- Band / Artist Baiju Dharmajan
- Genre Carnatic/Instrumental Rock
- Label Cochym
- Year 2012
- Format Album
Baiju Dharmajan's debut solo album "The Crossover" has been a much anticipated one. Ever since, he quit Motherjane and a brief and rather turbulent time with Wrenz United, his solo album was always in the spotlight.
Keeping fans enthralled and inquisitive were the montages that kept coming up on his website. And being one of those fans, I was quite impressed by the mix of tracks. The way he brought in those classical elements to life on his guitars has always dumbfounded most Rock enthusiasts in the country. The question with the album was whether he would be able to package all of that into a meaningful and more importantly and emotional instrumental album.
I must say, he has delivered. The carnatic riffing is ever so evident yet it doesn’t predominate to make it seem like the only worth feature of the album. Definitely untrue. It is evident that a lot of thought and heart has been put into each song and each song is uniquely different on its own.
The first track "Alchemy" is an excellent pick for the opening track of the album. It sets the mood up for the rest of the album. It’s a soothing track that sets you up perfectly for what was a truly magical journey. Next up is "Cyber Reptile". With visible influences of Electronica. The first of the kind I’ve heard from the man. Even in this track, the Electronica seems to be toned down giving Baiju just enough space to shine and do his thing.
The third track is "Demented". Fits somewhere under the Hard Rock genre this one. The carnatic element of his guitaring seems a lot more pronounced on this track than the first two. Personally, love the way the track ends. Also love the fact that the bass lines are slightly more prominent on the mix for this track. And the drum tracks sound great and have been programmed well. Unfortunately the kick could have been slightly more pronounced (personal opinion).
"Halo", is another phenomenal track and once again shows Baiju's versitality. A slightly faster track, with a heavier feel akin to "Demented". Progressive and melodic, right up his alley. Once again, I was extremely impressed by the simple yet effective drumming on the track. "Philia", is a slower track and the feel displayed on this track is mesmerising. Similar to the last track "Landscapes".
Overall, I love the treatment given to the album. Baiju Dharmajan is a maestro when it comes to the guitar and he has left his soul to bear on this album. The mixing sounds great. Personally, not a fan of programming drums, but hey to each his own. However, having said that, I must admit, I was taken aback by the drum tracks. Incredible balance and somehow, even a little bit of feel.
It will be interesting to see how Baiju takes this live from here and to see who backs him up as his rhythm guitarist on the tours, because some of the parts sound out of the world. I have always maintained that if India ever had its own G3 concert, that Baiju would feature on it. This album has only helped reaffirm that faith in the man.
A man truly gifted, and a man truly mystic. "God of Small Strings", you are phenomenal. To other mere mortals, do give the album a listen. It’ll be well worth your time.
Currently pursuing engineering at VIT, Vellore, Hari spends less time in the college and more time outside, either catching bands live or helping bands as their drum tech. Currently playing drums for a Metalcore band in college covering artists like Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage etc.
He's also got a flair for sound engineering. Listens to a variety of genres ranging from Dubstep to Grindcore and Death Metal in his spare time, apart from blogging about his various encounters with music and is a die hard of Indian heavyweights, Motherjane.
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