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Album Review

Underground is Finally Over the Ground

By Rohini Alamgir

From the mastermind producers of the smashing mixed albums, namely CHARPOTRO, AUNUSHILON, PROJONMO and DINBODOL, we get yet another superb album…LOKAYOT! Hats off to Duray and G-Series for completing yet another amazing album and promoting some of the best musical talents that can be found in Bangladesh. Now, onto a review of the album… Starting off are the legends, Aurthohin, with "BOYOSH". They seemed to prefer to keep the mood light with this soft number. As always, we are lulled by the soothing tones of Sumon, who is helped along by the rising star, Rafa. Not much to say about their music, which is as always top class.

Coming second are the alternative kings, Black, with their song "SHOTTO". They too went for the soft touch, captivating us with Jon's magical voice, and Tahsan's fascinating one! The song is singularly marked by the drummer, Tony, who starts the song with a stylish drum solo. Black is definitely staying creative with their music!

Another metal legend, Artcell, has us head banging to "CHERA AKASH." Lincoln's voice is just amazing and no amount of praise would do credit to it! Music wise, they have always been stunning and Shaju's drumming certainly needs mentioning. Overall this is a song worth listening to.

Not having seen Cryptic fate in concerts for a long time, made some of us stop and wonder if they are slowly losing their touch, since the last song we heard from them was the ABC track in Dinbodol. However, CF completely annihilates all doubts from our minds with "GONTOBBO". A typical CF song with its contrasted verses and chorus, this song promises that they surely have NOT lost their constructiveness and high quality of music that they have always managed to deliver.

We now move on to Arbovirus, a fairly new band, who first met us in Aguntok 2 and then again in Dinbodol, and presently in this album. This time they bring us "SHOPNODRISHTI". A well presented song with the music much heavier than the previous tracks, excepting Artcell's. The effort is evident, and must be rewarded with praise.

Icons seriously make all music lovers proud with "OHONKAR"! Much better than even their last song, this song features the soothingly wonderful vocals of Tona, with help from Rizu, and the music proves that they can only become better and go higher up, as their experience level rises. Indeed, with leave of this band and of Black, I would like to say that, to me, this song seemed to be a song of Black's caliber! So to Icons, I say

"Congratulations!" on making such an extraordinary song!
Aashor defines melody in this fantastic number, "MAYA". They definitely put a lot of work and time into the making of this soft number, and have made the song highly praiseworthy! The song is further boosted because it can boast of Tony's superior drumming skills.

Reborn is most undoubtedly a treat for all music lovers, with their superb song "AGRASHON". Turjo's excessive double bass work does the song credit, and vocalist Ali totally outdoes himself, setting him higher up in everyone's esteem. To them I would like to say, keep up the good work!

Fulbanu's Revenge reminds us that no matter what, we can always turn to them if we want to settle down to listen to some seriously classy alternative songs. Their song "GHAASH" is totally the sort of exciting and fun-filled song everyone appreciates, so on behalf of all music lovers, I would like to thank them for continuing to entertain us with their brilliant compositions!

dNA goes Linkin Park style with some beautiful keyboard work. The vocalist, Ishtiaque, is really a jack of all trades, being able to cover the vocals of legends like Bruce Dickinson and then again, being able to do such a perfect imitation of Chester Bennington! The song, "PROTIFOLON" is highly captivating and engaging, and very well sung by the vocals. The guitar and drum work is splendid and overall this song shows that dNA is capable of being a terrific ALTERMETAL band!

"DEYAL BHANGE" by Scarecrow starts off with a typical metal look, and then surprises us by becoming softer. However, the contrast is well appreciated and the song is definitely worth listening to!

Somewhat different from the type of songs one usually listens to, but that is not necessarily a bad thing for X-Uranium, with their song "SHOPNOLOK". They, like their predecessors, Scarecrow, have some contrast in their song.

Stentorian's vocalist, Tanvir, gave us a slight let down because as Stent fans, we are all quite used to Torsha's growling vocals, and "NILKAL" did not even have a shadow of that! This makes us stop and wonder if Stent is bored with that outlook, because we certainly are not! However, that small disappointment is almost completely covered by the terrific song and the beautiful bass work by Shams!

Niloy stuns the whole crowd of music fans throughout Bangladesh with his superior voice. If he did not have millions of fans previously, he undeniably does so now! Sajid does some awesome tricks with the turntables, and the drummer, Nabil, shows us his capabilities, with his astonishing drumming! The guitarists and bassist are a class of their own, and need little mentioning. So, once again Bivishika blast all of us, their faithful fans, away with their brilliance, which is plainly portrayed in "BHOBISSHOT".

Striking seems to have upgraded themselves since their last introduction to us. Indeed, this move has been towards the better with "ARTOCHITKAR", since they have done much better this time and their guitar work is certainly commendable.

Kral leaves us shocked with this slow soothing song. Vocalists Imtiaz and Rafa did and absolutely smashing job and Saadi bhai's guitar work is (as always) wonderfully and smoothly conveyed. The song, overall, gives us a taste of the lighter side of Kral, something that, till now, most of us never dreamt was existent. Bass and keyboards is just as worthy of praise as the rest. So, "OPEKHAI" gives us a lot of expectations from Kral, and we hope to see and hear more of and from them in future!

LOKAYOT is a revelation to most of us, and gives us a taste of the superiority of some of Bangladesh's musicians. Apart from the already established legends like Aurthohin, Artcell, Black and Cryptic Fate, the other fantastic stars who took part in this album, have done an immense amount of work on their songs, and have put enormous effort in making their songs as terrific as they were. So all these bands require our support and thanks for making music as likeable as it is, and once again, kudos to G-Series and Duray on making this album possible and available for us!

Note: the views expressed in this article are the author's own; if anyone disagrees with them, they are welcome to mail the author at rohini_alamgir@hotmail.com

Celeb central

The next big thing

Complied by Mistress of Legends

Who's that girl?
A singer, songwriter, a prodigy. With just a few words, she's made some of the most influential people sit up and listen. She's charmed her way into the hearts of talk-show hosts, celebrities, and audiences throughout the United States. And she's hungry for more.

The skinny:
Growing up on the outskirts of Boston, MA, JoJo listened and learned as her mother practiced hymns. She started singing by imitating her mother, but quickly put her own spin on everything from nursery rhymes to pop tunes.

Eager to perform in venues other than her living room, JoJo searched for her first big break. She found it in a small newspaper clipping that advertised an audition for CBS-TV's Kids Say the Darndest Things On The Road In Boston. Her soul and passion left the producers speechless and she was immediately given a spot to perform. A phone call from The Oprah Winfrey show followed soon after, inviting the young girl to appear on the show.

All at once things began to happen. Calls from talk show producers and music festival organizers began to pour in. JoJo did them all, singing at places as diverse as a Boston Celtics basketball game and the Republican National Convention. But it was at McDonald's 2001 Gospelfest (at Town Hall in New York City) where JoJo brought down the house with one single song. On a bill with music greats such as Melba Moore, JoJo let loose her pipes on "I Believe in You and Me," Whitney Houston's smash hit from The Preacher's Wife.

While appearing on the TV show, America's Most Talented Kids, JoJo was noticed by a man in the audience who introduced her to Vincent Herbert, famed producer and owner of Da Family Entertainment. JoJo was signed to Da Family and offered two major recording contracts before finding her perfect match with Barry Hankerson and his label Blackground Records, home to Toni Braxton, Timbaland & Magoo, and the late Aaliyah.

After being signed to Blackground, JoJo spent the next four months recording tracks for her self-titled debut in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, working closely with famed producers such as Soulshock & Karlin (Whitney Houston, Craig David), Vincent Herbert (Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton), Mike City (Brandy), Brian Morgan (SWV), The Underdogs (Tyrese, Ruben Studdard), and writer Static (Aaliyah, Ginuwine).

Watch out for: Her songs "Leave" (Get out), and "Baby it's You" (featuring Bow Wow).





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