The Kronos Quartet have been luminaries of modern Western classical music for more than thirty years. So despite their previous forays into world music, a headlong dive into the alternative universe of Bollywood
(Bombay-plus-Hollywood) soundtracks may seem somewhat incongruous. But Kronos leader David Harrington is a longtime fan of composer R.D. Burman1s florid pop extravaganzas, which propelled an already saturated palette into day-glo and beyond. To get the project off the ground, he had to convince one of India1s prolific and versatile "playback" singers to come on board. The legendary Asha Bhosle is a renowned Burman interpreter so securing her services was a major coup. To replicate the reverb-laden "wall of sound" typical of Burman arrangements, Kronos and Ashaji
, accompanied by Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain and Chinese pipa
virtuoso Wu Man, overdubbed themselves into a teeming multitude. However, there is nothing soulless or "canned" about the results; indeed, composer and singer emerge refreshed and more vivid than ever before, shaking their stuff amid swirling Technicolor veils of tongue-in-cheek mystery and sensuality. --Christina Roden
Sumptuous and surreal, the Kronos Quartet and Asha Bhosle's You've Stolen My Heart is not unlike the colorful, melodramatic Indian film musicals to which it pays tribute. Eight of its twelve tracks feature superstar Bollywood film playback singer Asha Bhosle, widely considered the world's most recorded vocalist. The songs were chosen from the repertoire of her husband, the late composer R.D. Burman, who revolutionized the sound of the movies produced at Mumbai's (formerly Bombay) fabled studios, a.k.a. Bollywood. Atlantic. 2005.