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4.5 out of 5 stars
Ha!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2001
This is Talvin's best work - he has recruited some amazing musicians, notably Ustad Sultan Khan on Sarangi - this shows how much respect Talvin commands when classical musicians of Khan's reputation will play on a 'pop' recording. The first time I heard Talvin was on the early 90's Cleveland Watkiss debut, and Watkiss shows up here - Talvin has seamlessly integrated Indian classical (he is a trained classical Tabla player) with the modern sounds of Britan - he creates 'Musique Metisse' of the first order.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2001
I liked OK when I got it and tracks like Traveller and Butterfly still rate as favorite tracks in my collection but with Ha Talvin has really excelled himself.
Once you get past the excellent opening track One, where swirling synths mix with beautiful vocals and instrumental parts to get you into the mood in much the same way that Traveller did at the beginning of OK, you find an album with a far more club orientated mixture of music than before. The beats are hard and phat and actually sound on my hi-fi the way that TJ Rehmi's stuff does when I hear it at clubs. The tabla playing is, as you'd expect, superb and the production and preformances from the many guests is as ever faultless. However where I rarely got down and shook my bootie to OK tracks like Dubla, where vocalised tabla parts mix with superb squelchy analog synth lines and phat drums, or The Beat Goes On, where a solid house groove provides a basis for some amazing vocals and percussion, leave me without the option of standing still.
For those who couldn't stop playing OK I think you'll find the same thing here only with a huge phatt dance element as beautifully integrated into the mix as all of the other elements were in the original.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2001
It was with eager anticipation I raced home after getting Talvin Singh's latest creation, "Ha". After reading a couple of rather flat reviews I wondered whether talvin had peaked with "OK" and that "Ha" would leave me frustated, but no. This is a fantastic album, full of Asian mystery that really captures the essence of the India. I jumped on board for an epic journey through all emotions and moods of music. Seamlessly merging traditional Indian themes with cracking UK Asian dance beats. I felt immediately at home with the vibe being sent out. Feelings of Leftfield, and William Orbit were also in there, but defintely Talvin's unique style always leading you on. Anyone who loves Indian music should make this part of their collection. Talvin Singh is up there with Nitin Sawhney, Zakir Hussian, Trilok Gurtu et al. Keep with Talvin!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2001
In OK, Talvin made pan-asian music. A little something from different styles. And it was possibly more pensive music than party music. in HA, Talvin's skills are showcased on some really kicking tracks. One track, especially - Uphold - is extremely danceable and clubby. The tune is catchy and beat just pumps you up so you want to dance like crazy. This album is more Indian than OK, but just as entertaining if not more. Talvin incorporates classical Indian music and singing into an electronic world like no other. He truly is the ambassador of Asian Underground. :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2003
There are just so many different opinions about Talvin Singh's 'Ha' as compared to his previous albums. I'll say at once that, to me, 'OK' most evidently exhibited more musical complexity, ingenuity, groundbreaking styles, and timeless quality than either Anokha (do you even remember tunes therefrom?) or 'Ha'. So back to the topic: What's wrong with 'Ha'? Nothing. If you love hip music made easy-listening, 'Ha' is packed full of these hackneyed tunes that is bound to woo you into delirium. It takes NO EFFORT to like it; musical sensibilities literally ooze from Track 1 to 11. Therein lies the only pitfall - because it is so radio-friendly, 'Ha' inevitably lacks the same musical depth, inventiveness, style and endearing quality of 'OK'. 'Ha' is glib as a smooth-talker; whereas 'OK' demands your fullest attention and wows you with its intricacies (which would only reveal itself after many repeated and patient listens.)
As an album striving to be ground-breaking or definitive, 'Ha' simply isn't OK!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2001
This was a good record, but definitely not as rousing as OK, which was absolutely amazing in its ability to fuse so many musical elements, while still being cool. Ha does have very cool tracks, most notable 'The Beat goes down', which is the best dance groove on there. Talvin has given a more indian sound to this record, and has ended up sounding a little like Nitin Sawhney, not that I have anything against Nitin Sawhney, but I always thought Talvin Singh had managed to trascend the traditional indian stylings of neo indian dance music. Hopefully, he puts out more albums with more tracks like 'The Beat goes down' because that's what I see as cool Talvin: eclectic blend of dance, urban beats, vocals, culture blends, etc.
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on 3 April 2001
Just received the album from UK. And wow!! is all can think of for now. What an excellent album. An excellent sophomore effort by Talvin. What an amazing mixture of sounds that this album possesses. Talvin's done wonders to the desi classical music by painting Picasso like sonic scenery of the old and the new (i.e. abstract). His tabla mastery oozes out this album. I was blown away by his Tala Matrix album with Ustad Zakir Hussain, but "Ha" takes his creativity to a higher level. The title of the album is indeed so descriptive of the content. Usually most sophomore efforts frizzle and drizzle, this one defies that logic, hence Talvin proclaims "Ha" to all the doubters etc....:)
Anyhow, I loved Talvin's show in San Francisco. This album makes me feel proud of the new "global" sounding original artists! Talvin's done music proud! Dance! Dance! Dance!!
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on 2 April 2001
It would have been very easy for Talvin to have had difficulty following up his critically acclaimed "ok" once the novelty of a indian/western cross over had been seen and done - but infact this album is even better. I didnt think much of the first two songs, but once song 4 kicks in, out-doing the chemical brothers at what they do best, this is pure class all the way. He ain't bad on the tablas, but where his skill really lies is in his technical ability. I cant praise this enough.
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on 23 February 2001
Much more dance orientated than his previous album, this deserves to do very well. There's even a trance feel to one or two tracks, fortunately without becoming too predictable - they're still very Indian sounding hard dance tunes. The whole album has a cohesiveness that few artists attain and its a positive progression from his previous works (which were all superb). Talvin can do no wrong.
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on 10 April 2001
This album, comparing to previous "OK", is less powerful. Don't expect another "traveller" or "OK". This one is more indian, more danceable. Yet Talvin shows another masterpiece. It's just excellence. So unlucky that Asian edition sold here just has 10 tracks, with track tenth in UK edition missing.
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