Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Javed Akhtar
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 6th July 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 12th August 2016
To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE
To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE
Mohenjo Daro is an upcoming epic adventure drama/action film starring Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde in lead roles, and Kabir Bedi and Arunoday Singh in supporting roles. The movie is directed by the ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ director, Ashutosh Gowariker, and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, Sunita Gowariker and Ashutosh Gowariker himself. The film is set in 2016 B.C. in the ancient city, Mohenjo Daro. It revolves around a farmer, Sarman (Hrithik Roshan), who falls in love with his enemy’s daughter, Chaani (Pooja Hegde), a dancer. After seeing the trailer, the historical accountability of the film has been doubted by almost everyone, and to me, everything looks over the top. That leaves only one thing for me to be waiting for, and that is something you get no prizes for guessing. It is the soundtrack to the movie, composed by the genius A.R. Rahman, whose Tamil album just received a great response from me. Now it’s time to see how his first Hindi album of the year fares, and being an album for an Ashutosh Gowariker film, it is expected to be great and extraordinary, going by the albums to ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, all of which were beautiful albums. Rahman composes eight songs for this movie, and the lyrics are penned by Javed Akhtar. My excitement is engulfing me, so here I proceed with the actual review!!
1. Mohenjo Mohenjo
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman, Arijit Singh, Bela Shende & Sanah Moidutty
The album starts off with a grand theme song to the movie, a title song, and also an introduction to the ancient folksy music which we will get a glimpse of in the album. The song starts off with some rustic, earthy chants in an unintelligible language, probably the language which the makers of the film have made up as the language of the Mohenjodaroans gives the song a distinct earthy feel. What’s more, Rahman uses the perfect percussion to make it feel even more ancient. We have to keep in mind that the civilization is one of India’s first civilizations, that existed in the Before Christ era, and Rahman takes that into account and tries to make a song which matches the criteria, as well as appeals to the Bollywood audience. The composition, though it seems very simple and straightforward for a Rahman song at first, works its magic on you after a couple of listens. A good maze of lines that are composed in different manners make up the composition, a variety of twists and turns, even in the simplicity, being its feature. The mukhda is simple, while the antara
is very enchanting. The mukhda repeats towards the end, in a female voice, probably Bela’s. The hookline is anthemic, and suitable for the theme of the film, with an ancient civilization to describe. Reminiscent of ‘Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah’ (Jodhaa Akbar), this one too, is a great introduction to the ways of Mohenjo Daro and summarizes the album and the city in 6½ minutes. Rustic wails and vocal noises grace the song, and make it all the more worthwhile. Arijit leads the song gracefully, and is wonderfully supported by a chorus of male and female singers, which I guess are A.R. Rahman, Bela Shende & Sanah. Bela does get a stanza to herself and she does good, though she is not very impressive either. The chorus is what makes the song sound even more lively and junglee, especially the chorus that goes something like “mil Jul aur ghul mil…” Rahman’s arrangements are mind-blowing, a wonderful show of rustic percussion, probably African drums in reality, though I can hear thavils and the like. The fiddle makes a nice special appearance in the interlude, which is rich with the sound of the chorus, which just can’t stop impressing throughout the song. And then there’s the flute. 😍😍😍😍 Rahman always creates magic with the flute, and that’s evident here as well! The clapping beats are also catchy and addictive. At the end, we get a nice dhol-taasha conclusion to the energetic track. Javed Akhtar writes words that aren’t really extraordinary, but they very well describe the city in the eyes of its citizens. All I feel is that it sounds too much like one of Rahman’s dubbed songs, because of the irregular tune. A song that is so energetic, but takes time to grow. Rahman succeeds in transporting us to an era that nobody can imagine to be transported to, except through music! #5StarHotelSong!!
2. Sindhu Ma
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty
It is a romantic song that comes next in the album, and it starts with some wind instruments followed by Rahman making tribal noises with his tongue, and these same noises later sound so magical and enchanting that it seems unbelievable. The song proceeds with a stanza sung enchantingly and marvelously by Sanah, who I’m glad has at last got a song where she will be noticed, after that small part in the ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ song with Vishal-Shekhar. She sings with as much divinity as possible, and Rahman follows with some lines that are irregular in structure but the magic is in their irregularity, first in that Mohenjodaroan language and then in Hindi. 😀 I loved it how each line has a different tune and tempo, yet everything sounds so soothing in Rahman’s distinct voice. It has that deep, nasal quality that impresses so much, and transports you to another world. Rahman’s composition too, is something that takes time to grow, but again, after it has grown, you can’t forget it. It stays there forever. A divine, sweet, innocent, pure romance is indicated through the composition, which is unusually slow-paced, but its slow pace is what appeals. There are lines where the singers have to sing rapidly, and it fits in too well with the surroundings. The pitch change towards the end works well, and the song ends with you feeling fresh and relaxed. The hookline actually has nothing to do with the title, which just comes once in the beginning of the song. Instead, the hookline is the title of a song that is going to come later on in the album, and that song is a version of this or vice versa. Again, it is not a conventional hookline where the listener gets a buy one get one free treat of it, but it comes very humbly and leaves its mark on you. The first time you hear the song, the tribal language in the starting, sung by Rahman might seem over-the-top, but after a few listens, you understand that it gels in inconspicuously with the rest of the song. Rahman’s arrangements are stellar. Guitars lead the arrangements, and of course, a flute impresses with its playful nature in the interlude. Rahman has a chorus singing little attractions throughout the song, and again, this chorus changes the entire listening experience. They add their magic in places which would’ve sounded bland without them. The percussion is wonderful, as well. Strings accompany all this, rather conspicuously, though. Brass instruments and bells are welcome attractions in the song as well. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are good, but it requires a lot of courage to focus on them, leaving the heavenly composition alone. It is a song that doesn’t actually need great lyrics to propel it along! A ravishing, surreal experience. Both the singers bring out the charm in the composition beautifully! #5StarHotelSong!!
Singers ~ Shashwat Singh & Shashaa Tirupati
It is a very enticing folksy rhythm that paves the way into the next song, an enjoyable-to-the-core dance track, which has Rahman in his top form. It is such tracks that even you know, that I love Rahman the most in. On the lines of ‘Kilimanjaro’ (Robot) and a bit of ‘Barso Re’ (Guru) and the whackiness of ‘Mawaali Qawwali’ (Lekar Hum Deewana Dil) and ‘Mona Gasolina’ (Lingaa), this is Rahman with all of his creativity. So as I was saying, the wonderful percussion that makes the song sound so inviting and catchy, takes the listener with surprise, surprise that is born out of the sheer rawness of the rhythm. The tambourines, flutes and the ethnic drums make the prelude something that is very promising. The rest of the song doesn’t disappoint after that promising prelude, though. Rahman comes up with a tune that is so rustic, raw and earthy in its presentation, that you may even believe that Mohenjo Daro’s folk music was like this! The mukhda has a weird addictiveness, and the antara is what gets into the contemplative mode, with a very lilting tune, brought to life by those ravishing drums, once again. And the hookline, oh! It is the hookline that is the USP of the song, a great mix of whacky sounds and those clever tribal lyrics, of which nobody understands neither head nor tail. The “Emase-nana-maya” after the antara makes a very, very clever bridge to the hookline, though completely changing the lulling mood of the antara to a lively one. About the arrangements, whatever I say will not do justice to them. Rahman has employed exquisite and lively instruments to make the song sound genuinely ancient, tribal and folksy. The percussion, that is quite close to the Rajasthani or Kutchi folk, is what infuses life into the song. Charming flutes and strings too, in the latter part of the song, gives it the sweetness required for it to flourish completely. Mandolin scattered throughout in the background captures your attention whenever it plays. An oud-like instrument makes up a wonderful first interlude, while an engrossing rhythm backs the lilting first antara, and makes you sit back and enjoy the song with closed eyes. Matkas and dandiya, typical of the Kutchi folk, have been used generously, and work in favourite of the song. Flute and guitars help the second interlude keep the listener entertained, while the song ends with a wonderful violin conclusion. Coming to the vocals, nothing can be more impressive than what Shashwat and Shashaa have done here. Shashaa particularly, who sings that little gibberish prelude before the Hindi parts start, impresses right away, and we know she is going to impress all throughout the song, which she does! She modulates her voice beautifully, so it sounds just as great in the upbeat portions, as it does in the lilting melodious parts. Shashwat’s voice sound perfectly clear and smooth, unlike what it did in ‘Wat Wat Wat’ (Tamasha), where it sounded folksy. And he impresses highly, though overshadowed by Shashaa. Javed Akhtar has written enjoyable lyrics, especially the alien ones!! A cracker of a song from Rahman, though not outwardly loud and blaring. It proves that dance songs don’t have to be loud and blaring in order to be catchy and addictive! #5StarHotelSong!!
4. Tu Hai
Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Sanah Moidutty
The next song, we are familiar with. It is the part of ‘Sindhu Ma’ without the actual prelude that was an ode to River Sindhu (present-day Indus), which was the sacred river of the Mohenjodaroans. The presence of this version gives a whole different meaning to that song. I had thought while hearing that song, that it is the romantic song of the album. However, it is this version which has the romantic connotation to it. And after hearing this version, we realize that that version was more of a devotional song, an ode to the river, and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics really suit as a romantic as well as a divine song. 😀 Vocals, arrangements, composition and everything else is exactly the same as the latter part of ‘Sindhu Ma’, so no use repeating the review again! 😀 The only thing I could notice that was different, is the starting prelude, which is a beautiful guitar strum here, while it was blended into the devotional prayer in that song. It is all in the different perspectives of the two versions — the former devotional, while this one is romantic. #5StarHotelSong!!
5. Whispers of The Mind / Whispers of The Heart
Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy
These two tracks are background scores, which are the essence of the film’s setting. The setting of the film is perfectly described and conveyed to the listeners, with those weird tribal-sounding noises amidst a background of chirping crickets and birds, and it sounds like you are out in the wild. Perfect for the theme of the story but not exactly something to enjoy in a music album. Arjun Chandy chants the “whispers” very slowly and mysteriously, and makes the track sound genuine. The “Zoooaaaa” did sound irritating at first, but if the theme of the movie is taken into mind, it fits in well. The “Heart” version has more happening in the form of a divine female chorus singing in the background, and tribal drums playing a wonderful beat towards the end. And, its shorter than the “Mind” version! The “Mind” version runs over four minutes and bores until the end, while there’s a lot to look forward to at the end of the “Heart” version!! It just proves that what your heart says, is better than what your mind does! 😛 LISTEN TO THE HEART! And by that, I mean that the second version is a #5StarHotelSong!!
6. The Shimmer of Sindhu
Guitars ~ Keba Jeremiah, Flute ~ Kareem Kamalakar
It is a Rahman album. It cannot finish without an instrumental of at least one of the tracks! And so, we have an instrumental of ‘Tu Hai’ presented to us, with guitars, strings and flutes carrying the heavenly tune on their shoulders. Rahman employs wonderful guitars played by Keba Jeremiah, for the base melody of the song, and it sounds sooooo idyllic! Imagine what would happen when beautiful flutes and orchestral strings join that melody! You don’t need to imagine, however, as Rahman saves you the effort of doing so, by adding them himself! The flutes by Kareem Kamalakar are well-done, and played in the most unexpected places, in a delightful classical way. It is the strings that infuse grandeur into the already a majestic instrumentation. The blissful melody, when played in that slow pace, sounds as pretty as ever. A heavenly reprise of the entrancing love ballad. #5StarHotelSong!!
7. Lakh Lakh Thora
Instrumental by ~ Tapas Roy & P.M.K. Naveen Kumar
A very oriental-sounding Oud opens the last song on the album, and before you think of anything else, that addictive tune of ‘Sarsariya’ comes back to you, and you realize it is the same tune. Therefore, this song is an instrumental version of that one, which was my favourite vocal song out of the three. Tapas Roy with the oud and the mandolin, impresses highly, and the glory of the song lies in the brilliance with which he plays them! It has the power to attract your attention, and even though it is a background piece, it is just as great as an actual song — can be played, hummed and danced to. 😀 Rahman many other attractions like the percussion (the djembe is really great!) and water drops. The way the string instrument has been played in what’s supposed to be the interlude of the song (you can’t make out as all it is, is just instruments 😛 ) is sooooo beautiful. Naveen Kumar joins in quite late, and plays a few lines on the flute before the song ends. Whoever has done the percussions, really knows his or her job very well! They’re engaging and help the song stay to its catchy nature. CATCHY!!! The Oud and Mandolin make things way more catchier! #5StarHotelSong!!
Mohenjo Daro completely lives up to expectations. I mean, I was expecting a lot more, and was quite disappointed during the first time I heard it, but later I realized how each song has been made to suit the film and its ancient setting and not even one song extra has been crammed into the album, which explains why it’s just three-tracks-long (if you practically see it). Rahman uses a great blend of traditional and even modern instruments to make songs sounding ancient and folksy! Though we never imagined Mohenjo Daro and its music like this when we were taught about in school, thanks to Rahman, that information about the recreation of the Mohenjodaroans has got some life now! 😛 I also noticed that he has used relatively new singers in most of the songs — Arijit and Bela being the only exceptions, and of course, himself. Sanah Moidutty, Shashaa Tirupati and Shashwat Singh are the singers he has used, and they literally infuse life into the album, while at the same time, they’re gonna establish themselves in Bollywood with this album. And then there are those ravishing background pieces, out of which one bored me (frankly speaking…! Sorry!!) but the other three really fascinated me! Rahman has really given us a glimpse of Sindhu Ma’s sangeet!
Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां
Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.
Recommended Listening Order: Sarsariya > Sindhu Ma > Tu Hai > Lakh Lakh Thora > Mohenjo Mohenjo > The Shimmer of Sindhu > Whispers of The Heart > Whispers of The Mind
Which is your favourite song from Mohenjo Daro? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂