This summer sees the highly anticipated release of Mercury Music Prize nominee Nitin Sawhney's 2nd studio album on V2 Records. Sawhney is undoubtedly one of the world's most sought after musical talents, having carved his own cultural niche as a songwriter, composer, producer, and DJ. 'Human' is a truly sublime record, featuring a host of mind-blowing vocal performances fused with exceptional songwriting and jaw-dropping production.
'Human' takes the listener through a journey of life, beginning with the honey-dipped R&B number "The River" (featuring Blur vocalist Alani), into the fiery life-giving Brazilian beats of "Eastern Eyes" (featuring The Streets' Kevin Mark Trail and Natacha Atlas). Martin Luther King's 'State of Union Address' takes the listener from birth to childhood, with Tina Grace's vulnerable and ever-poignant vocals on the anthemic "Say Hello" closely followed by Jacob Golden and Reena Bhardwaj on the dreamy "Falling Angels."
Track five "Falling," featuring Aqualung and Reena marks the arrival of innocent hope and determination, leading into classic Sawhney territory with "Heer," a trip-hop inspired track featuring the truly awesome lead vocal talents of British-born Reena Bhardwaj.
The album then seems to grow into its own state of consciousness, with Jayanta Bose and Tina Grace on "Fragile Wind," Jacob Golden on the bittersweet and euphoric "Promise", and Reena and Davinder Singh's melded vocal talents on the downtempo hip-hop driven "Conscious Life (Chetan Jeevan)".
Taio (who has previously worked with British R&B maestro Wookie) lends his passionate vocals to the magnificently soulful "Rainfall," leading us into adulthood with the surprisingly appropriate Shakespeare-inspired "Waiting (O Mistress Mine)." 'Human' winds up to present day with the mind-bending talents of Ronu's pure Indian classical flute over masterful house production, and fades out with Jayanta Bose's haunting yet spiritual vocals on the album's final track "The Boatman."
Nitin Sawhney continues to break new ground with each release and this album is certainly no exception. With a cast of vocalists and instrumentalists that only Sawhney can deliver, 'Human' undoubtedly raises the bar and looks set to become a landmark event in the 2003 British music calendar.