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Shaa’ir + Func: Light Tribe

By Vineet Kanabar | August 28, 2008

Split Magazine: Shaa'ir + FuncShaa’ir + Func’s second album suffers from what I call the “second child syndrome”. Here’s how it goes — you put in all your creativity and effort into the first child, after which you have none left to actually deal with the second.

Largely recognised as India’s premier electronica duo, Monica Dogra and Randolph Correia’s second effort ‘Light Tribe’ falls flat on its face. Most of the songs on the album sound like residue from a bad pop remix album from some obscure DJ. Monica’s sexy voice seems wasted as they try and dance hopelessly around some rather inane lyrics. The first album sounded fresh from the oven — it was hot and made you drool all over it, while this one feels more like leftovers from a bad Diwali meal.

Songs like “You + Me” and “Pull Myself Together” provide a sense of instant déjà vu and you end up trying to recall where you’ve heard those bass lines before. Now, I know the lyrics are not what I should be concentrating on when I listen to a dance-pop/electronic album, but the fact that they’re so ridiculously insane make you think about how little work has been put into them. As Monica Dogra points out so astutely during the song “All My Colours”, ‘nothing rhymes with orange’.

Honestly, I couldn’t listen to the entire album in one sitting without getting a splitting headache, and the only songs that I could listen to again were “Do It Again”, “Embrace” and “Selling Our Souls”, the latter built around a chant that goes “Hey kid! Rock and roll”. The bumpy “Lord Inside” is a fun track to listen to, something like a modern day prayer, thanking the Lord for all the good things in life. “Embrace” more or less runs away as the best song off the album.

The reason that this album lacks the fizz that the first one generated is that Messrs Dogra and Correia try and do too much with every song here. The layer after layer after layer of beep-bop-beep-beep gets on your nerves when you’re not on the dance floor, which for most people is, well, most of the time.

To put a lid on this, let me just put it this way: when I listened to the first album by Shaa’ir + Func, I thought this could be our very own Portishead. Now, I’m wary of having our very own Pussycat Dolls.


4 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. August 29, 2008, 6:32 am Crimson King

    Haha, fun review Vineet. But I should’ve read your review before ordering the album from MusicYogi. Anyway, lemme sample it myself to make a judgement.

  2. August 29, 2008, 2:47 pm Azm

    Monica would make a great Pussycat Doll. One who can sing, too.

  3. November 2, 2008, 1:31 am Todd

    Reviewers have every right to knock an album if they don’t connect with it. But the fact that they use a tone of voice that is supposed to be the GREAT TRUTH is utterly useless in a time when we need art more than we need non-artists to tell us what art is good and what is not. Reviewers tend to think they are the “end all be all” of opinion and this makes most artists (and readers ) sick.
    You can’t use phrases like “splitting headache”, and “falls flat on its face”, and then find some solid parts of the record to praise…..it doesn’t make sense to pan and praise within the same paragraph. This review is proof there are too many online reviewers out there and not enough artists taking the risks to stick their art and their necks out there.

  4. November 25, 2008, 11:27 pm slabofbutter

    you’re just like the movies.

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