In the last week of November the multi talented Raghu Dixit along with his band the Raghu Dixit Project launched their album Jag Changa. This is their second album following the 2008 release. On this album you can clearly see the singer- songwriter go back to his roots, and if you haven’t caught him live yet, you’re missing out on some soulful music.
We’ve picked out 3 tracks from the album to highlight how this Project is at the top of its game and everything IS changa.
Track 01. Parasiva: The album opens with the song Parasiva (Kannada) that has a rather prominent Indian percussive sound but this soon mellows out when Raghu Dixit chimes in with the vocals and a playful chorus. Things that make this track stand out are the droning violin sound, the rather plastic-y effect on the guitars during the chorus (if you tune in carefully this is easily identifiable) and some brilliant bass work to tie the track up. Enjoy this track while dwelling on its meaning, which acknowledges the many strangers who come to our aid in life when we have our backs against the wall- what else can you call it but an act of God as Raghu Dixit says.
Track 03. Jag Changa: As Raghu Dixit explains while performing live, the album was to an extent inspired by the many Delhi gigs the band performed. He says that they took away the word ‘changa’ and its meaning that everything is fine, beautiful, add to that the word ‘Jag’ and you know it, the world is beautiful. Certainly a world with Raghu Dixit’s music is nothing short of a surreal one. The title track of this album opens with Raghu Dixit strumming a sharp progression and humming to it. Before you know it, a percussive click and a slide of the bass ushers in the banjo and Raghu Dixit harmonizing, before the verse. The lyrics sometimes playful, sometimes satirical however always acknowledging that at the end of it all, the world is beautiful. Navin Iyer chips in on this record with a marvelous flute solo that livens up the track. The satire comes through in probably the most striking lines of this song- ‘Insaan ban gaya hai do pal ka ishtehaar. Sansad se zyaada bhar gaya hai ye Tihar.’- followed by a short violin solo. This song will certainly stay in your head for a long time and has the most repeat value.
Track 04. Yaadon Ki Kyari: This song is literally a garden of the singer’s childhood memories with lyrics as pristine as the waters of the Godavari. It is easily notable that Raghu Dixit pours his heart out while singing this song which ties together snippets of his childhood memories such as the scooter rides with his father, his love for the Rasam Shaadam (Rasam Rice) his father would make and so on. The most striking imagery however is that when he reminisces the long walks along the bank of the Godavari with his mother and how they together lit up several earthen lamps and floated them across the river- all those lamps that ornamented the river are described as the most beautiful sight in the world by Raghu Dixit. So take a peek into the singer’s childhood and maybe re live some moments from your own.
Another track that deserves special mention is Lokada Kalaji. Raghu Dixit can make you sing along and this track is testimony to it. A shame if you miss this track while the band is onstage, since through this song Raghu Dixit is happy to give you a lesson in Kannada and an opportunity to be one with the band.
In its entirety the much awaited album is nothing short of a work of art. To add to that, the album features a rather uncanny but welcome redesign to the conventional CD case format and comes in 3 different colours, so you may choose as you please- but what’s on the inside only gets better with every listen.