Nitin Sawhney is a golden god. Seriously. Currently celebrating twenty years as a recording artist, his ninth studio album certainly makes no exception. ‘Last Days Of Meaning’ is a fabulous nineteen-track album that takes the listener on an eclectic journey both around the world and in and out of people’s lives.
In typical Nitin style, the record is not just a compilation of great music, but also a thought-provoking social commentary. The album is interspersed with the various ‘reflections’ of an embittered old man, (played be legendry actor John Hurt,) who is fearful of our modern world. The album opens with ‘The Devil and Midnight’, a fabulous soul track that sounds just like classic motown, before ‘Confessions From The Womb’ floats into our ears with its beautifully dreamy layered vocals. ‘Say You Will’ is a lovely, hazy Indian number that is reminiscent, at times, of Sigur Ros.
‘Projector’ later gives us pretty harmonies and samples galore – both vocal and various projector sounds. After a spot of Nepalese-sounding joy and then Indian trip-hop, we’re given the pleasure of ‘So Long’, which features a funky beat and a fabulous mix of Indian instruments, banjo, pop and gospel vocals. These contrasting genres and musical aspects shouldn’t work, but of course, Nitin makes it do so, and very well.
As we reach the last few tracks, ‘Taste The Air’ is reminiscent of a film soundtrack. (Nothing new for Nitin, who has already scored around fifteen films.) It is upbeat and fun, with choral, tube delayed vocals and once more, a curiously fantastic mix of musical styles – this time bringing reggae and violin to the indie-pop track.
The Human Planet composer has produced yet another fabulous album. As the Guardian said so brilliantly: “It would be easier to jot down what this man can’t do, than what he can.”