Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, March 3, 2005










A new sound in town

By Faizul Khan Tanim

The self titled album of the band Raaga came out recently. Expected to storm the scene with fresh tunes and loud imagination, the group managed to drizzle the first attempt.

The band's biggest hit besides possibly Kothay, is the fabulous Brishti. The very starting sound of rain, tones of the guitar, the bass line, amazing vocals and keys with the beautiful lyric and the riff itself made a fabulous intro. And that's what people loved about it, the perfect single, catchy and elegant and that chorus has to be one of the best things. Great music on a fun-filled rainy day.

Kothay has to be one of the most likable songs one hears on first listen; it was a perfect demo to give the band some ground. And like the previous single, it has a nice tune, decent lyric for a ballad, pretty charming actually saying it's a nice love song and of course without the cheese.

The third song Asha, although had a creative start was let down with very mediocre composition. The tunes somehow did not gel with the vocal lines (although the vocalist has a great reputation), the overall piece-of-music made a flawed gesture.

Maximum musicians thought, a more open vocals would do justice to Jorota. A rather darkish song, it does seem to pale compared to the others, but it's still a very good song when nostalgia affects.

Smrity was a well-targeted song by most critics as the use of guest vocal became major anticipation. And the vocal improvisation of aaaa became instantly alluring. It became a symphony of melody, it's relaxing, and with lovely use of effects and background scores, it did create something quite atmospheric.

The tracks, which many might find generic aren't really bad; in fact they are un-interesting at first, but grow on one except the obvious ones--Nil akash and Akhono. Nil akash suffered a concussion of choking vocal line. Both these songs had ordinary composition and could not appeal but perhaps the male vocals made up for that in Nil akash, or just makes it better saying the reason it turned okay is because the male-female vocal harmony were nice to hear.

Alo is a tighter song with showy theme. The radio intro vocal and the rap were quite creatively mixed with the tunes. The output became very interesting and catchy. The funky riff is only like few notes repeated, but the very feeling is trendy. The use of harmonizing vocals over scratchy DJ effects which takes attention gives the whole thing a groovy beat. Although this correspondent understands very less of rap/mc-ing, but felt that rap vocals should have more expression with better rhyme.

The last song Poth can be interpreted in different ways. It's easily the worst song on the album, with the not-so-impressive composition. The use of do-re-mi became cheesy and the song became un-interesting as compared to other songs sung or harmonized by the same guest vocal.

Pros: Playful album with amazing bass line throughout and excellent lyrics. The use of multiple guest vocals should work as the enchantment. Crisp production.

Cons: The first two tracks outshined the rest. The last song should have been well composed as it psychologically affects a listener to get back to track number one once the last song is dull. Explanation about the songs from the CD sleeve should have been in Bengali as the songs were sung in Bangla. Non-usage of acoustic drums.

The Bottom Line: "Raaga" is an essential album in this creatively changing environment of our music scene. A must buy.

It's kind of corny how they celebrate the Valentine's Day in this part of the world. They throw a hartal to start with. Then they promise police-security and all sort of other balderdash, just in case you'd like to be a scrape-goat. You fall for the con, shower yourself in cologne and hair-gel, and hit the streets with a rose in your hands. Only, by the time you reach your beloved's place you can't give her the rose anymore because you don't have hands to start with - thanks to the bomb-blast. If Mr. Valentine knew this was coming, he'd have definitely changed his name into something else.

Bombs went off in TSC this 14th February as the exuberant youths were celebrating the so-called day of love. Funny, the Romeos literally got to show the Juliets the shape of their hearts. The same thing happened last year, mind you. A hartal was called upon on 14th February, bombs went off, and lovers bled. I guess, when you're under the spell of dopamine, you'd rather lose an arm than stand your girl friend up.

Neurotransmitter dopamine, by the way, is one of the hormones that make you fall in love. Scientists define love a little differently, though. According to them there are three types of love- lust, adoration, and attachment- though its quite debatable whether being just physically attracted to a certain person can be called love at first place, hence making the first category rather flimsy. The hormone for lust is testosterone, if you're wondering. Although it's present in both sex, its called the "male hormone". Got the picture?

Next comes adoration. Dripped in norepinephrine and neurotransmitter dopamine, this category of love definitely goes beyond the realms of mere physicality. When under its influence, you can actually spend hours and hours, moony-eyed, thinking about your beloved. Ever had butterflies in your tummy?

Don't tell your parents, but dopamine is the same hormone that is librated by the intake of cocaine! Whoever said love's addictive definitely did his homework.

A famous philosopher once said that love's not about making your heart beat faster or slower, its about making it beat at the right pace. (Wait.... Or, was it just I who said it!?) Scientists believe that when a couple has a good understanding between themselves, can support each other emotionally, and are very comfortable in the relationship, they develop a very special bond which is almost invincible to time and age. Hence, no matter how cynical the world is, we still end up having couples who're madly in love with each other, the entire life. Thanks to vasopressin and oxytocin....

Its a different story if your Dad caught you red-handed in the CNG and the rod wasn't spared, but otherwise love's supposed to be good for your health. Scientists believe that when you feel loved, cared for, and appreciated your heart switches into a very rhythmic, coherent beating pattern. These coherent heart-rhythms cause an inner-synchronization in your body systems, which eventually enkindles your personality and fights off disease. When you're stressed out, angry or tensed your heart-rhythm gets incoherent.

Quoting Rollin McCraty, the director of research at the Institute of Heartmath, California, "If we feel love and compassion, that boosts our immune system". In other words, the heart sends messages to the brain and secretes hormones, which eventually liberate anti-bodies and anti-aging chemicals. Hence, love doesn't only keep you healthy or cheerful, but also helps you stay younger and smarter (if you don't suddenly start reading the stupid Danielle Steel novels, that is).

So, does that mean if you have a grim love life you'll age fast and die before you cross your teens? Not necessarily. Scientists say that you can feel love for your parents, your relatives, your friends, siblings and even pet animals. In fact, being devoted to your religion can also manipulate the hormones, thereby directing you towards a happy life. Study shows that the elderly fare better if they're pious, or at least have a pet.

So, if buying her diamonds is just about the only way you can win your girl friends love, just forget her and buy your dog a new collar. That should keep you equally healthy. Or, so the scientists say.

Till next week.

By Tawsif


Sites Unseen

By Niloy

Ever heard of the PS2 game SOCOM 2? Well, the next game in the series has been announced, SOCOM 3, and Sony said that they are working on it. "Three new, HEAVILY researched Areas of Operation: With every release, the SOCOM development team spends a ton of time getting the details absolutely perfect to re-create the mission environments for the game. For SOCOM 3, SEALs and Terrorists will be battling it out in Morocco, Poland, and >>Bangladesh<<." And Bangladesh?? US forces and Terrorists will be battling it out in Bangladesh? So stupid! http://www.bdgamer.net/?itemid=16504

Anyway, Sites Unseen has been moved to the Backpack. What do you think about this? Missing the comics?

As usual, the whole Sites Unseen with all the links is available in my blog, niloywrites.blogspot.com, so that you don't have to type the links up.

The usual cool links:
Post Secret

If you've been longing to scream your deepest, darkest secret from the rooftops -- while still making sure your family and the neighbours never find out -- then it's your lucky day. Just write it down on a postcard and send it off, guilt-free. Anonymous confessions ranging from light-hearted to therapy-worthy have found a new public home, and it looks like many of us have been waiting for the right moment to spill our guts without signing our names. Remember when you threw eggs in the neighbour's roof? Or couldn't resist a chocolate fix secretly? Maybe you've had it up to here with irony. Whatever your sin is, here's a chance to throw open wide the closet doors and share it with the world. But don't worry no one will ever find out. Ever!

Maddox is writing a book

Partly fuelled by his desire to give children the "wrong ideas about life," and partly fuelled by contempt for trees, Maddox has decided to write a book. Hell, this book is going to be so awesome, you may want to buy two just so you can wear one around your neck. For now, sign up his mailing list about the book. "The genre is still up in the air. The publisher wants to release it under "humor" but I'm pushing to have it released in devotional literature or self help."

Every minute, your brain processes about 17GB of visual input, 5GB of audio input, 20MB of tactile (touch) input, 350kB of olfactory (smell) input, and 100 kB of gustatory (taste) input. If you're left-handed, you're three times more likely to be late than your right-handed friends. And you're more likely to die in September than any other month.

Or so say the folks at Gullible.info. Every day they uncover some of the most unusual, inane, and startling facts that have slipped below the radar of the mainstream media. Some of it may come in handy during your next fight-to-the-death trivia competition. Do you know who was the first American president to have his own website? Or the favorite color of most Americans? Or the single food that accounts for more than 50 percent of all calories consumed worldwide? I can't verify the answers, but according to Gullible.info: Ronald Reagan, blue, rice.

The gravity ball game
This is a nice and exciting game where you use a gravity defying ball to reach the target. And it has good music and is very addictive.

Rodeo: ride the angry bull!
A tough, funny game where you have to move your mouse with a little crazy bull. It would have been very easy, but they decided to hide the mouse pointer… Innovative bunny suicides

Who knew what made these bunnies so sad…

The MAN project
Move, twist, twirl, fly a strange man around you desktop.

This will keep you busy for hours! Or not?

What if…http://www.flipflopflyin.com/whatif/
What if things had turned out differently? What if your shattering talent had been recognized earlier -- or recognized at all? How would you have dealt with the fame? Would you have used it to help cure hepatitis, or cashed out like Jimi Hendrix? These are some of the questions on Craig Robinson's mind. Craig is best known for his minipops, tiny pixelated images of celebrities. In What If, this clever graphic designer presents a massive decision tree populated with potential Craig minipops. There's Craig the international soccer star, Craig the renowned architect, and even Craig the happy guy living in Berlin. Follow dozens of potential Craigs through stunning successes and catastrophic misfortunes. Then maybe have a think about your own situation.



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2005 The Daily Star