International music artist Shubh Saran released his latest album, inglish Friday. The sophomore effort from the Indian musician/composer, it is a successful 38-minute instrumental presentation. That is proven through each of its featured arrangements, not the least notable of which is its opener, ‘Enculture.’ This song will be examined shortly. ‘There Across The Ocean,’ a later entry in the 10-song presentation, is another standout addition to the record and will be examined a little later. ‘Mos,’ the album’s penultimate entry, is another key addition to the album. It will also be discussed later. Each of the songs noted here are key in their own ways to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album stand out as one of the best of this year’s new World Music albums and potentially one of the year’s best overall albums.
Shubh Saran’s brand new sophomore album, inglish, is among the best of this year’s new World Music albums and potentially new overall albums. That is proven throughout the album’s nearly 40 minute record. Background information provided about the album states that the title is a reference to the term, “inglish,” which according to Merriam-Webster, is a blending of languages. In the case of Saran, the mixture is that of Indian and British that goes back to the British colonization of India in the early 1900s. That reference is a starting point for the blending of Indian and Western musical influences presented throughout the record. That blending creates a surprisingly engaging and entertaining sound in each composition, right from the album’s outset in ‘Enculture.’ ‘Enculture’ runs five minutes, five seconds in length. The song is unique in that right from its outset, it presents clear electronic leanings that soon add in some subtle industrial influence alongside Saran’s own Indian musical culture. That subtle combination of East and West here makes the arrangement so unique. Because Indian musical influences are already so pervasive in Western music, having them combined here is not such a surprise, but it still gives the song such an enjoyable industrial/EDM feel and sound. The experimental nature of the whole adds even more to the appeal in this case while still, again, presenting that noted blend of East and West. It is just one of the songs that serves to show so well what makes inglish successful. ‘There Across The Ocean,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another important addition to the album.
‘There Across The Ocean’ stands out because it is so starkly different from ‘Enculture’ and really the rest of the album’s entries. In the case of this arrangement, the subtle ambiance that it creates through its steady beat and controlled guitar (and maybe sitar?) lines gives the song a decidedly mainstream sound and approach. It really sounds overall like a work that would fit so well into any of today’s big screen dramas. The way that it builds in such controlled fashion feels through its approach and sound, like maybe a work that would fit into perhaps one of the many underdog stories out there in a montage sequence. It completely immerses listeners into the presentation and makes the arrangement so powerful in its simplicity. It is just one more of the ways in which this record proves so surprisingly enjoyable. ‘Mos,’ the album’s penultimate entry, is one more way in which the album shows in whole, its success.
‘Mos’ is another work that blends Saran’s Indian roots with a decidedly Western influence and still boasts its own unique identity apart from the album’s other works. In this case, the electronic elements are there along with some nice production for effect. The production adds some interesting effects to the song’s Indian side, adding in some echo effect and a certain interesting “airy” secondary effect for even more uniqueness. Even with the electronics added to the mix, the song still boasts its own identity separate from, say, the album’s opener. In place of the more industrial feel of that song, this song is more contemplative, for lack of better wording, but not in the brooding fashion. It really encourages listeners to remain engaged through that approach and sound. The whole is simply that enjoyable and unique. When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes inglish a fully successful offering that fits well in this year’s field of new World Music albums and overall albums.
Shubh Saran’s brand new album, inglish is a presentation that is well worth hearing at least once if not more. The album’s appeal comes through the blending of East and West exhibited throughout each of its featured works. The songs examined here are all expert examples of how that crossing of musical sounds and cultures makes the album work. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes inglish one of the best of this year’s new World Music offerings and potentially one of the year’s best new overall albums.
inglish is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of Saran’s latest news at:
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