APTLY SIMPLE AND MINIMALISTIC!! (PARTITION: 1947 – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Navneet Virk
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 4th July 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 18th August 2017

Partition: 1947 Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Partition: 1947 is an upcoming historical film, starring Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi and Late Om Puri in central roles. The film is directed by Gurinder Chadha, and produced by Paula Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha and Deepak Nayar. The film has already released as ‘Viceroy’s House’ in the United Kingdom, and is ready for a Hindi release in India, in the Independence month, August. A.R. Rahman has scored the background music for the English version, but in the Hindi album, T-Series released only three songs, all the vocal songs (which are also not in the English soundtrack). So we get a short album. Let’s see whether it does justice to the movie’s theme.

P.S. I don’t know whether the Traditional songs are by Rahman, so I’ve not credited him for them. If you have any idea, do let me know.


1. Do Dilon Ke

Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal & Hariharan, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Navneet Virk

The only A.R. Rahman-composed song makes its place as he first song of the album, and ironically, it is going to be the end credits song for the movie. Just like any other A.R. Rahman song, this one takes time to grow, but eventually grips you. The composition is very similar to Rahman’s songs of the 90s, and particularly has a great hangover of ‘Tu Hi Re’ (Bombay). The antaras are beautiful, while the mukhda takes time to get accustomed to. What increases the déjà vu of the song, is Hariharan’s beautiful voice. It takes you back to the 90s Rahman vibe, and you just drown into his voice. Even better is Shreya, singing for him after quite some time. Her voice is the perfect mixture of sweet and silky and grave and solemn. The solemnity with which both of them render the song gives it an amazing aura. The arrangements are good, and very minimal. The piano stands out wonderfully, and strings towards the end make the song sound more rich. The richest part of the song, are the lyrics, by Navneet Virk, which are a beautiful metaphor seeing the 1947 Partition as a heartbreak. A good song, but lacks repeat value, as I believe it should!
Rating: 4/5

 

2. Duma Dum Mast Kalander

Singer ~ Hans Raj Hans, Music & Lyrics Traditional

The most famous folk song, probably, in India gets yet another recreation here. This is not much of a recreation though, as Hans Raj Hans is just singing the folk song in the least innovative manner possible. Of course, the experience of hearing the song yet again is wonderful, but I would’ve appreciated it had there been some variations, as Mikey McCleary had done in ‘David’. But since this is a historical film, I guess it is fitting they didn’t do that. The arrangements are jovial, with the amazing tablas and dholaks, accompanied by the harmonium, sounding rich and earthy. The tumbi and chimta, an essential part of Punjabi folk, make their way in here too. Hans Raj Hans’ vocals are amazing, as expected. Would this song have sounded any better if Rahman had been given the opportunity to recreate it? That is, assuming, he hasn’t!
Rating: 3/5

 

3. Jindwa

Singer ~ Hans Raj Hans, Music & Lyrics Traditional

Another folk song, one that I’ve never heard this time, makes its way into the album. This one sounds much better than ‘Duma Dum Mast Kalander’ because of the freshness and the fact that it is not something we have heard before. Of course, the composition overlaps many other songs we have heard that are based off of Punjabi folk songs, and now we know where those songs were inspired from. The arrangements here are so beautiful, with rich ethnic flutes and that tabla percussion going on throughout. Guitars also make it sound more fresh. The harmonium is an obvious part of it. There are sudden portions that escalate into high-octane dhols and bhangra. The flute actually sounds like the flute in ‘Chalo Chale Mitwa’ (Nayak), which was by Rahman, so I do suspect that Rahman was indeed, in charge of these two folk songs. Who knows!
Rating: 3.5/5


Partition 1947 is another one of those albums that sticks true to the film’s script. If all the songs are by Rahman, and there’s no way to know if they are or not, thanks to T-Series’ vague crediting style, the album is a letdown, particularly with the folk songs, because we know that Rahman can compose folk songs beautifully. Anyway, the album is aptly short, and situational!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 3.5 = 10.5

Album Percentage: 70%

Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प <  < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order:  Do Dilon Ke > Jindwa > Duma Dum Mast Kalander

 

Remake Counter
No. of Remakes: 22 (from previous albums) + 02 = 24

 

Which is your favourite song from Partition 1947? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

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NECESSITY IS THE “MOM” OF EXPERIMENTATION!! (MOM – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Rianjali, Rajakumari & A.R. Rahman
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 27th June 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th July 2017

Mom Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

 


Mom is an upcoming Bollywood thriller, starring Sridevi, Sajal Ali, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The film has been directed by Ravi Udyawar, and produced by Zee Studios, Sunil Manchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja, Gautam Jain and Boney Kapoor. The film revolves around a mother and her daughter, and as the daughter never reciprocates the love which her mother gives her, the mother, played by Sridevi, just waits patiently for that day. However, an unfortunate incident (not revealed because this is a thriller, duh!) widens the gap between the two, to a point of no return. Now the mother has to make a choice between what is wrong and what is very wrong, in order to fight for her daughter’s love. So the story seems quite intense, and way at the other end of the spectrum than Sridevi’s previous film ‘English Vinglish’, though that too had a “Mother” subplot. What is another attraction in this film, is that it has A.R. Rahman giving music. Now, it has been a long time since Rahman has signed such a small film, and I’m very glad he did, because it’ll just go to prove that he provides his best to any film (that is, if the music is good). He has given seven songs for this soundtrack, and Boney Kapoor calls it one of his best works. Let’s check for ourselves!


1. O Sona Tere Liye

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aaye na kabhi, aankhon mein nami,
Khushi ka jahaan, laayenge hum hi,
Yeh toh baat hai, jeene ke liye,
Hoon zaroori main, tu bhi laazmi!
O Sona, tere liye, duaaon se jalte diye,
O Sona, tere liye, farishton ne sajde kiye!”

– Irshad Kamil

The beginning song of the album is aptly, a lullaby, from a mother to her daughter. Yes, it is sung by a male voice, with a small stanza by a female voice, but the sentiments come forth nevertheless! I personally never think the gender of the singer matters, when the lyrics say what they want to. Anyway, the song starts off quite slow, and reminds you of many a Rahman composition, with its dulcet, slow-paced yet heart-moving sound. The structure of the composition is quite similar to earlier this year’s ‘Hind Mere Jind’ (Sachin: A Billion Dreams). The composition is very, very moving; it starts off like a soothing Western tune, high on Western arrangements, like the guitars. As soon as the hookline kicks in, the song starts gaining pace, and the composition of the hook is just so beautiful, you just can’t help but get a bit emotional. The antaras both having the same tune, have been composed so calmingly, and their soothing vibe is what makes the song sweet and simple. Rahman keeps the arrangements simple, with a basic piano melody and guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) forming the base of the arrangements. The piano chords throughout the song give the song more gravitas. As soon as the hookline starts, a wonderful guitar riff takes centre-stage. The first interlude has a wonderfully done strings piece, by the Chennai Strings and Sunshine Orchestra, conducted by VJ Srinivasa Murthy, and that is intertwined later with Kamalakar’s beautiful flute piece. And it is at interludes like this, where you can truly appreciate Rahman’s arrangements. The second interlude takes an unexpectedly Pritam-ish turn, with the digital notes, playing in a loop, in the trademark Pritam way. Again, a nice guitar piece is superimposed on that. Mind you, this is the only song on the soundtrack without any kind of experimentation in arrangements whatsoever, so it’ll probably be the most popular and public-friendly song from the film, or maybe not. As far as the vocals are concerned, Shashaa outdoes her mentor and co-singer, the composer himself, in her small stanza. Rahman’s voice doesn’t really suit the composition, but there are some places where you think nobody else could’ve sung it. Shashaa, on the other hand, manages her lines well, with a beautifully pitched voice, and not only does she do her solo portion well, but she enhances the song with her various backing vocal inputs as well. That “Tere Liye, Tere Liye” she sang once, after Rahman had sung the hookline, has stuck in my head! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. The fact that, due to Rahman’s diction, some of it is unclear, is different though. A nice and dulcet start to the album, which is now going to take an experimental turn, so brace yourselves!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

2. Kooke Kawn

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh, Blaaze, Suzanne D’Mello, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil & Traditional

“Kothe utte kooke kawn! (Kooke kawn, Kooke kawn!!)”

– Irshad Kamil

This song onwards, the soundtrack becomes purely experimental; some things are such that we’ve never heard experimented with before and others are merely an everyday experimentation for us, which Rahman too happened to do in this album. This song falls into the second category. A Punjabi club number isn’t a new idea to Bollywood music listeners. In fact, Rahman himself has given a Punjabi experimental number ‘Jugni’ in Tamil album ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’. This one is different, though. The song starts with the cawing sound of a crow, and that makes you think, “WHHATT?” (For the uninitiated, “Kawn” in the song’s title actually means “crow”). And then a typical club setting is set up by Rahman, and Sukhwinder’s initial lines, though they aren’t a very strong start to the song, sound fascinating due to their incongruity. The folk song (apparently some of the lyrics are “traditional”, as per T-Series) sounds mismatched as well as perfectly fitting into the club setting, at the same time. But it isn’t until the “oh-oh-ohhhh” portion arrives, that you actually get the addictiveness of the song. There is one antara, that sounds like Rahman tried to give his trademark sound to a Punjabi song. The composition isn’t too strong; most of the addictiveness of the song arises from its fabulous arrangements. The guitars (Keba Jeremiah) during the aforementioned “Oh-oh-ohhhh” part sound very good, and help to make the song appeal to a very niche audience, that likes guitars in Punjabi songs. 😂 Of course, Rahman doesn’t keep out the dhols that characterize a Punjabi song. He ropes in Taufiq Qureshi (Feat. Arun Solanki, Deepak Bhatt, Dipesh Varma, Omkar Salunkhe, Gautam Sharma, Shikhar Naad Qureshi) to control the amazing percussion and rhythms. But still, it is the guitars that shine. An interlude has a very rowdy-sounding, Naagin-dance type of sound, which must’ve been introduced because Sridevi is in the film. (Though she won’t be dancing on it, but it seems like a kind of tribute! 😄). To conclude, Rahman puts in an odd end in the form of a brass band kind of sound, which only reminds me of ‘Zingaat’ (From Marathi Movie ‘Sairat’). Sukhwinder handles the song well, and especially the rapid-paced portion in the antara. Blaaze has a short rap towards the end, and I can’t say the clichéd line that it’s better than the Punjabi rappers we hear these days, because it isn’t, frankly! 😂 But Suzanne D’Mello really shines in her backing vocals portions. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics and whatever the Traditional lyrics were, are hardly intelligible. An experimental song, and probably the most addictive Club song from Rahman after ‘Pappu Can’t Dance’ (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na) way back in 2008. 

Rating: 4/5

 

3. Raakh Baakhi

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Rianjali, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Aag toh hai yeh magar dil ki, jalaaye, kisko jalaaye,
Cheekh seene mein hai dabi jo, bulaaye, kisko bulaaye,
Zindagi mein toh teri jaan, kahin chalaaki, kahin chalaaki,
Roz bun-bun ke tu humdard, banaaye, kisko banaaye,
Raakh baaki thi jisse, leke chali hai aandhi,
Phoonk maari hai kisse waqt bujhaaye, kisko,
Ashq dete na mujhe koi, nazar kuch din se,
Dard mera hausla hai toh rulaaye kisko?”

– Irshad Kamil

Next up is a thoroughly experimental, rock song, with very less rock elements! The composition by Rahman is a proper composition you would expect to be in a rock song, embellished heavily with electric guitar strums and drums, with a pulsating rhythm! Not that the rhythm of the song that Rahman has used here, isn’t pulsating! In fact, it is quite thrilling, considering that only a few rock guitar portions are helping it stand up. A techno loop provides the rhythm throughout the song, which is very low on the composition front; it is more like a song that is completely whispered by Jonita Gandhi. She seems to get the weirdest (but beautifully experimental) songs from Rahman! ‘Implosive Silence’ (Highway) was a reverse of her humming, and now this is a whispered song, barring some English lines that are more like an angsty outburst. The few instances where the rock guitars do show up, are amazing. Though the song has no tune as such, the words are chanted in such a way, that it almost sets up a catchy rhythm, like the parts when she says “Jalaaye, Kisko Jalaaye“, or “Bulaaye, kisko bulaaye”. Jonita herself, sounds very different from her usual voice, even in the parts where she properly sings those English lines. Or maybe the English lines are by backing vocalist Rianjali, who has given great supporting vocals. The song seems like it will be placed in the background score somewhere, during a crucial point in the film. There are more frequent electric guitars towards the end of the song, and those parts are really fun to hear. At first when I heard this song, I thought, “What a waste of six minutes, when this is all you have to hear.” Now I see how amazing it would sound at the cinemas. However, I must say, it sounds quite repetitive after some time; you just have to wait it out in some parts when it gets boring, because it gets better towards the end. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are full of angst, and appropriate for the thrilling setting of the film. A thrilling song, that would sound amazing in the film itself, but still sounds catchy even now. Less repeat value, though.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

4. Freaking Life

Singers ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari, Suzanne D’Mello & Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

“All my life I’ve been trying to run,
And now I can’t see,
Now I can’t breathe,
All the time I had, I just faded away,
All this time I was scared of me,
But now I’m just me,
And I won’t leave,
No, I can’t go back,
I’m just flying free!”

– Rianjali, Raja Kumari & A.R. Rahman

Another youthful song is up for us to listen to, after that thrilling BGM-kind of song. This one starts off in a very staid manner, with an electric sound that starts it off quite vaguely. And as the singers start off, with that very cheesy-sounding line, you just wait for it to get better. And it does. A very cheerful composition follows, and especially Suzanne’s portions (“All my life I’ve been trying to run…”), the mellifluous one before the hookline, is amazing. The hookline itself, is again, very boring and sounds as if the singers are taking out their frustration on the listeners for some reason. The “It’s my, it’s my, it’s my” is so irritating. I mean, one moment, they’re happy, and the other, they’re frustrated with their lives. The four singers (one is Darshana KT, the backing vocalist) sound great as a whole, but I could separate Suzanne D’Mello being her usual awesome performer self, and singing beautifully. It is her part of the song, which is the best, coincidentally. The song also reminded me of the other such song that released this year, “Buri Buri” (Dear Maya), which followed quite the same template, but wasn’t so long. A.R. Rahman, along with two of the singers, Rianjali and Raja Kumari, pen down the lyrics, which are a clichéd depiction of teenagers. The arrangements are a bit better, with nice techno sounds embellishing the frustrated singers’ outbursts. This song isn’t going to stay with me for long; it is befitting as an English pop single.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

5. Chal Kahin Door

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Ranjishon, ruswaaiyon se, bewajah bechainiyon se,
Uljhe raaston se, dard ke sab bandhanon se,
Khush nahi hai dil tu jin se, apni hi unn uljhanon se,
Chal Kahin dooooor chale!!”

– Irshad Kamil

Now this song, is what we were waiting for, from Rahman, ever since he gave us “Agar Tum Saath Ho” (Tamasha). The way he fused Indian classical with Western sounds in that song, is now an example of excellent fusion, without it having to be rock. This one too, is along the same lines. The composition starts off like an offspring of “Kahaan Hoon Main” (Highway), and continues being so for about one minute, until a very, very unexpected turn arrives, which has a very sanctimonious-sounding tune, and then it bursts into a Western orchestral piece. The composition is a very beautiful one, taking many such unexpected twists and turns, and by the time it ends, we are just awestruck. The antara is so charmingly cute, and again, it breaks into a waltzy tune somewhere in the middle, which makes you feel as of you’re floating in the sky, if I were to be sounding the most clichéd I can. The number of time Rahman seamlessly switches genres and rhythms in the song, is just amazing. The arrangements follow the composition and change with it everytime. The song starts off with the peaceful sound of water flowing in a stream, and this is when the prelude similar to ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ is sung. To increase the serenity, Rahman’s piano chords, as always, provide the required soothing quality. Soon enough, the stream vanishes, and, in a very ‘Chali Kahani’ (Tamasha) way, the composition changes tune and rhythm, and I would describe this portion as a bhajan-like portion, because of the wonderful chimes, Manjeeras and harp that Rahman has employed on the arrangements. As the hookline actually breaks out, the Chennai Strings & Sunshine Orchestra comes back to awe us with its ravishing strings, and a string guitar strum ends the long Mukhda. Only to bring yet another fascination in the form of a BEAUTIFUL flute (Kamalakar) portion that leaves you spellbound. The Antara brings back the bhajan-like part, but later on, it changes course again, into a waltzy tune, decorated with a beautiful flute piece in the background. And then the violins start up yet again, as soon as the hookline returns. Actually the song ends here, but Rahman throws in a bonus one-and-a-half-minutes of music to leave us spellbound before we end the song. The guitars provide a nice rhythm to Shashaa’s humming in this portion, which is like an interlude, and the flute returns to kill us yet again. The hookline is repeated once more after that ravishing interlude, and then the song (which was surprisingly 6½ minutes long, but never felt so long) ends, sadly. Shashaa sings something that I think is her best yet. After ‘Sarsariya’ (Mohenjo Daro) and ‘Sunn Bhavara’ (Ok Jaanu), she gets yet another masterpiece with Rahman, and she seizes the opportunity to showcase her singing prowess yet again. Her talent is so properly utilised by Rahman everytime, as he seems to direct her talents to bring out her best each time. And now I am yearning for her to sing a proper Bhajan with Rahman’s music, because we all know what masterpieces Rahman makes in the name of bhajans! Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are wonderful here too! Quite like the lyrics of his recent song “Sune Saaye” (Dear Maya) with Anupam Roy, this one too, is about forgetting your worries and staying happy! 😍 A song that leaves you utterly spellbound and speechless. One of the best experimentations of the year!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Muafi Mushkil

Singer ~ Darshana KT, Lyrics by ~ Irshad Kamil

“Chehre pe Khalish hai baaki,
Yaad mein woh tapish, hai baaki,
Bante bante bante banta hai,
Mausam matam jaisa phir,
Hote hote hote hota hai,
Hansna bhi ghum jaisa phir,
Koi ho hum jaisa phir,
Andhera, uthaale, ujaala, sambhaale,
Aankhon ki jheel mein, subah hai jawaan!
Subah se rootha toh, Maafi, maafi, maafi, maafi mushkil!”

– Irshad Kamil

This song starts off in a very distinct way, very, very different from any song (at least any song in a Bollywood soundtrack) that I’ve heard, ever! The a cappella style takes a never before heard form, with a very quiet and soft sound. The composition is good, but again, very experimental, and will appeal only to a niche audience. The part where it goes high in a crescendo, is just mind blowing, and singer Darshana KT carries it out amazingly. Again, it reminds me of ‘Kahaan Hoon Main’ (Highway)! The first half comprises only Darshana singing in the foreground and singing the a cappella portions in the background, while the piano leads the second half of the song, making it sound more intense and beautiful from that point. It aptly sounds mysterious when the piano enters, and it sounds like a sad song; but I’ll have to watch the film to know what exactly it is. Darshana’s vocals are amazing, and she makes a smashing debut in singing, under Rahman’s experimental sound. Now this isn’t a song to go on playing on loop, but as many times as you listen to it, you’ll get something more out of it. The first time, you will definitely not love it. The second time is better, and the third time is (as always) the best. Irshad’s lyrics are good, while I think some of the backing vocals she does in the a cappella portions, is Arabic. The song is interesting, with many layers to unfold each time you listen to it!

Rating: 3.5/5

 

7. Be Nazaara

Singer ~ Sudeep Jaipurwale, Composition & Lyrics ~ Traditional, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman

The finishing song to the album is a traditional classical melody, with traditional lyrics, arranged by A.R. Rahman. Sudeep, a singer from the Jaipur Gharana of singing, gets to debut in Bollywood, and I must say, what a brilliant vocal texture he has. It’s not exactly the earthy, folksy texture you find in usual folk singers, but it is surprisingly very clear and smooth, because of which he can do perform the intricacies of the composition with perfection. The composition itself is so strong, it won’t go without leaving your mouth hanging, and making you leave whatever you are doing at the moment to concentrate only on the song. Again, the nuances of it are so beautiful, and that is the beauty of folk compositions! Rahman adds a modern touch with his digital arrangements, also adding beautiful chimey sounds that make the song even more deep-sounding. In the true nature of a classical song, it is 7 minutes and 35 seconds long, but you never get bored for one second. A perfect, spine-chilling (because of its intricacy) finale to the experimental album!

Rating: 4/5


Mom is an album that is quite brave in its presentation. Never before have I seen such an unconventional album, that is half made out of songs that we would usually never hear except in the theatre, in the Background music of a film. But Rahman and the makers of ‘Mom’ have tried it and emerge successful too. There is such a variety even in the experimentation — with a Punjabi club song, a whispered-out rock song, an a cappella sad song, a semiclassical song which has numerous twists and turns and a purely classical song. Yes, it is less on repeat value, but this album will be remembered for standing out as an unconventional one. The makers needed such experimental music for a thriller like this, and so I would just tweak the age-old saying and say that “Necessity is the Mother (or rather, MOM) of Experimentation!!” 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4 = 27

Album Percentage: 77.14%

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: Chal Kahin Door > O Sona Tere Liye > Be Nazaara = Kooke Kawn > Raakh Baakhi = Muafi Mushkil > Freaking Life

 

Which is your favourite song from Mom? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

FROM THE MOZART OF MADRAS TO THE MASTER BLASTER… (SACHIN: A BILLION DREAMS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil & Kaly
♪ Music Label: Junglee Music / Times Music
♪ Music Released On: 18th May 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 26th May 2017

Sachin: A Billion Dreams Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Sachin: A Billion Dreams is an upcoming docu-drama starring Sachin Tendulkar, directed by James Erskine and produced by Ravi Bhagchandka and Shrikant Bhasi. The film is a biopic that covers many aspects of Sachin’s professional and personal life, as narrated by the cricketer himself. Sachin is probably the most phenomenal star in the history of cricket, since he has so many fans and followers and well-wishers. For a biopic of such an important personality in sports, the makers make an apt decision for the music director of the film by finding his equivalent in the music industry — A.R. Rahman. Now, I know this won’t be a conventional Hindi film album with song-and-dance routines. What I’m expecting is a heart-moving and soulful score for this film. So let’s see whether Rahman, with his three songs in the film, can bring out the greatness of Tendulkar through his music!


1. Hind Mere Jind

Singer ~ A.R. Rahman

“Abb sabhi maan lo, baat yeh pyaar se,
Maante ho bhala, kyun sadaa haar se,
Jo shikhar ke liye hai bana Hind hai,
Woh meri jaan hai, with meri jind hai,
Aa rahi hai sadaa, dil ki har taar se,
Abb sabhi maan lo baat yeh pyaar se!”

A.R. Rahman kicks off the album with an aptly placed patriotic song. Sachin Tendulkar is probably one of the most well-known idols of the country and he is also very dedicated towards his country, and so it is no surprise that the first track in the album happens to be a patriotic number. What is a surprise, though, is the manner in which the Mozart of Madras composed this patriotic number. The song is composed in a very tranquilizing manner, something Rahman very often likes to work with. At first, the composition seems odd, but after a couple of listens you get used to it, and it grows on you. And after that it sounds magical!  The mukhda is a bit odd in the way it abruptly starts off with the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh beliyaa” but it gradually gets better. The hookline is alsp quite commonplace. But the part that hooked me to the song, is the Antara which takes a delightfully tranquil Qawwali-ish mode, a la ‘Kun Faaya Kun’ (Rockstar), something that Rahman excels in. Also, who would’ve expected that kind of a treatment to be given to a patriotic song! But then, it was Rahman himself who did it years ago, in ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ (Swades). The “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” loop is very catchy and it is probably the line that will hook most people to this song. Rahman’s arrangements are grand without being over-the-top. The song starts with a wonderful sound, like a flute. And after that, a synthetic shehnaai-like portion steals the breath away. When the melody of the song actually starts, there is predominantly piano arrangements, with a metronome ticking in the background. How simple, but the piano chords really make it sound grand. The sitar addition is just beautiful, while the claps during the “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” interlude are some booming arrangements. It is in the antara, again, when everything becomes more scintillating. A beautiful female chorus hums a trademark Rahman-ish melody, and then the Qawwali-ish portion starts, where Rahman, the mastermind that he is, adds the harmonium which increases the depth of the antara manifold. Rahman’s voice has a certain resonance, which no other singer in Bollywood at this point of time, can emulate. His voice gives the song another dimension altogether; it is so impactful. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are aptly patriotic, of course. A very soothing patriotic song, on the lines of ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ (Swades).

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Sachin Sachin

Singers ~ Sukhwinder Singh & Kaly, Rap Lyrics by ~ Kaly

“Raste chaahe hon ghane hi,
Hai ujaala tere haathon mein,
Ho adhoora khwaab toh phir,
Neend kaise aaye raaton mein?
Abhi aadhi kheli toone baazi,
Abhi chotein dil ki taazi taazi,
Abhi dil ko hai karna raazi,
Teri hauslon ne paa leni hai manzilein!”

After that heart-moving patriotic song, Rahman comes up with a ‘Sachin’ anthem. And the song is quite cool. Yes, the composition is quite blander than I would’ve expected somebody like Rahman to compose, but what made the day for me, was the way he used the ‘Sachiiiin, Sachiiin’ chants that make the stadium vibrate, as the hookline of this song. The sheer innovativeness with which that portion is done, made me think about the song completely differently. The padding around the hookline, though, is a bit underwhelming, and it has a quite run-of-the-mill sports anthem-like sound to it. Sukhwinder Singh’s vocals are topnotch, and he creates the ambience that will remind us of all of Sachin Tendulkar’s amazing feats in the history of cricket. As always his energy level is unmatchable. Kaly, the rapper, too does a fine job. Rahman’s arrangements are mostly digital percussion again, but I must say, the beats are very groovy, though at the same time, very typical and clichéd. There’s another uncredited female portion in the interlude, which was the peak point of the song, next to the “Sachin” chants. Irshad Kamil very appropriately praises the God of Cricket in his writing. An anthem that works only partly with its composition, but has a top-class hookline, and amazing vocals!

Rating: 3/5

 

3. Mard Maratha

Singers ~ A.R. Ameen & Anjali Gaikwad

“Dam dam dam Tain Tain Tain Tain Mard Maratha Tain Tain re!”

A vocal loop that reminds me of so many of Rahman’s Tamil songs kicks off the last song on the album, a fun and enjoyable children’s song that will surely make you get up and dancing to its beats. Rahman composes it in a way that will instantly appeal to the listeners, and especially the younger children. That vocal rhythm keeps repeating throughout the song, and keeps the listeners glued to the song. The mukhda is quite catchy as well, and very effectively leads to the vocal rhythm again, which serves as the song’s hookline. Rahman keeps the catchiness constant throughout the song; the antara is also very impressive. Not just the composition, but even the arrangements and vocals stand out in the song. The composer employs a very typical Maharashtrian dholki beat, that works in favour of the song and sets up a nice Maharashtrian feel to the song, apt because Sachin is from Maharashtra. The beginning has a nice Irish flute, that helps in getting the listener hooked. The interlude has a nice dhol-taasha part, coupled with nice Indian banjo after that. And of course, the dholki remains constant. Rahman’s guitars help infuse amazing energy to the song wherever they play. The vocals are very impressive, with two children singing joyously, but perfectly. They hit the right notes everytime, and even showcase for us, some very impressive rapid aalaaps. Rahman’s son, Ameen, does a good job, but his female co-singer, Anjali Gaikwad steals the show when she sings mind blowing aalaaps. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fun and enjoyable, just like the song. Sachin’s young fans will love this one!

Rating: 4/5


Sachin: A Billion Dreams is aptly short, sweet and simple. With a patriotic song, an ode to Sachin, and a children’s song, the album is quite a mixed bag.However, it doesn’t seem like one of those albums that I will listen to over and over again, and it is definitely not one of Rahman’s best. He showcases his experimentalist side in ‘Mard Maratha’, but the other two songs lack that.Nevertheless, they are good songs for a film in which I least expected songs. The Mozart of Madras puts aside his garish orchestration and complex compositions and delivers a sweet and simple album for the Master Blaster!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 3 + 4 = 11

Album Percentage: 73.34%

Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प <  < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Hind Mere Jind = Mard Maratha > Sachin Sachin

 

Please vote for your favourite song from Sachin: A Billion Dreams! Thanks! 🙂

KAATRU VELIYIDAI (MUSIC REVIEW) : Southern Spice – Tamil (Tamil Special)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Vairamuthu, Madhan Karky, Navneet Virk & Shellee
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 20th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th April 2017

Kaatru Veliyidai Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Kaatru Veliyidai is an upcoming Tamil language drama/romantic thriller which stars Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles, and written, directed and produced by Mani Ratnam. The film is a romance between a military pilot and a doctor. Since I do not know Tamil, I cannot make out anything else about it, but I can make out that the film is a Mani Ratnam directorial and that means that it is also an A.R. Rahman musical. Scoring six songs for this movie, Rahman is expected to have taken the magic of the Ratnam-Rahman combo even further. So let’s see how far this album sticks to that!


1. Nallai Allai

Singers ~ Sathya Prakash & Chinmayi, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

Rahman starts off the album with a charming love song, that will surely please your senses. The composition is a breezy romantic one, with all the elements of a successful romantic song included in it. The mukhda is an apt introduction into the song, with a very soft and soothing sound, and very minimal arrangements. The hookline, when it comes, blows your mind. It is vintage Rahmanish magic — the kind where he gives something utterly simple (and which fake Rahman fans will call ‘Rahman being out of form’) and making it extremely catchy and soothing at the same time. The antara is wonderful, with its low and sombre notes. One bar of notes in that stanza sounds a lot like a bar from ‘Tu Hai’ (Mohenjo Daro). There are two antaras, composed in the same way, something we find Rahman doing very less — sticking to this convention. The arrangements are just as breezy and soothing as the composition, especially the guitars (Keba Jeremiah) which are the highlight of the arrangements. The first interlude has that guitar piece, which resembles the guitar piece in the interlude of ‘Enna Sona’ (Ok Jaanu) so much! Again, I’m not complaining. The vocals are amazing, Sathya Prakash hits the nail right on the head, and his variations and nuances are amazing. Chinmayi, though having no words as such to sing, hums a beautiful tune in the second interlude once, and once at the end of the song. Both times, her voice gives you the goosebumps very efficiently. As I’m not well-versed (what well-versed? I’m not even versed) in Tamil, I cannot comment on the lyrics, but I’ve heard from many people that Vairamuthu has used very archaic Tamil, from the Sangam Age, in this song. That is interesting, Tamil being one of the oldest languages of the world. 🙂 A breezy, love ballad that will soak you with its sweetness.

Rating: 5/5

 

2. Azhagiye

Singers ~ Haricharan, Arjun Chandy & Jonita Gandhi, Backing Vocals ~ Sid Sriram, Bawa Sahni & Keerthi Sagathia, Lyrics by ~ Madhan Karky, Punjabi Lyrics by ~ Navneet Virk

After the breezy romantic track, we have an upbeat youthful romantic song, and whatever Tamil albums I’ve heard, I’ve heard atleast one such song in each of them. And yeah, most (maybe even all) of them were by Rahman, so I guess Rahman loves to add such songs in his Tamil albums. Anyway, the composition redefines the meaning of ‘fresh’. A breeze of fresh air blows over you as you immerse yourself in this youthfully magical song. The hook composition is insanely catchy, and without understanding it, I loved it more than a lot! The way Rahman seems to have composed separate, individual mini-songs and put them all together into one song, is amazing. The seamless flow from Tamil to Punjabi and back, is something that I’ve experienced for the first time! (Yes, my mother tongue, Marathi, does have songs where Marathi and Hindi are mixed into one song, and it sounds horrible!) The humming portions by Jonita have been composed so majestically! She provides a splash of water in the fresh air that the song is. (Sorry if that was cheesy, but get my feelings!) The composition isn’t all-in-your-ears and determined to be on top of the charts, and that’s what I appreciate about it. Rahman has very humbly put a very medium-sized guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) in the background, and decorates the rest of the composition with amazing strings (Murali, Mohan, Basker, John). The digital beats too, sound great. The harmonium and dholaks in the Punjabi interlude sound amazing, and I wish Rahman had composed such a song (I mean a whole song out of the Punjabi part) in Bollywood before the Tamil industry! The a capella backing vocals are amazing, and I wish more of it would’ve been there. The vocals are simply awesome. Arjun Chandy is in charge of the hookline, and he renders that beautifully, and charmingly. Haricharan does well in the Tamil portions, while Jonita hums her part impeccably well! Those nuances!! 💘 I wish she had more portions! (I guess I just wish everything was of more quantity in this song!!) A song effervescing youthfulness from every note.

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Vaan

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy & Poorvi Koutish, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

After two breezy romantic songs, it is time to get more intense, because here comes the vintage Rahmanish heavy composition, that just manages to find its way into every one of his albums. This composition is surreal, something that you just can’t ignore or dismiss as boring. It has some divine energy in it, which makes it universally appealing. The song has been composed on a very slow pace, and that makes it grow like slow poison. It starts with repetitions of “vaan varuvaan varuvaan…” which fade off. The sultry composition picks up even more at the “kadhal vandhaal..” part. The antara is just more entrancing. The magic is just unbelievable; it soothes you from head to toe. The arrangements are a masterpiece. There are no live instruments, except the flute (Kiran) and the piano, and the rest is digitally produced sound, which sounds amazing. I like the reverse sound effect that Rahman has added at olaces, where the sound seems to be sucked in towards the end. Sparkling, heavenly sounds accompanying the melody are just beautiful ‘tune-side’ attractions. The interlude with the vocal “ta ta ra…“, Sounds odd at first, but sets in later. The vocals by Shashaa are amazing; she has sung it very soulfully. An amazingly intense romantic song, that will leave the listeners in a trance.

Rating: 5/5

 

4. Saarattu Vandiyila

Singers ~ A.R. Raihanna, Tipu & Nikhita Gandhi, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Nivas, Santhosh, Aparna, Deepti Suresh, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

A traditional Tamil wedding song is up next on the soundtrack, and this is something I’ve never heard before. It is so beautiful to drown into some other wedding song, than the typical Punjabi wedding songs we hear in Bollywood. The composition is aptly upbeat, and trademark Rahman composition styles find their way into this one too. The hookline is really catchy, and the folksy beat really makes you dance hard. The arrangements are really vast, and awe-inspiring. The percussions (T.Raja, Yash, Kumar) are what stand out right away, the thavil resounding beautifully. Right from the beginning,the percussions are present. The santoor (Subhani) enters next, and its folksy sound makes everything sound even more beautiful. The flute (Kamlakar) is really sweet, and the solo interlude on the flute is amazing, where the ukulele (Lokesh) joins it. Again the guitar (Keba Jeremiah, Chris Jason) plays an important part in the arrangements. The vocals are really energetic, and the way the female singers, A.R. Raihanna and Nikita Gandhi, bring that sharp edge to their song, to sound more rustic, is really commendable! Tipu is great as the male singer. Backing vocalists play an integral role in the song too. A nice trip to a traditional Tamil wedding.

Rating: 5/5

 

5. Tango Kelaayo

Singers ~ Haricharan & Diwakar, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

Now, from here, I felt the album slipping out of my hands. (Or ears.) The next song is a Tango, named ‘Kelaayo’. Rahman has provided a very efficient tango song, and the composition is aptly sensuous, and sultry. The sharp pauses and smoothly flowing notes, that usually define Tangos, are all present, yet I felt some barrier preventing me from loving the song to infinity, like I did the previous ones. Might be because of the composition, which is a quite typical one, if you compare it with other Tangos. The “unnai pirindhaal” effect has increased the song’s viability, without which it might just have become staid. The antara is a bit below expectations too, but that crescendo taken by Haricharan is beautiful. The arrangements are heavenly, getting the Spanish theme right. The accordions (Karthik Devaraj) and the strings hit the bullseye. The jingles and castanets too, are intriguing. There is one complete musical piece at the end which is basically a Spanish music showcase, and it provides a hard-hitting end to the song. Haricharan sings it well, and as Rahman cleared in one of his Facebook replies to a fan, Haricharan’s voice itself has been tweaked and pitch modulated to sound like that female voice you can hear in the song. Interesting fact! A song that is good, but you connect to it only partly.

Rating: 4/5

 

6. Jugni

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Tejinder Singh, Rap Vocals ~ Rajakumari, Shikara, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

The last song is the song I liked the least, from the album. Yes, it is also the only song from the album I totally understood as far as language goes. However, I guess I didn’t understand it as far as its composition and arrangements go. The song is such a typical Punjabi affair, that I am confused whether I like it or not! The composition is very, very monotonous, and that “JUGNI! JUGNI OH!” hook sounded quite irritating. The beats are groovy, but that didn’t make up for the flawed composition, which I just couldn’t catch up with. It goes all over the place, in the usual Rahman way of composition, but this time, I couldn’t grasp any of the tunes, except the aforementioned one, because it was irritatingly catchy. The arrangements consist of gratuitous bass, which sounds good for some time, and gets boring later on. The stereotypical “oye oye” which has been added in many places, is weird. But Rahman has used more great flute work here, and an entrancing sound. The arrangements on the most part are intriguing, but the composition is at fault. Tejinder Singh, “Voice India 2” finalist, excels with his rendition, but again, the composition doesn’t let him marvel too much. Rahman’s parts are those irritating outbursts of “jugni!“. Shellee’s lyrics make it out to be some kind of introductory song for the female lead, where she’ll be shown as a badass main character. A song where the composition plays the spoilsport, and how!

Rating: 3/5


Kaatru Veliyidai is an album that radiates the Rahman-Ratnam combo’s magic out-and-out. With the exception of one and a half songs, all songs are something that will go down in Tamil music industry’s history. Rahman has tried to finish up that small link which was missing in his last album for Mani Ratnam, ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, and covers it up beautifully with this, which definitely supersedes ‘OKK’. For me, as a Hindi music listener, I found this album an intriguing mix of Western tunes, Tamil folk rhythms, romantic tunes and mixes of world music. Another masterstroke from the Mozart of Madras! 

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 3 = 27

Album Percentage: 90%

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: Nallai Allai = Azhagiye = Vaan = Saarattu Vandiyila > Tango Kelaayo > Jugni

 

Which is your favourite song from Kaatru Veliyidai? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

NOT JUST ‘OK’, BUT FANTASTIC! (OK JAANU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman, Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah
♪ Lyrics by: Gulzar, Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly, Mehboob & Badshah
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 4th January 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 13th January 2017

Ok Jaanu Album Cover

Ok Jaanu Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Ok Jaanu is an upcoming Bollywood rom-com / drama, starring Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson. The movie has been directed by Shaad Ali, and produced by Mani Ratnam, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Hiroo Yash Johar. The movie is a remake of Tamil film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ directed by Mani Ratnam, and like ‘Saathiya’ (which was a remake of Ratnam’s ‘Alaipayuthey’) Shaad Ali has taken it upon himself to successfully tell the story to the Hindi audience. The music of the film has been composed by A.R. Rahman, and it is primarily a dubed version of the ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ soundtrack minus a few tracks and plus some new songs to fill in their places. Young talent Tanishk Bagchi, along with Badshah, has recreated one of Rahman’s own 90s hits, ‘Hamma Hamma’ (Bombay) for the film. Skeptical as I am about this, I really hope that the makers have made a good decision about that. Rahman last composed ‘Mohenjo Daro’s Album, which, as good as it was, was a bit underwhelming. Also, the last time he could oosed for a rom-com like this in Bollywood was ‘Tamasha’ and before that ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’, both of which were awesome. I have heard the Tamil album when it released in 2015 itself, and it was good, but I didn’t really hear it much afterwards, because of the language. I just hope the dubbing has been done good!! Rahman has used 5 tracks from that album, and composed two new songs, and then Tanishk-Badshah’s one song, make this album an eight-song album! Just right!

{The names of the original Tamil songs from the Tamil album have been written below the respective song’s name}


1. OK Jaanu

(‘Mental Manadhil’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Srinidhi Venkatesh, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Dheere dheere zara dum le naa,
Pyaar se jo mile gham le naa,
Dil pe zara woh kam le naa,
Ok jaanu, tu dhin dhin na! Hey!”

– Gulzar

One of my favourites from the Tamil album, ‘Mental Manadhil’ gets redone as the title track of this movie, and I cant tell you how happy that made me! 😀 The song is a wonderful mocktail of techno sounds from Rahman, something that will drive you crazy, in a positive way. The composition is something that instantly grabs you and needs no time to invade your mind. It starts off with a nice ‘Jaanuuuu’ (and I know that sounds a bit cheap compared to the awesome ‘Lailaaaa’ from the Tamil song) and then transcends into an entrancing, but catchy tune that gets you grooving right away. The tune has been tweaked a bit from the original Tamil tune, which had this jumpy feel to it, especially in the “Mana mana mana” parts, which have been strung together to make a continuous tune in this version. However, after a couple of listens, this starts incorporating itself in your brain. (Read: my brain, and others who care about listening to music that isn’t in either their mother tongue, their national language or English) So I’m probably one in a ten-thousand people in North India who have heard the Tamil album. Yay me. Anyway. The antara is as catchy as the song is, and acts as a nice filler. Most of the song is composed on the same lines that constitute the mukhda, and I don’t know how many times the hook repeats. But it never gets boring! The arrangements are what make it more interesting than anything else does. That techno backdrop really makes the song sound pacy and makes it an apt song for a ‘carefree-and-youthful-couple-roaming-the-streets-of-Mumbai-on-a-motorbike-as-if-there’s-no-tomorrow’ situation. The interesting sounds that Rahman throws at you over the three-and-a-half-minute time span of the song, is enough to make you trip over the song. Especially that loop at the beginning!! The beats are so trippy, that it’s hard to explain in words. What does play a bit of a spoilsport in the song, are two things. First of all, Rahman’s vocals. I know they have a different kind of twang to them, and nobody else could have sung it like that, but some of the words have been mailed by his diction. (“Badi na tu kisi se” sounds like “Baaadiii na tuksi se”!) Srinidhi replaces Jonita from the original, to no actual effect — Jonita sounded much (!!!) better. (Which reminds me, there’s no female version!! The female version of ‘Mental Manadhil’ was awesome!!! Jonita’s nuances were to die for!) Also, Srinidhi has only one line that comes like two times in the whole song. The second spoilsport is (surprisingly!) Gulzar’s lyrics. The words in the antara (‘aayu-vaayu’, ‘mangal-dangal’) have merely been penned down to make them rhyme. And who addresses their friend as ‘kanya’? The lyrics were a big letdown, especially after Gulzar wrote the spectacular lyrics to ‘Mirzya’! I would’ve thought he would dub better! Nevertheless, a major portion of this song is awesome, as the tune and music is what matters the most. Some damage done by the lyrics can be overlooked by listeners.

Rating: 4/5

 

2. Enna Sona

(Newly composed song, replacement for ‘Aye Sinamika’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ Arijit Singh, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Kol hove te sekh lagda ae,
Door jaave te dil jalda ae,
Kedi agg naal, rab ne banaaya,
Rab ne banaaya, rab ne banaaya!
Enna sona kyun rab ne banaaya?”

– Gulzar

Next up, we get a fresh song, by which I mean that it isn’t a song from the Tamil album. And I must say, how thankful I am that ‘Aye Sinamika’ was dropped! 😛 I say this because what Rahman has produced in the bargain proves to be a spectacularly dulcet romantic ballad, that you just start loving instantly. Though I didn’t at first. Here’s my journey to liking this song: After 1st listen, “This is by A.R. Rahman?? Are you sure it isn’t Pritam..? I mean, there’s guitars, there’s Arijit…”. After close speculation in the second listen, “No. That flute in the first interlude is signature Rahman.. so it has to be Rahman. But what has he composed? A Pritam song!”. After 3rd listen, “Rahman!! Aaye ho kis bagiya se… Tummmm! 😍😍😍” And then I fell in love with the song. What can be better than a Punjabi love song, composed by Rahman and written by Gulzar? The composition is a verrrryy down-to-earth composition; so much so that the majority of its duration is taken up by that hookline that keeps on repeating, but never sounds repetitive! The antara with it’s inexplicably beautiful high notes just steals your heart away. (You’ll get it back he next time a beautiful Arijit song comes out. Don’t register any F.I.R. or anything and land yourself into trouble.) That leads us to the vocals. Arijit’s soothing voice is an excellent proof that he really is the only one out there these days who has the power to sing any type of song, but especially rocks it in the romantic song genre every single time. The arrangements are divinely soulful. PMK Naveen Kumar with his flute, impressed like always, and Keba Jeremiah on the guitars is exceptional. The flute and guitar in the first and second interludes respectively sound utterly charismatic! When the flute plays the hookline’s tune behind Arijit’s voice, a smile mischievously appeared on my face. (It was no use telling it to go away or grounding it.) Gulzar’s lyrics here, were a good exchange for the losses incurred in the first song, because they’re double beautiful. Though there are (and I counted) only 14 lines in the song, (Hey! It’s a sonnet!) each line has its own beauty. “Taap lagge na tatti Chandni da, saari ratti main os chhidkavan, kinne dardaan naal rabb ne banaaya” is the entire second antara, and the first is up there… Both are so marvellous! Enna Sona (gaana) kyun Rahman ne banaaya?

Rating: 5/5

 

3. Jee Lein

(‘Theera Ulaa’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Arjun Chandy, Neeti Mohan & Savithri R. Prithvi, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Bichhad bhi gaye, toh bhi kya hai,
Tera dard toh saath hoga,
Gar aa gaye aansu, toh kya, mera chehra
Toh yaad hoga, toh yaad hoga…”

– Gulzar

Now this is another song that has been dubbed from its Tamil counterpart, from the original Tamil album. And I must say, it has been remade quite well! Let me remind you that the man behind this is A.R. Rahman, and so a Kollywood to Bollywood transition isn’t going to be as straightforward as it seems! And sure enough, the man has introduced some significant changes in the song, which we’ll come to later on. Firstly, the composition. The composition is a dreamy, anthem-like tune for the most part, until a nice and soothing interjection in the form of a female portion comes (Which is that significant change I was talking about, because it was a Carnatic piece in the Tamil song) and brings the melancholia into the song. Upbeat for the most part as the rest of the song is, this part very wonderfully and seamlessly brings a nice and emotional touch to the song — something Rahman is an expert at. The rest of the song is mostly the same time repeating again and again, but it doesn’t sound boring (except a bit when you hear it for the first time). It all has a very harmonic sound to it. The arrangements just elevate this entrancing feeling. Nice beats go with the chorus part, making the song upbeat in the right concentration. The occasional veena strums really reach out to your heart. (Which has been stolen by ‘Enna Sona’, don’t forget!) The melodious female portion in the middle has the upbeat beat toned a bit down, but the tune of that part definitely overrides the beats. And the seamless transition from that part, back to the chorus part, is awesome! Vocals are amazing, and I would like to have a list of everyone who was on the chorus! Arjun Chandy is clearly on there, and I can hear Neeti’s feathery voice, I the background. But Neeti has the aforementioned female portion to her credit, which is definitely the best part of the song, and she has rendered with her magic touch. Gulzar’s lyrics are wonderful. Especially in the same female portion that’s definitely going to be on my tongue and in my mind for a long time! Different and lovable, but might take some time to grow on you!

Rating: 4.5/5

 

4. Kaara Fankaara

(‘Kaara Attakkaara’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Paroma Das Gupta, Shashaa Tirupati, Hard Kaur, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Kaly & Ashima Mahajan, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Hard Kaur, Navneet Virk, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Kaly

“Kaara fankaara kab aaye re, kaara fankaara tarsaaye re” 🙉

– Whichever one of them wrote it

In a film targeted towards the youth, how can there not be a youthful number? The next song is just that. The song is a mishmash of sounds that are supposed to attract the youth. And it succeeds to quite an extent. The main composition is only during the hookline, the title of the song. I’m not sure if it even means anything, but the tune is likable. The composer has tried his best to make the song sound like many of his earlier such songs, and it does, but you can’t help but lose the link somewhere in the middle. The rap is amazingly rapid-going, and better than Badshah and Raftaar for sure, but I’m not sure the public is going to lap this rap up like they do for Raftaar and Badshah! Nevertheless, Kaly (How do I know it’s him? He says it in the song.. see if you can find it!) delivers it perfectly, so that it sounds rad. The ‘nama nama nama neiiii’ gets a bit repetitive after some time, and the song is almost 6 minutes long, so keep your seatbelts on! The vocals by so many people make it sound like a very hastily put-together song trying to sound unconventional. And unconventional it sounds, but doesn’t work! Hard Kaur, after a long time in some big Bollywood song, gets drowned amidst Shashaa’s ‘kaara fankaara kab aaye re, kaara fankaara tarsaaye re’ and Kaly’s English rap. Also, she isn’t recognizable thanks to programming. One thing I really loved is hat quirky nadaswaram like thing that plays when Kaly raps, somewhere in the initial two minutes of the song. The digital beats are commendable, but not commercially viable, especially not in Bollywood. The lyrics to the rap are good, but the hookline makes no sense. It is also the only song (except ‘The Humma Song’), that hasn’t been written by Gulzar. A good attempt at making a youthful rap number, but I wouldn’t recommend this, as it is quite heavy to the ears.

Rating: 3/5

 

5. Saajan Aayo Re

(‘Naane Varugiraen’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi & Nakash Aziz, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Saajan aayo re, saavan laayo re,
Main poori bheegi re, Mann behkaayo re”

– Gulzar

Now comes the Rahman I was waiting for! Also, the song I was waiting for. My favourite song from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, ‘Naane Varugiraen’ gets remade in Hindi as ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, and rendered by one of the most promising female singers of this generation, Jonita Gandhi. Of course, Shashaa sung this song in Tamil, and did a great job too. But with Rahman, it can never be anything simple… He has to put in challenges here and there, and so he ropes in Jonita, though Shashaa could’ve very well done it too! Anyway, more on the vocals later! The composition starts off with a wonderful free-flowing introductory stanza, which reminds me of Kathak songs like ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ (Mughal-e-Azam). The wonderful classical tune is just so bewitching! And what follows, is a classic example of why Rahman is such a master at classical songs. The nuances in the composition, especially at the word “saajan” are top-class! And the tune that follows is definitely one of the most beautifully haunting tunes I’ve heard since a long time. The interruptions by Nakash have been composed beautifully, too. The arrangements are heaven on earth. When the harp plays, when Jonita first starts the hookline, you get goosebumps, that might just stay till the whole song is over. And that wonderful percussion that follows…! The strings are exceptional, and techno music plays a big role in making the song sound unconventional for a classical melody. The vocals by Jonita surely make up her most wholesome perfromance out of all. Last year, Pritam gave her many songs, but this is not even similar to any of those. Jonita, for the first time, has taken up a classical song to sing, and she aces it with perfection! The way she sings the “Naa dir dinna tom tana na” reminded me of Shreya Ghoshal singing ‘Silsila Ye Chaahat Ka’ (Devdas) for some reason. She has really sung that part beautifully. Nakash, too, complements her very well! Gulzar’s lyrics suit the classical theme very well. An exceptional melody! Classical to the core, but modernized with some nice touches in the arrangements! Signature Rahman!

Rating: 5/5

 

6. Maula Wa Sallim

(‘Maula Wa Sallim’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ A.R. Ameen, Music by ~ Traditional, Lyrics ~ Traditional

Next up comes the traditional Arabic track that was in the Tamil album, as it is. There was no need to dub this one; it was Arabic and stays Arabic. And it’s traditional. The song is a simplistic but ethereal prayer song, sung by A.R. Rahman’s son, A.R. Ameen. The boy carries out the song with a nice aura of spirituality around his cute voice (goosebumps when he sings “Habib-allah, rasul-allah”), but it is very obviously autotuned. Rahman’s programming on his voice sounds good, when towards the end, he triples and quadruples his voice track, giving it a very nice echo effect. The song is a perfect night time song, sublime as it is. Rahman’s own voice can be heard humming in the background, and I just love it when he hums in the backgrounds of his songs. There’s not much more to say about this one, except that it should be given a chance, before being dismissed as boring.

Rating: 4/5

 

7. Sunn Bhavara

(Newly composed song, replacement for ‘Malargal Kaetten’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Music by ~ A.R. Rahman, Lyrics by ~ Gulzar

“Roshan roshan bhor dikhaye, roshan roshan bhor dikhaye,
Prem ki paalki laaye, laaye, prem ki paalki laaye,
Udann khatole pe aaye bhavara, Kartab kar dikhlaye bhavara,
Sunn sunn bhavara, kaisi baatein banaaye!”

– Gulzar

This song’s counterpart in the Tamil movie, was a Carnatic classical piece, and the makers must’ve thought (and rightly so) that Carnatic music won’t have much takers in Bollywood, and so they intelligently replaced it with a wonderful Hindustani classical piece, taking the style of a nazm. Rahman’s composition is a very soothing one, the mukhda giving the most pleasant goosebumps ever imaginable. The antara is just a wonderful continuation of where the mukhda left off. The classical composition is just as heavenly as the one for ‘Saajan Aayo Re’, but this time, very pleasantly soothing instead of haunting. The composition reminded me of ‘Saathiya’s ‘Naina Milaike’. The arrangements are divine, with the tablas taking centre-stage. It actually reminded me of the beautiful nazm from ‘Haider’, ‘Aaj Ke Naam’. The tanpura at the beginning, gives a nice launchpad to the tablas. Listen for the transition from the tanpura to the tablas. Shashaa’s rendition of the classical composition is as soothing as the composition itself. Her magical voice makes the song sound all the better. This song is four and a half minutes of bliss that can’t be replaced by anything else. Finally, Gulzar’s lyrics are awesome! As always (except the title song 😛 but I think we’ve forgotten and forgiven that already!) A short review because I can’t really explain more about it! It’s too divine! Soothing!

Rating: 5/5

 

8. The Humma Song

(Remake of ‘Hamma Hamma’ from ‘Bombay’, replacement for ‘Parandhu Sellaa Vaa’ from ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’)

Singers ~ Jubin Nautiyal & Shashaa Tirupati, Rap Written & Performed by ~ Badshah, Original Composition by ~ A.R. Rahman, Music Recreated by ~ Tanishk Bagchi & Badshah, Lyrics by ~ Mehboob

“Ek ho gaye hum aur tum, toh udd gayi neendein re,
Aur khanki Paayal masti mein, do kangan khanke re!”

– Mehboob

The finale to the album takes the form of a remake to a classic Rahman dance track. The song that created waves in the 90s when it released, probably the first dubbed song to do so, ‘Hamma Hamma’ from ‘Bombay’ has been recreated by Tanishk Bagchi and Badshah. The original composition and lyrics have been left as it is. The only changes made are the singers, the arrangements of course, and that a rap portion is added (Badshah is there, so what else can you expect?) Anyway, the new programming by Tanishk and Badshah gives the song more of a lounge feel, and where the vocals in the original were raw, here they have been toned to perfection, as in, auto-tuned and polished, so as to make them sound sensuous. The remake is good when you look at it, as it serves as a nice and enjoyable song perfect for the situation. (I didn’t want to be stating that I actually wanted ‘Parandhu Sellaa Vaa’ remade, as I had loved it a lot, but yeah, I’ll not say that) The tempo has been slowed down, in order to make it more of a romantic track than a dance track, and the vocals actually sound good, if not better. (Not that I loved Remo Fernandes’ original vocals either..) Jubin takes over most of the song, while Shashaa complements him well, and the occasional ‘Hamma hamma hamma’ whispers are awesome. The arrangements have more of a club sound to them, but that signature tune has been retained and used gratuitously. The sounds have gone under a lot of treatment, but emerge as good as the old one. The Rap in the middle plays the spoilsport, and it’s like Badshah is trying to say, “Look, I featured on a Rahman album.” Our answer is, “Good. Now feature in a Rahman song!” The nadaswaram part at the end is just whacky! Of course, it was here in the original. It is insane, and ends the song on an offbeat note. Remade quite well, but could’ve done with another stanza instead of the rap.

Rating: 4/5


OK Jaanu actually turned out to be quite an ear-friendly album. I wasnt expecting it as I was thinking about the repercussions of making those Tamil songs into Hindi. However, after hearing it, I feel that part went down really well. Even the bonus song by Tanishk doesn’t take away anything from the album. Rahman uses his innate intelligence to cleverly tweak some parts of the songs that he thought wouldn’t suit in Bollywood, and the results can be seen! The only song that underperforms is ‘Kaara Fankaara’, which I don’t think I’ll be hearing much. But the others are fabulous. The second album of 2017, turns out to be worth listening on repeat!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 4 + 5 + 4.5 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 4 = 34.5

Album Percentage: 86.25%

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: Saajan Aayo Re > Enna Sona > Sunn Bhavara > Jee Lein > OK Jaanu > The Humma Song > Maula Wa Sallim > Kaara Fankaara

 

Remake Counter
Number of Remakes: 02 (from ‘Kaabil’) + 01 = 03 (Dubs not counted)

 

Which is your favourite song from OK Jaanu? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

SINDHU MAA KA SANGEET!! (MOHENJO DARO – Music Review)

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

Mohenjo Daro Album Cover

Mohenjo Daro Album Cover

 

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!!

 

3. Sarsariya
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! 🙂

ACHCHAM YENBADHU MADAMAIYADA (MUSIC REVIEW): Southern Spice – Tamil (Tamil Special)

The first time I’m reviewing a Tamil movie’s music, in spite of thinking of doing it many times…! Excited as never before!


Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Madhan Karky, Vignesh Shivan, Thamarai & Pavendar Bharathidasan
♪ Music Label: Divo Music / VMS Music / Publishing Sdn Bhd
♪ Music Released On: 17th June 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th September 2016100000x100000-999 (5)

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Gaana CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

 


Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is an upcoming Tamil (dubbed into Telugu) action/romance film that stars Silambarasan and Manjima Mohan in lead roles. The movie is directed by Gautham Menon, and produced by Reshma Ghatala, Jayaram, Elred Kumar, Gautham Menon and Venkat Somasundaram. Well, what made me come to this album was the music director. No prizes for guessing that it is A.R. Rahman. The composer had a good end to last year with his Hindi album ‘Tamasha’, which I unfortunately had to miss! It was a great conclusion to his account in the year which started with the Tamil flick, ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, which will also coincidentally be his opening album to 2017, except, in Hindi, for ‘OK Jaanu’. He opened 2016 with his sci-fi Tamil movie, ’24’, and now he comes back with this Tamil album. Getting frustrated of him not coming into Bollywood for quite a while but doing so many Tamil movies, I decided to go review his Tamil albums. 😛 As it is, I haven’t reviewed a Rahman album since decades!! :O 😛 This is just a practice review, to get ready for his upcoming Hindi albums ‘Mohenjo Daro’ and ‘OK Jaanu’! And hopefully, ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ of we gt the soundtrack album! 🙂 So here we go!!


1. Showkali
Singers ~ Aditya Rao, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Sri Rascol, Rap Lyrics by ~ Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Sri Rascol, Lyrics by ~ Vignesh Shivan 

Rahman starts off the album with an infectious hip-hop number that is very, very “with the times”, and would appeal to the youth of today. The song is not exactly what would come into your mind when you think of Rahman, even though he has already proved his talent in catering to the youth many times in the past, most of them being Tamil ventures. Rahman’s composition is very tough to follow and grasp, but nevertheless, it appeals for as long as it is playing. Rahman sure does know how to weave magic into all his songs, even when there’s no scope of doing so! The composition is mostly made up of random phrases (of course, I can’t understand the lyrics.) with random tunes that really serve as an entertaining cocktail of noises and sounds. The arrangements are mind-blowing and really go well with the theme of hip-hop. Techno beats have been used to give a booming and appealing structure to the song. Various attractions like a digital sound and a very typical EDM noise, really make the song as cool as possible, not to mention enjoyable. An Arabic-styled percussion and strings sets in, midway through the song, and gives a very different feel to the song. And towards the end, is when Rahman gets into his very controversial experimental mode. (Controversial because so many like it while just as many don’t!) I, for one, loved it the very first time, though the song is definitely not something I regularly would like! Towards the end, Rahman cranks up the tempo and provides a very entertaining dappankuthu rhythm, after which the total structure of the song changes and turns into a kind of free-for-all! The beats are just tooooo good there! Especially those digital twinkly beats that started the song off. As for vocals, Aditya gets a very less scope to spread out his wings, as the rapper takes center-stage and attracts all attention towards himself. Sri Rascol must be applauded for such a mindblowingly rapid rap! 😀 It was a fascinating thing to hear! I can’t differentiate between Aditya and Aaryan though, but I must say whatever voices I heard were impressive, so I can’t say that any one of them sang bad. 😀 The hookline is very weird, but very appealing as well! As for the lyrics, I don’t know what they mean, but the song as a whole sent positive vibes through me! Rahman impresses with a youthful hip-hop number! A brave venture that would never have worked out in Bollywood, sadly! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Idhu Naal
Singers ~ Aditya Rao & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Madhan Karky

Up next is a romantic song, which has Rahman written all over it. When Rahman composes these simple, sweet and innocent romantic songs, without the heavy and dark notes (like ‘Hai Rama’ from ‘Rangeela’ and the like), it always turns out to be a profitable venture. Rahman stays sweet and simple with the composition, not trying to make it very complicated, but making it just right, so that it appeals to the masses and the classes alike. The mukhda is really beautiful, starting directly with the title of the song, and taking it softly from there, with a cute bridge from each line to the next. The antara takes an even sweeter form, what with Jonita’s voice making it all the more sweet. The variations in the composition are perfectly handled by both the singers, who do a great job to shine in the great composition. Aditya gets more scope here to shine, and what does he do? Shine, of course!! He sings with a lot of zest and is beautifully complemented by Jonita with her sweet and feathery voice. Her humming throughout the song, behind Aditya’s lines, gives more charm to the lines. Her own stanza in the antara, she manages with ease, and she sounds a lot like Chinmayi, who coincidentally, has sung the Telugu version of the song! 😀 Arrangements are heavenly. Fingersnaps give a good beat to the song, while drums along with a scintillating electronic loop (the one that starts off the song) help to carry the melody forward. Guitars are also audible in the background. The interludes are blissful, with beautiful techno sounds playing very melodically. Piano notes take the interludes to different levels altogether. A very exquisite backing chorus gives the song a very Westernized touch, and I just loved that inexpressibly! The “idhu varai yaedhume” portions joined with other lines each time, all the most majestic of the whole song, and they are what I keep waiting for like a loyal pet dog. :p (Yes, I’m okay with calling myself a dog for them, too!!) Youthful, melodious and a song full of innocent romance. How I wish Rahman was Jeet Gannguli or Ajay-Atul, and that he would remake his Tamil songs into Hindi!! 😂😂😂 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Rasaali
Singers ~ Sathya Prakash & Shashaa Tirupathi, Lyrics by ~ Thamarai

Let me tell you guys, this song is the sole reason I decided to review this album! It is a song that will leave you speechless, thoughtless, senseless and whatnot. Rahman creates another very alluring romantic song, that sounds very South-indian, yet will appeal to everyone! It will just take one time for you to listen to it and make it your favourite song ever! For me, it is no doubt one of Rahman’s best in his recent works. It starts off weird with a spooky sound like a bat’s, or a horse neighing. But then it completely transforms into a cute, sweet, indescribable romantic song full of magnificence. The composition is just so marvelous, that it gives you the goosebumps within the first minute itself, and though it is biologically impossible, the goosebumps don’t go away until the song is over. 😛 Rahman has infused a very Carnatic classical touch into a modern-sounding romantic song. I’ll explain. The arrangements are colossal. There is a whole interlude devoted to Carnatic instruments!!! The song starts off with its mukhda immersed in guitars that are purely soulful to the core. The mukhda itself is unexplainably BLISSFUL! The way two words have been repeated in the very first line, is what I loved the most! The composition has the power to lull you to sleep, but at the same time, it is very refreshing. After the guitar-led mukhda is over, the guitars hand over the relay baton to the Carnatic instruments, with a wonderful blend of thavil, manjeeras and a breathtaking violin played in a very Carnatic style. It is joined by a flute later on, and that just adds to the magic. The antaras have the many twists and turns like a Carnatic raaga. Though Sathya Prakash does remarkably well in the first one, Shashaa does his career’s best nuances in complete Carnatic style in the second interlude, right before she takes over the second antara to herself as well! Her murkiyaan are tooooo perfect! It is the hookline though, where most of the beauty is concentrated. An elongated word, Rasaaaaliiii steals away your heart. The song ends very softly with Sathya almost whispering into your ear. With a perfect fusion of appealing techno sounds and Carnatic elements, Rahman provides an earworm that is to be cherished forever! Special, special mention to Shashaa’s beautiful Carnatic solo! 👏👏 #5StarHotelSong!!

 

4. Avalum Naanum
Singer ~ Vijay Yesudas, Lyrics by ~ Pavendar Bharathidasan

The next song sees Rahman stepping back into innocent mode, with a sweet-as-honey romantic song from a man’s point of view. Mostly, in Bollywood, we hear such songs in a female’s voice, like the recent ‘Dil Ye Ladaku’ (Saala Khadoos) which was a sugar-sweet romantic song. Here, Vijay Yesudas, with a voice as silky as his father’s, is in top form, and renders the song with great ease and skilled sweetness. Rahman’s melody, again, is very sweet. This time, he introduces ballroom waltz elements into the song, which lifts it up levels higher. The composition has its appeal in its simple structure. The hookline is beautiful, with the title of the song alternating with other lines, and this going on for quite some time. But it is really sweet! Rahman’s arrangements win again in this one, with strings (Chennai Strings Orchestra) and flutes taking the front seat. The use of the strings make the song sound oh-so-graceful in the waltzy theme. It is the first interlude that wins over your heart, though, with the violins lulling you away to la-la-land. It sounds so majestic! It is when the flute kicks in, when you feel completely drowned into the song. The antara follows with another cute tune. Vijay sings very well, and it sounds so sweet, you can’t help but keep on listening for his next lines. Guitars and fingersnaps join here too, later on, and sound great while they’re there! MORE BLISS! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Thalli Pogathey
Singers ~ Sid Sriram, Aparna Narayanan, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Rap Lyrics by ~ Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Lyrics by ~ Thamarai

With one club song and three back-to-back romantic songs, Rahman comes back to the club, EDM and youth genre to conclude the album with. As it turns out, this was the first song to release, though. This time, Rahman once more makes it huge with the genre. He avoids breaking into a very imposing and fast-paced tune; instead, he does everything with a very slow, entrancing pace, which manages to make the song work. However! Yes, there is a “however” to everything! However, the song is not as catchy as it should be, with the impressive beats. The familiarity takes its toll on the song; so many of Rahman’s songs have been similar in both composition and beats. The song gets a bit monotonous after a certain amount of time, nevertheless it is a good attempt, considering the catchy beats. Sid Sriram does well with the main portions, while ADK raps in a cool manner too, yet not really impressing as much as I feel it should have. Aparna steps in for a few backing vocals, and so has very little scope to showcase her voice. It is the arrangements that save the song, with the electronic beats actually acting as its lifeguard. They appeal and Rahman does them beautifully, each and every time. A great attempt, but gets too monotonous and wears out after some time, and it is long!!


Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is a very, very impressive album. I just touched it because of one song, and found four other great songs, out of which one may lag behind the others, but what does that matter?! All in all, it is another out-of-the-park shot by Rahman, that will surely get at least three of its songs (the romantic ones) into people’s hearts forever. Maturity in the romance, and youth in the rest, is what this album is all about. A treat for Rahman lovers!!

 

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: Rasaali > Avalum Naanum > Idhu Naal > Showkali > Thalli Pogathey 

 

Which is your favourite song from Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂