Chaar Hazaari is a contemporary rock outfit (with a share of folk influences) hailing from Delhi. Even though their sophomore album Udne Do was released quite recently, the title track along with two singles dropped early on giving listeners a fair taste of what to expect. And the album does live up to the energy that these particular singles presented, brimming with optimism and an escapist sense of merriment.
The band tends to live in their own Utopian world and this is clearly reflected through the eight-track album. In fact, almost every song might make you feel motivated and comforted, no matter in what order you listen to them. While this adds a sense of coherence to the album, it also tends to get a bit repetitive and maybe, a little experimentation and deviation wouldn’t have hurt the narrative.
In its essence, Udne Do is definitely a promising follow-up to their 2017 self-titled album that would, in fact, make for great live gigs. However, if one is to hear the album in one sitting, the similarities might tend to overlap each chapter even though lyrically each track is different in its own right.
Heavy on poetic metaphors on life and nature, Chaar Hazaari tends to evoke yesteryear indie rock acts from the 2000s, more specifically the recently disbanded-duo Strings. A more contemporary comparison (or unintentional influence) can be Ankur Tewari’s pop-rock group The Ghalat Family (that again heavily relies on acoustic strumming patterns in a large chunk of their songs).
Despite the seemingly generic overtones on love and life, Udne Do’s songs are quite relevant and might offer the right kind of feel-good nature that one needs in uncertain times like the post-pandemic era that we are stuck in. For instance, the opening song Ki Tum Ho touches upon how the one person we love (be it a lover, a friend, a relative, and so on) helps us go through tough times like these. Then, romantic numbers like Love Bite and Jaane Jaane are of a more playful nature.
One of the standout tracks is arguably the third one, an anthemic composition titled Soona Jahan Hai. It recounts the expectations that a pressurising society puts on us and how pursuing one’s passion seems to be a Herculean task in this context. It’s an age-old narrative repackaged for modern audiences, and it does strike a chord not only with Yatindra Mohan Patel’s lead vocals but also an impressively ambient flute interlude by flautist Shivit Prasanna.
The title track in itself is noteworthy, yet again inspiring listeners to overcome their challenges and follow their dreams. In ways more than one, this song in particular, feels like it’s the most autobiographical considering the fact that the Delhi-based band has been consistently making music since 2012. If they are true to this positive vision of theirs as presented in the album, their music will hopefully continue to uplift others.
Verdict: An eight-track collection of soft-rock optimism.