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Album Reviews

Soulmate: Shillong

By Neerav Gupta | February 4, 2008

Split Magazine: SoulmateWhen I first heard of Soulmate, I looked them up on Google, found the link to their Web site, and while I was there I listened to some short sound clips that I didn’t like very much. But little did I know at the time that I’d be completely blown away when I listened to their debut album a few years later. Soulmate, a four-piece musical outfit from Shillong, has come a long way since starting off in 2001. Playing an eclectic mixture of blues and rock, their sound is quite unique in the Indian rock music circuit. Their debut album, ‘Shillong’, was released in 2005 on Counter Culture Records. The album artwork is subtle and rather nicely done, and the front cover features a photograph of a house (in Shillong?) with an open wooden window.

The album starts off with “Love You”, an aptly titled song about how a lover misses the one he loves. The song features guitarist Rudy on vocals and is a catchy start to the album. ‘Shillong’ moves on with “The Price”, which sees the vocal duties being taken over by Tipriti. Either of these two songs would make for an ideal “hit single” from the album. The arrangement on both tracks is quite superb, to say nothing of the splendid vocals.

“If You Were My Guitar” is a long track with an improvised jam in the middle that is reminiscent of true blues music of the ’70s. Interesting arrangements on songs such as “I Am”, a song about being yourself and accepting yourself for who you are, and “My Baby” make for an interesting second half of the album. The gems of the album have to be “St. Valentine’s Day Blues” and “Shillong (Sier Lapalang)”. Both instrumental tracks, the former reminds you of the bluegrass and country movement of the ’60s, while the latter is more or less an improvised jam — a solid trip of seven-odd minutes, with guitar solos, keyboard passages, the works.

One thing that bothered me a little bit was that most of the songs on ‘Shillong’ are quite similar. But I’m not really complaining — all in all, this album is definitely worth buying, especially for any one who loves listening to blues music. Kudos to Soulmate, I’m a big fan.


11 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. February 16, 2008, 12:29 am Anirudh

    nice review ,i never heard them before though i heard their name some where .The review does force me to get a taste of the music they have created ,hopefully i’ll like :)

  2. March 3, 2008, 11:49 pm Akshi

    Yeah, I heard them perform My Baby and they were brilliant…
    and yay yay for the reviewer!

  3. April 6, 2008, 10:09 pm Neerav

    @Anirudh – the album is worth every rupee spent. Do obtain it and listen to it. You won’t be disappointed.

  4. April 28, 2008, 8:15 pm Peter

    Haerd Soulmate play in Delhi at the end of ;ast year and thought they were fantastic. Have they produced another album since Shillong? I live in South Africa – any idea how I can best get hold of Shillong?

  5. May 20, 2008, 9:31 am Amrit

    I have heard few of Soulmates song and they are really superb. Unfortunately I do not have their full album. Does anyone know how to gethold/buy the album?

  6. July 3, 2008, 10:34 pm Gina

    Hey there!!I am from Shillong and am studyin in Kolkata right now.I have heard Soulmate play before.I like the kind of songs they choose to play.They just do justice to them all.And about this album………I have heard it,its great to listen to,reminds me of Shillong actually.They were superb in it.Kudos to them and best of luck!!!

  7. September 14, 2008, 9:10 pm abhijit

    rudi and tips of soulmate just rock!!!!!! in a soothing delicate way
    you ca n really see the spirit n the soul of shillong in them…

  8. October 3, 2008, 7:00 pm khanirup dutta

    how can i get the album.been looking for this piece of art like crazy.wer can i buy it from.please anybody???help!!!??

  9. February 16, 2009, 12:36 am glo

    you guys are tooooooooooooooooooo good m dying for you
    i need you to inform me when ever you come to delhi infact i’ve forgot the music without see you live so please come back to delhi and let me knwow
    good job let blues rules the earth rock it on espcialy let indian know that blues is a true music prove them wrong bye

  10. May 11, 2009, 5:26 pm Biswajit

    Soulmate is releasing their new album on June 11 at the Blue Frog, Mumbai. Its titled “Moving On” and will be released by Blue Frog Records.

  11. September 27, 2009, 2:51 pm rashmi

    love soulmate…saw them perfoem live…amazing!!! plus…am from shillong!!!!

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