertain after reports linked Abramovich with a move for former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
But Lampard said: "There's been a lot of talk and that comes with being a Chelsea player, but it can only inspire you. We have been through tough times and we are in with a chance of everything. That is a testament to the lads and we will go to the end."
Wright-Phillips opened the scoring with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area in the 32nd minute, but Carlos Tevez equalised from 25 yards three minutes later.
Chelsea hit back just a minute later when Wright-Phillips volleyed in Wayne Bridge's cross. Salomon Kalou's close range effort just after half-time put the Blues in control and Didier Drogba wrapped up their ninth successive league victory with a fine finish.
West Ham remain five points from safety and manager Alan Curbishley admitted his side need to win three of their last four matches to avoid relegation.
"I thought we were excellent in the first half and I was very disappointed to go in 2-1 down," he said.
"My only complaint is that if we had performed like that against the teams around us we might be in better shape.
"We'll keep going because we've said it looks like it could go to the wire. But we have to win the rest of our games for that to happen." seemed to like it very much. “You shall listen to it, right now, in my office,” he exclaimed to which I could do nothing but smile sheepishly, while looking for excuses to leave his office located on Elephant Road.
The very next second I realised I was wrong. Not only was I too soon in judging Adhar as one of those bands which tend to pop up every other day in the locality, but I was also wrong in assuming that the music would never appeal to me. In fact, Adhar's debut album Adhare Apshori, a G-series production, seemed to introduce me to several elements that I find absent in many of the younger, struggling bands today.
For one thing, I was struck by the band's innovativeness while listening to each track. Each number in the album defines a particular thought, emotion and even a particular genre. Each composition is marked as belonging to the types of rock fusion, east -- west R&B fusion, alternative, mellow, rock mellow, alter fusion and so on.
The band's experimentation in terms of fusing and mixing the different musical ingredients that many of us experience around us is apparent in the album. There is the aggression along with the smooth vocalising and harmonising in many of the numbers, not to mention the use of universal sounds like the flute, for instance, creating a pacifying bridge with the rock fusions or alternative numbers. I thought I also heard a little bit of sarcasm and wittiness gelled in compositions like Kaare Naeyna, where the pathos of a lover in pain would have a listener nod in agreement and at the same time laugh out loud at the use of colloquial jargon.
After listening to the album (recorded at NMN Adhar station) and understanding what Nopel (Vocals and Guitars), Nomon (Bass and Keys), Sohel (Drums and Percussions), Tomal (Supporting Vocals) tried to express through their music, the black and red cover-sleeves did make some sense to someone as vaguely connected to the world of the graphic designs as I am. The simple yet eye-cacthing shapes and motifs created by Nopel along with the photography done by Raju and Hira (Banglalok) identifies clearly with the compositions in the album, i.e., coming in terms with imperfections, which makes life absolutely perfect.
With Adhare, I could not help but envision a bunch of talented young people who have probably seen a lot on the streets of Dhaka, blending their shocking ideas to come out with something like Adhare Apshori.
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