Rimi Basu – Crossing Over – EP Review
Back with another dose of Rimi Basu on the inside of this month – today we’re checking out another blend of her clever music that marries the traditional sounds of the east with the modern-day influence of the west on her Crossing Over EP. Similar to how I felt about the last EP we chose to review, Rimi Basu’s The Unveiling, she’s done herself proud on this second recording once again with smart choices that reflect the precision, planning and stunning performances that make up the creative combinations in sound she comes up with.
Quite impressively, “Nesha Nesha” starts off Crossing Over with a highly effective rhythm & groove to supply the backbone of the opening number. Rimi Basu sings sweetly in her native-tongue and raps firmly in English…backing vocals are tribal and absolutely outstanding. I believe those backing vocals also take a turn on a lead verse as well if I’m not mistaken…and it’s gorgeous; not only that but it also had an effect on Rimi herself, who turns it up a notch noticeably after that guest-verse takes place. Towards the three-minute mark, she lets you hear a brief glimpse of the supreme voice that could easily make this woman a superstar. “Nesha Nesha” is extremely catchy…doesn’t matter what language it’s in for the lyrics – the beat & melody are massively universal.
Switching into a totally different vibe with the following track “Ele Na,” Crossing Over heads into a more soft-rock infused atmosphere. To be truthful…there were moments that reminded me of Wham’s “Careless Whisper,” which, while YES it IS a good song…would still make a comparison to it sound a little bit dated. And again, to be truthful, this would be still modern in the sense that it’s a combination of those east & west sounds yes…BUT…the sounds it borrows from the west on this one are going back a little ways in our music timeline. It might not be for everyone based on that alone, but that being said it’s no fault of Rimi’s – she once again delivers confidently and with complex notes brought out in-full through her unique style.
And…Rimi…I know I’m not crazy here…we had this ‘random cut-off to a song’ conversation before didn’t we? So what the heck happened to the ending of “Ele Na?” Someone in that studio over there has a BUTCHER KNIFE & a genuine hate-on for the endings of songs! I feel like I’m missing another fifteen seconds as it switches abruptly into the playful rhythms of “Phire Jao.” That being said, “Phire Jao” has some of my favourite melodies and tones from Rimi by far, a fantastic lead-guitar solo that makes a musician WEEP WITH JOY because it’s so good, and catchy light-electro rhythms that keep this song moving with a fantastic energy. Rimi delivers her vocals with passionate emotion and really gets the most out of her performance on this tune – “Phire Jao” is a definite winner.
Continuing to impress, Rimi slides smoothly into “Jaani Jaani” with one of her most accessible rhythms and crossover sounds. Whomever that guitar-player is – Rimi…please dear…go give that person a hug & a high-freakin’-five cause they are lighting up this song both in the solo, and later on I can still hear the guitarist needling away in the background too; fantastic player, they deserve a lot of credit. Rimi herself nails this one once again…similar to someone like Poe, for those familiar with her inventive vocal rhythms…again, a lot of crossover appeal in a smooth sound like “Jaani Jaani” offers. She continues the catchiness of her cross-cultural sounds in the highly-inventive “Sayeba” – which is one of the most unique sounds and songs I’ve heard from Rimi so far. While I’m not honestly sure if the resulting sound was something for me overall, I can definitely appreciate the extra level of skill and care that a song like “Sayeba” takes to pull off. Great drum sounds lead the way through “Sayeba” at a steady gallop-like pace and Rimi keeps the melody in-check throughout.
With “Shonay” I think Rimi truly confirms her ability to appeal to a wide-range of people once again on this smooth-glide of a song. The final track that concludes our second experience with Rimi Basu – we’ve come out with big respect for this artist that continually finds creative new ground to break. “Shonay” has a fantastic rock beat to it, Rimi brings the necessary energy to make her vocals soar into the mix flawlessly…this final cut is definitely a standout for flow…she’s bringing some of her absolute best into these final minutes and truly attacks this final song with another highlight performance.
Rimi Basu’s got some cool stuff happening – definitely find out more about her at: http://www.rimibasu.com/
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