What kinda Sound!

Himesh fans must be waiting eagerly / curiously with excitement / anticipation for At Da Edge to release.

But at da same time they may be speculating its success chances in terms of how its gonna fare and also what kind of sound to expect this time around.

One thing is for sure that it is going to be a shift to a new domain of sound i.e. what has been happening every alternate two years or so as himesh keeps on finding new ways and means of re-inventing himself for a fresh musical outing.

> Da album is likely to have a variety of musical genres to cover all ends up, rather than just a cluster of only one or two genres.

> It is likely to have a strong dose of Western orchestration / music arrangement whereby Himesh must have acquired cutting edge / new age instruments i.e. heavy metal rock, as there were reports that he had a fresh Instrumental set for his musical concert in Israel which was conducted at start of this year.

> It is likely to have instruments on da lines of heavy rhythmic beats like Ulfat from Nanhe Jaiselmer, metal bazz guitar in Aap Ki Kashish from Aashiq Banaya Aapne and heavy drum hits at 1.00, 1.39 & 2.05 in Kajra Kajra Kajraare for that kill effect and African-ish / Carreabean styled croons usually used at start of his pre-ABA item / stage / club numbers to give an international feel.

> It will have some slow soulful melodies as mentioned in earlier reports. If da orchestration is kept minimal / soft, then Himesh could sing in his new Radio voice to keep da overall mood on da lines of Jaaneman from Radio.

> It is likely to have duets featuring Shakira & Vanessa Hudgens. In such a case, rock ballad duets like O Jaana Love U Miss U from Rocky - The Rebel will help da overall cause.

> It is likely to have RnB hip hop numbers with orchestration on da lines of songs like Zara Jhoom Jhoom, Shaka Laka Boom Boom Title Trax, Kitne Armaan, Yeh Dooriyaan, Tere Layee (off-da-hook cult orchestration in between 2nd stanza gap) and so on.

> It is likely to have male rap n reggae vocals on da lines of songs like Sisak Sisak Ke, Lets Rock, Tune Mera Chain Vain, Dil De Diya Seene Se Nikal Ke, Cheena Re and so on. Himesh has used Arya's feel good rap vocals in post ABA era.

> It will interesting to see whether Himesh plays totally safe by sticking to totally westernized sound engineering al da way through or if he further decides to experiment by incorporating "Indian / Eastern" elements to create "Indo-West Fuzion" combo mix songs (2 such songs that come to mind are Teri Galiyon Se from Main Aisa Hi Hoon & Chhed De Pyar Di Baat from Aap Ka Suroor). Would he include instruments like sitar, bansuri / traditional flute, tabla (trademark fast-paced tabla beats in post ABA era) and raga tunes usually used in his slow semi-classical / sad songs).

> Will da album have hard core semi-classical songs on da lines of Ishq Ne Tere, Afreen or Yahi Hota Hai Pyar, highly unlikely coz this is too desi for a western world and a gamble perhaps not worth taking!

> Perhaps 'Arabian' elements will feature in bits-n-pieces as they are known to sell commercially. Himesh has used these in Afsana Banake from Dil Diya Hai, Va Va Thalaiva and Koyambedu Bensu (stanzas) in Bommalattam to name a few.

> It will be interesting to see if himesh uses 2 out of his 3 key pre ABA elements (i.e. soothing female chorus and Jayesh Gandhi's high pitched passionate intense croons) also in his international sound.

> Will any songs have unplugged versions. Well this is a 50/50, with da case against it (from aam junta's viewpoint) being that his nazal twang will be more easily identified e.g.  Aaja Aaja lines in Jhalak Dikhlaja unplugged. Himesh should rather restrain from this in order to not provide any clearcut oppurtunity via unplugged songs to invite any such criticism / flak regarding his nazal tone in his first international outing that would potentially hinder his attempt to win over universal listeners to be globally accepted. If so, then those unplugged songs should ideally be sung in new Radio voice.

So da album is bound to have heavy catchy instruments / beats that are comprised of metal rock and cutting edge techno / trance sound, along with Himesh's fulltu Sufi Rwak vocals which is a killer combo for a rwakin outing and that would be da USP.

However, sometimes an over focus on rhythm leads to a compromise which is at da expense of melody. This has happened with some of Himesh's post ABA songs, but which was a very deliberate conscious effort by him.

Therefore, da biggest victory will be if prime focus is given to melody in terms of da tune, or to da very least there is a fine mix between rhythm and melody to balance both aspects out whereby rhythm doesn't take total precedence over melody.

If himesh composes with his basic musical germs / values which are mainly based on complicated raga tunes that are simplified for da aam junta's musical likings / tastes, and includes his core sensibilities in terms of commercial elements, or digs deep into his song bank to find such stuff (I am sure he has reserved his best works from top musical drawer to cash in on them at da right time for such big occasions as once he said that ' I will give my best work to Karan Johar' but never got chance / oppurtunity to work with him), then there is bound to be a strong dose of melody which will make this album a winner al da way.

Secondly, da album would need to have / reach a "cult status" that causes rush of adrenaline and hell lot of sike, to find its place with da targeted youth segment of da west who can asociate themselves with such sound i.e. those 'no-mess cool full of attitude' youngsters who are out dere in streets with their skateboards, writing graffity on walls along their way and think that no1 is cooler than them. Remember that Himesh's post ABA Sufi Rwak music was also mainly targeted towards youngster market segment (with some semi classical stuff to cater to and please da purists, elites and older age segment).

Also would there be a trademark distinctive stamp of da bollywood Himesh composer with typical unique HR melody (pre ABA himesh) & / or prolonged abrupt twists-n-turns (post ABA himesh), or will he take a totally new fresh unheard before approach in terms of his composition style / pattern which is customized and tailormade for da west.

If there are any links &/or similarities that exist whatsoever in between his @ da edge songs with any of his bollywood song/s, then I will point out those in my @ Da Edge music review i.e. this element from 0.24 to 0.27 from XYZ song from @ Da Edge was similarly used from 3.45 to 3.48 in his XYZ bollywood song from his XYZ bollywood album.

Strengths

These are da positives that are in favour of At Da Edge:

> Himesh has done an extensive year long research re what kinda sound works in da West.

> One of da biggest musical labels have come on board to sign him on after he went abroad and made them hear his tunes for this project.

> Everything is being done at a mega grand scale i.e. release strategy across 122 countries, shooting lavishly wid expensive models al over da world's exquisite locales, famed roman white is directing his videos and speculations that Vanessa Hudgens and Shakira will feature in duets with him (HR Musik Company was officially supposed to release da names of artistes that would be collaborating with himesh in this project some time soon) which is a "street-smart and wise safe play" to hedge out da high "risk / return" ratio of da project.

> Himesh is oozing wid confidence and no mess attitude factor in his At Da Edge new look pics. He is not looking nervy, iffy, tentative or out of sorts / place but rather re-assured and a man on top of hiz game who knows what he is exactly doing.

This suggests that there must be loads of ammunition and firepower in da 15 songs to justify da above points rather than being a case of "unchi dukaan, pheeka pakwaan".

Challenges / Obstacles

> Himesh has written da lyrics himself and it is his first ever attempt in doing so. It is hoped that da benchmark standards are matched to that expected from a seasoned veteran lyricist if Himesh could have chosen to hire one instead.

> Himesh's English pronounciation as it is his first attempt to sing full / complete songs in this language  i.e. would he try to keep it as natural as possible like his current accent (like da one in some previously crooned short English phrases, for example "my love 4 u is not a 1 night stand" in O Jaana Love U Miss from Rocky & "you are always on my mind" in Afsana from Aap Ki Khatir, and so on) or try to go overboard with a deliberately adjusted artificial one to cater to da 'default used to' expectations / tastes / preferences of da Western listeners.

> Any untried and untested musical product may be met with speculation and reservations despite it being quality stuff, so it is a wait n watch thing as to whether da global audience will accept it with open arms or not and would have accomodating open minds to give an album a fair chance and check it out rather than making pre-concieved opinions, notions or bias.

> It is an accepted and known fact that Himesh has a nazal tone regardless of which language he sings / would sing in, as evidenced in Oh Ho Sanam Remix in da tamil album Dasavatharam. This so-called "uber rwakin nazal twang" that is loved by his fans has been da main cause for all those haters out dere. So will this aspect may be a potential hinderance as it would not be overlooked but rather identified by da new Western listeners who may react accordingly as da Indian listeners who had a "mixed / split" opinions of extreme opposite differing ends i.e. some swore by it whilst others condemned it. To counter negate this fact, Himesh could slot da opening and subscequent numbers sung in his "new restrained self-composed Radio voice" to form a good first impression (remember that sometimes first impression is da last impression) whereby he is unanimously liked and to ensure a good beginning (remember that sometimes a good beginning is half da work done), and then later follow it up with songs in his "fulltu Sufi Rwak voice". Or who knows that he may sing with a new 3rd voice since this album is all about unexpected surprises, as he once quoted that he would sing in 3 voices over da years and may reserve this uncapped ace trumpcard up his sleeve for this "xklusiv larger dan lyf" project.

Since himesh has decided to take complete / total responsibility on his shoulders by even donning da hat as a lyricist and by venturing into new markets, it has become a case for "high stakes" whereby da winner "takes all" and if limitations can be overcome then this could be Himesh's "biggest" musical outing till date.

Spill over effect for his forthcoming movies

The good thing with Himesh is his self-belief mantra that "impossible is nothing" and "sky is da limit".

Da "timing" of this album couldn't get any better than this in terms of Himesh's overall career, especially bollywood where he has been consistently low-lying due to back to back misses of his films.

This is da kick he needed to resurrect his career and get it smoothly rolling once again back on track.

If this album clicks, then it is going to open endless scope of oppurtunities in da West whereby he could potentially collaborate with top guns in da West via his music publishing and label company HR Musik Limited.

If this album catches momentum, then it could also help Kajraare to be premiered on satellite TV (as there were reports that it was sold to Colors and was supposed to be shown somewhere near last year end but hasn't been as yet).

Also it would be da ideal "strike when da iron is hot" time to release Ishq Unlugged that has been waiting in da pipeline for a right release oppurtunity and who knows that A Love Ishtory may also resume da 10% remaining shooting of songs left and finally see da ray of lite sometime soon into da future.

So in a nutshell, this album comes at a "crucial / critical" juncture and could prove to be da "turning point" in Himesh's career.

Verdict

In financial terms, would a wealthy investor invest all his worth in a 'high risk high return' volatile fluctuating stock market that has a scenerio of 'win all or lose all' or would he invest in a carefully diversified portfolio mix in order to hedge out and split even da risk.

This can be applied to huge project like this with such magnitude whereby its a tradeoff between experimentation and safe play to form an overall strategic fit that appeals universally.

In addition to being a talented musician, himesh has also shown in da past that he is also a street-smart businessman.

Hence, he would be on top of his game and would also ideally find a way around those aspects that are met with mixed split response or criticism, and capitalize to leave no stone unturned on those aspects that made him a rage and generated mass hysteria in order to make him da 1st globally accepted rockstar from Indian origin.

 

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