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Various Artists

Songs Inspired By The Film The Beatles And India

Review by Gary Hill

The movie "The Beatles and India" explores the connection between the nation (and music) of India and The Beatles. Most people think of that as a one-sided exchange with India influencing The Beatles, but the documentary explores not only that aspect, but also the way the Beatles, in turn, influenced the music India. This new companion double CD set captures music from the film (and inspired by) - or so I gather as I've not seen the documentary. The first CD includes artists performing Beatles songs, while the second disc is the actual soundtrack album. I will certainly listen to the first set more than I will the second, but both are interesting and entertaining. This is a very worthwhile collection of music.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Disc One: Songs Inspired by the Film
                   
Tomorrow Never Knows performed by Kiss Nuka

The psychedelic, Indian elements are at play here amidst an electronic almost dance oriented texture. The vocals on this are really magical, and the whole tune works really well. It gets into some soaring sounds later.

Mother Nature's Son performed by Karsh Kale & Benny Dayal

This starts with a section that's set pretty firmly in traditional world music. As it drops to the acoustic guitar based pop rock motif we're in more recognizable Beatles-like territory. After a vocal section built around that, it drops down to something akin to a combination of those Beatles elements and the Indian ones. The song continues to evolve from there.

Gimme Some Truth performed by Soulmate

Full world music is the driving force as this gets underway. The tune has a real tribal vibe to it. This gets more rocking as it continues.

Across The Universe performed by Tejas & Mali

I love the dreamy, trippy vibe on this cut. The earlier modes feel more electronic, while the later ones are more organic and Indian music based.

Everybody's Got Something To Hide (Except Me And My Monkey) performed by Rohan Rajadhyaksha & Warren Mendonsa

A driving, hard rocking jam is at the heart of this number. This is a fun one and a bit of variety.

I Will performed by Shibani Dandekar & Neil Mukherjee
I love this short organic piece.
Julia performed by Dhruv Ghanekar
A folky sort of pop arrangement is in the driver's seat here in the early parts of the tune. It works out to more rocking zones beyond that. 
Child Of Nature performed by Anupam Roy
I really dig the balance of traditional Indian sound and pop rock.
The Inner Light performed by Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale
The energy and classic Indian grooves on this are so cool. This is one of the highlights of this first disc. That said, it's always been a favorite song of mine, so that shouldn't be a surprise.
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill performed by Raaga Trippin
There is quite a bit of world music in the mix here. Yet, it's also pop oriented and fun. This is another highlight. I love the chorus of voices at points here.
Back In The USSR performed by Karsh Kale & Farhan Ahktar
A driving vibe that feels quite energetic and almost electronic drives this. It's a fun cut.
I'm So Tired performed by Lisa Mishra & Warren Mendonsa
There is a modern pop rock vibe to this cut. It's energized a entertaining.
Sexy Sadie performed by Siddharth Basrur & Neil Mukherjee
An acoustic guitar based number as it gets going, this shifts to a more rocking phase further down the road. There is a real classic rock vibe at play on this one.
Martha My Dear performed by Nikhil D'Souza
Jazz and contemporary pop music seem to be the driving factors on this piece. Piano is a big part of the arrangement. It's an intriguing bit of variety and an effective tune.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) performed by Parekh & Singh
This is a good version of the tune. It has more of a mainstream modern pop rock vibe to it, yet it also manages to capture a lot of the vintage magic of the number.
Revolution performed by Vishal Dadlani & Warren Mendonsa
This is a hard rocking tune that really grooves. While not a huge change from the Beatles version, no one would mistake this for that one. The guitar solo section is on fire.
Love You To performed by Dhruv Ghanekar
Now, this rocker is so cool. It's hard-edged, but also packed full of traditional Indian sitar sound. This is such a perfect marriage of rock music and Indian sounds.
Dear Prudence performed by Karsh Kale & Monica Dogra
I dig the dream-pop sort of angle to this. It's another strong rendition on a disc full of strong music.
India, India performed by Nikhil D'Souza
Melodic rock with a lot of folk music built into it, this is modern and classic at the same time. It's another effective song, too.
Disc Two: Original Score - Composed by Benji Merrison
Original Score - Composed by Benji Merrison
Main Titles
I dig the mix of sounds on this piece. It has both a symphonic and a traditional Indian element along with a rather electronic edge.
Diminutive Yogi

There is a particularly powerful symphonic vibe to this cut. The Indian tones dance overhead along the road.

Crazy Trailblazer
With some rock music in the mix, this has a lot of traditional Indian music built into it, too.
Selling Like Hotcakes
There is a pleasant melodic groove this piece. The cut has some symphonic elements, but the driving ones are more of the folk rock and Indian ones.
A Few Lessons
I like the melodic, almost prog rock vibe of this. There is a real exotic feeling to this, too. It feels like taking a journey to me.
Something Very Grateful
A gentle and melodic sound is at the heart of this number.
Rishikesh Bridge
I really like the intricacies of this number, and the classy arrangement. It gets more driving as it develops.
Jai Guru Dev
There is a lot of magic and charm on this number. It has a good energy and a lot of symphonic edges. There is a good dynamic range and balance on it.
A Simple Existence
There is a real symphonic soundtrack music feeling to this, but a lot of the other types of music we expect by this point, too.
Old Ashram
I love the drama and magic as this merges a melodic rock music vibe with some traditional Indian edges.
The Prayer Room
With a soaring vibe mid-track, this a slower, and more reflective piece.
50 Years Ago
There is a lot of beauty on this somewhat symphonic piece.
Feeling and Heart
With some non-lyrical vocals, this has a real folk music feeling to it.
All Of India
This has a great energy and groove built into it.
Birthday Party
There is a good energy and driving melodic factor on this number.
Spiritual Teacher
More tentative, this feels more reflective.
A Dealbreaker
Even more reflective, this is quite a symphonic piece. It's mellow, but packed with emotion.
Secrets Revealed
This piece is more dynamic and involved. It has a good balance between more soundtrack like elements and more "song"-like ones. It is quite a ride.
Down To Kerala
There is a sense of adventure to this.
Small Gift To The World
There are some great intricacies and melodies on this number. It makes good use of combining Indian music with more mainstream sounds at points.
End Credits
Indian styled drumming in the mix with more mainstream and symphonic textures work well here.
 
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