To me breathless by Shankar Mahadevan is the one album I know in which each song is crafted to an outstanding standards and the output is therefore songs which can be on my playlist forever.
As usual I have never been much into music, and would never know of the latest songs or hit songs, only finding out through acquaintances or through mass media. I might have read about it and found it gimmicky (according to news reports, in one of the songs Shankar sings straight for around 4 minutes without pausing for breath – hence the name of the album. He denied it during his interviews saying it was pre-recorded and mixed)
So when I saw one of my Pakistani friends listening to this CD he offered this to me saying he thought it was nice. He was of course understating it.
When I heard it I was blown over, the songs were of such a high standard it was addictive.
The interesting fact is that Javed Akhtar who is one of the most prominent lyricist (and earlier a writer of super hit films) is seen to be tough to work with as he’s inflexible when it comes to changing lyrics to accommodate the music directors needs (can we shorten this? Can I find another rhyming word for this instead? Etc. etc.). the music simply needs to be set to what he’s first written as per the brief.
Shankar Mahadevan succeeds and how! Each song stands out and you get the mileu clearly, because he sets the background through the songs.
I fell in love instantly and have been listening to the album many times over. If you like Indian music, chances are you will get into it.