Human Touch

Difficult to categorize, but interesting nevertheless.

It is hard to clearly define Asian underground music, as each artist incorporates his or her own unique blend of influences and styles in an ethnic Indian environment. With Nitin Sawhney's "Human", expect a blend of bass and beat grooves, mixed with string arrangements and vocals and lyrics that sooth your soul. After the success of his 1999 release, "Beyond Skin", "Human" rekindles the magic of his music.

The album opens with "The River", an assortment of groovy bass lines and beats and meaningful lyrics. The next song is the trippy "Eastern Eyes", featuring the voices of Kevin Mark Trail, and Anglo-Yemeni singer Natasha Atlas. We then flow into the extremely soulful and meaningful "Say Hello", and if the beauty in the melody, the meaning in the lyrics, and the feel in the orchestration do not bowl you over, Tina Grace's vocal contribution to this song definitely will. This song is my personal favourite, and requires more than a dozen repeats before you can put it away. Another song worth a mention, both lyrically and musically, is "Waiting (O Mistress Mine)", featuring Zubin Varla.

On the whole, this album is worth a listen for any music fan. It is hard to classify this album into any particular genre, but any listener who appreciates good music, will appreciate the work put in here, no matter what genre they favour in particular.

This article was first published on 06 Sep 2003.