Before I get started with the review i want to write something about my musical taste. I enjoy metal. I want it dirty, fast, brutal, dark, sick, perverted and straight forward. And I’d also like to add that I cannot spell blues when it comes to the genre. Having said that, there is something about this genre that made me like it. To an extent that I bought an album autographed by the band, heard it and sat down to review it. Well I can’t say whether its something only Soulmate could do.
My introduction to this band was in 2008 (late..? very). It was this song named The Price that made me think how simple a song can be and yet so appealing. It is a kind of song i would sing for my girlfriend. Behind closed doors ofcourse. I went about finding more about the band and came across their first album Shillong. And that is exactly where they are from. The Soulmates in questions are Rudy Wallang (guitars/songwriter/vocals) and Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar (vocals) with session musicians Ferdy Dkhar (bass) and Sam Shullai (drums).
So it was almost 4 years before their second release Moving On. After hearing Shillong I wanted to see them live. And for me that happened when they played in Pune to promote Moving On. The wait was worth it.
Back to Moving On, the album opens and closes with tracks which justify the names given to them – Peace Prayer. Now as you cannot have 2 tracks with the same name, the closing one is a reprise. And between the 2 prayers there are 10 tracks which have been well experimented with to provide what is hard to find these days – good honest music.
The second track on the album is the title track. What is prominent when this track is playing is the maturity in lyrics and better use of cymbals when i compare it with their debut. The words grow on you. This track is funky and this element reminds me of their song If You See My Baby. Other tracks with a similar kind of energy in them are Kool Kat Strut and Stay Away. Kool Kat Strut is an instrumental and both these tracks are faster than the others on the album. You’ll sway along.
I can go and on about Tipriti’s magical voice. Her vocals manage to capture the mood and depth of Rudy’s songwriting. It was mainly the voice that got me into Soulmate. Hear the tracks Set Me Free and Smile At Me to know exactly what I mean. Another instrumental on this album is Remembering Rory. It is one of those serene tracks that would help you doze off. For good.
Cup Of Tea is a very interesting track talking about how all the happenings of a day begin with a cup of tea. Ever wondered..? Be honest. This track along with Your Sweet Loving and She Is are easily my favourites. Your Sweet Loving carries that happy aura with it, dispelling any hint of sadness. The guitar work on this one stays with you. And if you thought Rudy was good at only his guitars and songwriting, you ought to hear him sing. Come Round My House and She Is are the 2 songs Rudy has lent his voice to. Not many in number but you know instantly that the tracks are the way they sound because Rudy sung them. Yeah, he is an all-rounder !
She Is is the longest track on the album and the most meaningful. It very rightly gives credit to a woman and the role she plays in our life. Men already know thay can’t do without women, hear this track to reassure yourselves. Rudy’s voice and a solo to go with it makes it the most beautiful song here.
Moving On is way ahead of their debut release in terms of everything. Or almost everything. Be it the lyrical content, recording, production and package. If I felt some tracks were a bit monotonous on Shillong, that has been taken care of.
Blues or no-Blues, if you want something good for your ears pick up Moving On. As Rudy sings you’d be screaming for more even before your feet touches the ground. Well, atleast I’m not complaining.