V2 Music - 2003 - 56 minutes
Nitin Sawhney - take a bow. Not only have you extended your musical career to the point that 'Human' is your sixth full-length album, you've also managed to fit in getting a law degree, co-creating the television 'comedy' series 'Goodness Gracious Me', writing numerous soundtracks, and, er, remixing Sting.
The self-styled "cultural pioneer and cutting edge musician" has always teetered on the edge of disappearing up his own (impeccably cosmopolitan) arse and the blandly ponderous songs of 'Human' do little to change the situation.
Sawhney describes 'Human' as his most personal work yet, adding that it "flows more" than his previous record. According to the accompanying press material, "each track encapsulates a certain space in time", exactly the sort of New Age warbling that attracts uncritical adulation from Guardian-reading world music fans who listen to Ms Dynamite when they feeling like rolling with the posse on the street.
This surprisingly lazy cocktail of downtempo beats and traditional sounds only has a few highlights, the best of the bunch probably being the hypnotic chanting of 'Heer' and the Radiohead-esque ballad,' Falling'.
There might yet be a great multi-cultural album to come out of Britain, but sadly 'Human' isn't it.
Tracklisting: The River - Eastern Eyes (feat. Natacha Atlas) - Say Hello - Falling Angels - Falling (feat. Aqualung) - Heer - Fragile Wind - Promise - Chetan Jeevan (Conscious Life) - Rainfall - Waiting (O Mistress Mine) - Raag - The Boatman