Indian vocal prodigy Shreya Ghoshal began her impressive career at age four. Raised in a high-achieving family, parented by a nuclear engineer father and literary scholar mother, Shreya displayed immense talent early on. Trained initially by her mother, she began her formal study of Hindustani classical music in the town of Kota. Her breakthrough into the mainstream media came when she auditioned successfully for the music talent search show Sa Re Ga Ma on Zee TV. Ghoshal’s trajectory through the competition was unstoppable, and she won both the 75th special children’s episode and ultimately the children’s mega-final in 1996 at the age of 12.
Film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali noticed and offered the young talent the playback role of Paro in the Bollywood feature film Devdas. In 2000 Shreya Ghoshal began recording for the film, which was released the following year. Ghoshal’s career skyrocketed, and she quickly became one of Bollywood’s premier playback singers, singing for the genre’s most recognizable actresses.
Her performance on the song “Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai” for the 2003 film Jism earned Shreya Ghoshal a spot on national airplay charts and significant success outside the film industry. Ghoshal went on to win eight industry awards for her work, including the National Award in 2003. For her latest release, “Angana Morey”, Shreya Ghoshal teams up with her talented brother, Soumyadeep Ghoshal, to compose and produce an intense yet intricate electronic pop ode to the feeling of longing.
“Angana Morey” is rooted, earthy and intense. Shreya Ghoshal makes her presence felt through her idiomatic phrasing and pens words that invoke the bittersweet feeling of longing and reunion. Her lyrics and singing transport you into a satisfying trance, while Soumyadeep switches to top gear with his intelligent production, fusing electronic layers with the magnanimous Budapest Symphony Orchestra, guitars, tabla and distinguished flute parts that all converge into a dramatic confluence.
The song is Shreya Ghoshal’s contemporary interpretation of the girl longing for her beloved. She always sings with an extraordinary tone. Crisp, crystal clear, soft, delicate, light and bright. She sings in a very alluring and enticing manner which encapsulates the song’s theme very well. There is nothing overwhelming or overpowering.
It feels like it’s essentially her voice that flows and entwines itself seamlessly with the music. Yes, there are some sublime moments of theatricality as well, but they don’t overwhelm the listener. You can feel the emotions throughout the song, whether you understand the words or not. That’s the true mark of a great singer, making you feel the emotions through her singing and not necessarily through her words.
The recording and production are lush and rich. Everything sounds crisp and clear without sounding sterile and lifeless. With Shreya Ghoshal’s silky smooth voice flowing over Soumyadeep Ghoshal’s masterful musical arrangement, “Angana Morey” is a true winner, in every single aspect. This isn’t just great music, this is music.
Verdict: Return of the Queen.