It’s enormously difficult not to feel a little overwhelmed or star-struck when you’re listening to the combined efforts of 5 artists, all of whom have the title ‘legend’ or ‘icon’ or ‘diva’ attached to their names. For music fans worldwide, the names Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, A R Rahman, Joss Stone and Damian Marley have individually revolutionized music as a whole, and have blazed a trail for others to follow. Combined, these 5 forces come together as the group SuperHeavy, and it is but obvious that expectations from the group are high. So how does the group fare with its debut offering?
The album starts off with the track ‘SuperHeavy‘ that serves as an introductory track to the album, with a well presented fusion of all styles of music pioneered by the individual artists themselves. Rahman throws in a few Indian chants as well, although he does sound a little off-key at places. But overall, the track serves as a good opening number for the album.
But after the first track itself, the album spirals out of control, with certain tracks being plain ridiculous to completely disastrous. The fact that the artists try too hard to fuse their individual styles in each and every song leads to most of the songs sounding random and uncooked and mostly monotonous.
Mick Jagger sounds positively horrific on certain tracks where he yells, screams and sounds incredibly out of tune, while the others barely manage to keep up. And he also tries rapping on ‘Energy‘, the track which starts of well with a ‘Jai Ho‘ like intro, and then looses steam by the time Jagger’s done with his vocal terrorism. The result is that tracks like ‘Energy‘, ‘World Keeps Turning‘, ‘Hey Captain‘ sound more like rejected demo tracks with the choruses mostly sounding like malfunctioning factory machinery.
There’s the quintessential politically charged ‘I Can’t Take It No More‘ where Jagger and co yell ‘What The F*** Is Going On‘? That very much sums it up for the song.
The much touted ‘Satyameva Jayathe‘ where Jagger rambles in Sanskrit starts off well, and yet again looses steam by the time everybody reaches the chorus. What is it with them and the chorus? It’s an all out yell-fest.
The strong points of the album are ‘Mahiya‘, which sounds good with Rahman taking charge and Joss Stone sounding incredible. Listening to this made me realize that Joss Stone might have sounded great in a coupla Bollywood tunes as well. This is probably one of the few tracks in the album that’s not over or under-cooked, and sounds listenable.
The first single ‘Miracle Worker‘ stands out with its feel-good vibe as well. It’s fun and easy on the ears, and Jagger doesn’t scream this one to oblivion.
‘One Day One Night‘ is another one that sounds alright. Jagger and Marley try to sound broken-hearted on this one. But then again, Jagger tends to whine out of control occasionally.
Get the album if you are a collector, and you fancy having a collaborative effort among your collection. It’s usually the high expectations that kill an album, in this case it’s the lack of natural chemistry and cohesiveness between the artists that leads to most of the album sounding like an amateurish experiment. Probably concentrating on one particular artist’s individual style in a particular song instead of trying to blend in all genres on almost all the songs might have saved the album. Overall, Jagger trying to sound reggae and rapping, Rahman reduced to the back ground and throwing in a few Indian chants here and there, some of which do not fit in at all, and Joss Stone trying her best to provide some much-needed soul to the album just do not blend in. Somehow this effort does not match up to any expectations at all.