- Band / Artist Suraj Mani
- Genre Rock
- Label Aum-I Artistes
- Year 2012
- Format Album
Suraj Mani has been out of the scene for quite some time now, but that time has been spent creatively. Say hello to The Tattva Trip (TTT), the singer’s debut solo album, which is a lot more than just a good comeback – it’s an experiment, a novel approach to song writing, a good marketing strategy and all in all, an effort worth listening to.
The album opens with 'Whole', a very melodramatic piece and a very different person than the Suraj Mani we have known. 'Money' and 'The Tribes Of Babel' are slightly more of the Motherjane vocalist as we’ve known him. 'Your Epitaph' is overly melodious, and talks about how technology is stamping its feet across human relationships.
You’d think not having the likes of Baiju Dharmajan and Clyde Rozario would have been a hurdle. Nevertheless, the solo album features other veteran musicians such as Suresh Peters on the drums, Keith Peters on the bass and Aman Mahajan on the keys with well-known guitarist Alwyn Fernandes (ex-Pulse, Antaragni) taking over as producer.
Going solo has opened a Pandora’s Box as far as Suraj Mani’s musical prowess is considered; the instrumentation is diverse across songs, which lets him add a funky flavour in the alternative 'Rise Up' and even tend towards the growl in the heavy-metal-ish 'Money'. Check out my favourite off the album - 'Some Doors Have Opened', a refreshing single with catchy hooks and a pleasing solo.
Suraj Mani’s voice is not magical or extra-ordinary. It’s a very clear, mellow tone that finds itself stretching into long drones and rapid tempo changes, which makes it very apt for drama, and which you’ll find in abundance in TTT. Overall, the album should qualify as a decent soundtrack for an Indian version of ‘Dances With Wolves’. There’s drama, action, loss, despair and victory, in short, all needed for an epic film.
As for distribution, the singer resorted to an interesting concept – releasing a 40-page illustrated coffee table book featuring stories written by him, his experiences and journey through life, and in some cases, the stories behind the songs themselves. It’s a nice gesture, coupled by his constant blog updates which let fans know of the album’s progress continuously, and a way for them to ‘gift’ TTT tracks to friends or relatives. All this creates excitement around the final creative product, and I daresay Suraj Mani has not disappointed one bit.
Must listen: Some Doors Have Opened, The Gift, Money and Whole.
A great effort; shows that he’s not afraid to go out there and try something totally different than what he’s been doing for the past 20 years with motherjane. Give this one a listen!
Vishal Shah is a 20-year old from Mumbai, finishing his engineering at present. He likes to read a lot of non-fiction, music and sports magazines. An absolute digger of classic crime movies, he spends his time reading up on movies and music on the internet. Apart from this, he loves to travel, play the guitar and even sing occasionally. His interests in music cover a lot of the classic rock ‘n’ roll of the 60s, the hard rock of the 80s, thrash/power metal, grunge, alternative rock and he is currently deeply fond of the Post-Rock/Experimental music genre. Also, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Bharadwaj, Indian Ocean, and old Mohd. Rafi classics are some of his Indian favourites.
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