Monday, August 26, 2013

Music Review: Imagine Dragons

It’s not always a compulsion to write a review about mainstream rock bands just because you have this enormous love for the sound of heavy guitars and thrashing drums and screaming vocals. Sometimes it’s good to ‘expand’ your region of musical taste and try something new and fresh out of the CD cover. So I heard about this new breed of musicians from my oh-god-I-cannot-handle-that-noisy-crap friends, distinctly about this one particular song which has become the so-called ‘song of the year’. It’s all over the internet. With their explosive chartbuster ‘Radioactive’, I present to you the newest and currently the coolest indie band on the turf – Imagine Dragons.

Imagine Dragons has a completely different ‘feel’ than most of the bands in this genre like Coldplay or Arcade Fire or The Killers or even Mumford & Sons. And honestly speaking, I wouldn’t mind deleting Coldplay and off this world’s ‘I think I’m gonna cry, these songs are so beautiful’ playlist. I mean get over it already! So the first song I heard was, again, Radioactive, which is undoubtedly the most popular track of their debut album (Night Visions). But I wouldn’t call it that. Two more tracks into this album and you’ll find more fascinating music you may not have heard in a long time. Somehow this group has produced a new thrillingly ‘percussive’ form of stadium anthem-ish music which I’m sure I have never heard before. The energy is amazing and the vocals (Dan Reynolds) especially, just add to the album’s raw emotional instability. As you go through Night Visions, it effortlessly drifts from the depth and power of Radioactive, through the celebratory On Top Of The World and emotionally-driven wailing of Amsterdam.

Facts: This Las Vegas based band is lead by frontman Dan Reynolds and blah blah blah – not important. What’s important is that the way I see it, Imagine Dragons will give you every kind of music you would want to listen to when you go through a series of emotions during the day. What you expect from a group of hardworking musicians is to soothe, energize and refresh your mind and this band will give you just that. Not too much, not too less – just the appropriate required amount. We all have our favourite artists, bands and internet rockstars rotting in our ancient perfect playlists. I say recreate them. Let them be imperfect with startling melodies by artists no one has ever heard of. It’s time to let these dragons take over you for a change.

Must Download: Radioactive, It’s Time, Bleeding Out, Fallen, Amsterdam, Demons,…the whole album! That’s a better option.

- Harshil Bhardwaj
(Dream Compass Team)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book Review - And The Mountains Echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

I’m a God fearing man, and perhaps that’s the reason I liked the book “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. Though it has nothing to do with either God, or life and death, but the book has a character better than most humans. Khaled Hosseini takes you from Shadbagh to Shadbagh-e-Nau via Paris, Tinos in Greece, and California, and anyone who can pronounce “a, b, c” would love that. But, there’s more to understand. There’s more to the book than what the commoner would suggest. It’s well written, and probably because Khaled Hosseini is a God fearing man too. That is probably the reason he chose to describe what any Amar, Akbar, or Anthony would look like instead of describing something which would indulge the reader to take him to another level of a mindset, and understanding, and then leave him on his own, to experience the world ahead.

The book is somewhere in the middle of multiple short stories, to not ‘just being about a single character’. But each character, be it Adel, or Nila Wahadati, or Parwana or Iqbal are so much interrelated that getting “Goosebumps” while reading it wouldn’t even begin to describe the sort of a feeling one would have, while reading the book. The book ends with Pari realizing how close she has always been to her brother (Abdul) through his memories and through hers; and through her brother’s dreams. Both, the ones that Abdul used to have, and the ones that his daughter gave him.

Having read “The Kite Runner”, and “A thousand Splendid Suns”, I wouldn’t lie to myself or anyone else by saying that I did not expect more from Khaled Hosseini. One would be touched to know more about Nila Wahadati, and her life; or why Timur ended up helping Ana’s daughter (Roshi), instead of Idris. But I suppose a path more travelled is the one that brings promises along. It is a MUST READ for everyone, just like Hosseini’s other two books.

-Vishwa Vijay Singh Dhandu
3rd Year, Civil