Kolkata-based singer-songwriter-musician Tushar Raj has been crooning to his listeners in his distinct acoustic style mostly in English. In Tum Khush Ho Na, he tries his hand with Hindi and experiments with a sonic style that’s quite an update from his previous discography.
This doesn’t mean that his past releases should be belittled. Those originals are worth listening to, in their own right. But Tum Khush Ho Na somewhat seems like a more mature step for the artist. One can interpret that the lyrics come from a personal space and mindset. As the lyric video also begins, Raj claims that the song is dedicated to all the dreamers out there who’ve been told that their dreams don’t matter’.
The song touches upon the insecurities that a person might go through while Raj’s voice serves as a comforting reminder to make it through the worst times while facing the uncertainty and tensions of life. Independent musicians, out of all people, would resonate with this theme as the whole ‘hustle culture’ might break anyone, no matter what dreams they harbor. Raj’s words convey his own gloomy days, as he touches upon sleepless nights and how he feels like running away from his own shadow.
In this regard, the title ‘Tum Khush Ho Na?'(You’re happy, right?’) seems like a meta-element. All through the song’s three minutes, no dramatic or preachy message of ‘winning’ and ‘getting over challenges’ has been propagated. Raj isn’t sugarcoating reality by saying that he can climb the highest mountain or any such extreme metaphor. He’s just reminiscing on his lows and how he wishes to get over this slump in life.
Production-wise, the song is ambient and Raj’s slightly-echoing voice seems lost and wavering, perfectly suiting the mood of the track. His decision to not keep his vocals crystal-clear is a smart decision in that sense. The slow-paced instrumentation along with his ‘ghostly’ vocals makes it perfect for nighttime listening, especially if you’re feeling the blues.
Verdict: Haunting. Mellow. Truthful.
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