Sunday, February 24, 2008

video gaga: sonu nigam challenges ziggy stardust

Gym Nigam
There's a new Sonu Nigam (or Niigaam in astrologicalese) album on the stands and it's called Classically Mild. It features the voice of the vastly talented singer blended with a soundscape boasting a bevy of clichés from the world of easy listening ... nan.d, kaafii, bilaawal and ahir bhairav (among others) meet keyboards, kazoo and fugle[sic] horn.

The pièce de résistance is the video for a track on the album called suunaa suunaa. I won't spoil it for you; all I can provide as a portent is a cloud of words: a Greco-Roman composite of Eros, Christ and Krishna warbles and struts his efforts in the gym in a bushel of exercise routines, romantic overtures and memories of childhood.
Tuxedo Nigam

SN's been prone to silly antics before (remember bijuriyaa? [youtube video]), but this marks a new visual milestone for him. He seems to be entering Abhijit Pohankar territory with this attempt at a fusion of everything aural (raags, lounge, smooth jazz, electronics) packaged in videos featuring a camera gaga about the female form (except that Mr. Niigaam prefers, like Mr. Adnan Sami, to hog a significant portion of screen real estate himself). Yet, for all the criticism levied against him, Abhijit Pohankar's ouevre seems to sport a certain sense of the aesthetic. Mr. Niigam's been shedding clothes for a while now (A tribute to decades of Hindi film singing at a Filmfare Awards show comes to mind -- he had stacked up clothes appropriate to each decade and proceeded to pop them off as he made his way from the past to the present).

It was tragic enough to hear the fine voice done justice in a bhajan on the virtually unheard soundtrack of Mr. Ya Miss. It's a pity seeing such a great vocal talent in a state of comic undress. Listening to this effort might not have been such a bad experience, but the eyes have now been scarred.

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