MUSIC KA MAIDAAN FATEH NA HO PAAYA! (SANJU – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman, Rohan-Rohan & Vikram Montrose
♪ Lyrics by: Irshad Kamil, Shekhar Astitwa, Puneet Sharma & Rohan Gokhale
♪ Music Label: T-Series
♪ Music Released On: 29th June 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 29th June 2018

1400x1400bb2.jpg

Sanju Album Cover

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Sanju is a Bollywood biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Vicky Kaushal, Sonam Kapoor, Karishma Tanna, Jim Sarbh and Anushka Sharma among others. The film is directed by Rajkumar Hirani, and produced by him along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. We all know how Sanjay Dutt features in almost all of Hirani’s films, save ‘3 Idiots’. However, Hirani says he never got to know him personally until one day he started talking about all his hardships during an emotional breakdown. That lit a lamp in Hirani’s mind, and he decided to make a biopic. Now, I can’t comment on the movie as I haven’t watched it yet, but I can sure do a music review, right? 🤣 The music of the film has been composed by three composer entities (one being a duo), Rohan-Rohan, Vikram Montrose and A.R. Rahman. It’s surprising to see Rahman first of all in a multicomposer album, because whenever he did those in the past, it was because he left midway due to other commitments. But here, he was the last addition reportedly! Rohan-Rohan have two songs, and it isn’t their Hindi debut; that happened four years ago with ‘Mumbai Delhi Mumbai’, but it is Vikram’s Hindi film debut — he has done some Hindi pop songs and a Marathi album called ‘Bhay’, which was mediocre. Also, I’ve noticed that Hirani uses music as a prop to take the story forward, but not even in the way other filmmakers do (they’ll have a song play in the background and all). No, Hirani will have a full-fledged four-minute song sequence, but it’ll make the moment fun and enjoyable. However, the music itself isn’t always up to the mark. His favourite film album of mine is ‘Pk’, because the music actually was good there. Let’s check out how the music is with ‘Sanju’, though you might already know by my review’s headline. Sorry. I’m dimwitted that way.


Rohan-Rohan are the ‘chosen ones’ who get to begin this album. And they do it in quite a quirky manner too! Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya is a song that is supposed to be an old song that the character are singing in the 80s, so the song is composed like a 50s nok-jhhok number. It starts with a wonderful opening prelude, which instantly sucks you into the 50s. Sunidhi’s voice modulation is fantastic, and is obviously one of the best vocal renditions of the year. Sonu Nigam, in comparison seems weak, but I wonder, since he can mimic so well, why didn’t he sing in a nasal tone, as well? He still has sung in one, but it could’ve been more pronounced I feel. Rohan-Rohan’s composition is fun, but takes some time getting used to. And Puneet Sharma’s lyrics are very quirky and funny, especially the part when they talk about ‘family planning’ or rather, the lack of it. The song somewhat addresses Sanjay Duty’s commitment issues, and it’s the typical Hirani way of presenting a serious topic in such a flippant and casual way.

Rohan-Rohan’s second song doesn’t fare too well. Bhopu Baj Raha Hain tries to start with a retro sound as well, trumpets blaring, bhopus belting out weird noises, but it soon transcends into a very weird zone. Nakash Aziz was the obvious choice for the song, and I must say Rohan-Rohan’s arrangements are enjoyable, but I’m sure nobody will listen to this song again. There’s not magnetism or attractiveness to it. The antaras are poorly structured, and I’d never expect this song to be in any big commercial film. The worst part is that this is a Hirani film. Though the duo has tried to create the Hirani zone in this song as well, I feel it could’ve been less effervescent. The lyrics by Rohan Gokhale and Shekhar Astitwa are just a bunch of words you never think much about.

Vikram Montrose, the debutant, also starts off his share of the album with a song that everyone would love because of the motivational touch, the powerful vocals and the inspirational lyrics. Kar Har Maidaan Fateh does carry thag irresistibly moving sound, I agree. The choice of Sukhwinder Singh wasn’t surprising, but the choice of Shreya Ghoshal was surprising, and the way she sings is even more surprising — she sings quite lower than she usually sings. She shines even then, though. Sukhwinder Singh’s parts sound almost heard-before and nothing new, but because of the freshness Shreya brings through her low pitch, the song reaches different levels of awesomeness. Vikram arranges is quite standardly, with rock guitars, percussions, and drums. However, the violin playing the hookline in the interludes, is amazing. Also, the composition took some time to grow on me, but when it did, I couldn’t get it out of my head. All in all, it was a good debut for Montrose.

His second song Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya, is hinged on the quirky lyrics by Puneet Sharma and Rohan Gokhale. Papon brings a different, rough texture to his otherwise smooth voice, but I enjoyed Ranbir’s parts more. And Supriya Pathak (not the one you’re thinking of) sings her lines quite funnily. The groove and gun sounds throughout the song have been overused so many times in so many gangster movies in Bollywood, that it sounds boring here. The song is also unbearably long, at just under than 5 minutes. However, I’m sure this song is for the theatres.

And then enters A.R. Rahman, who gets two songs too. Ruby Ruby starts with that irresistible bass line, followed by the wonderful guitars (Keba Jeremiah) and a grungy voice keeps whispering “Rrrrrubyy”. When the actual melody starts, you are initially confused, and the song takes some listens to get used to, but since it depicts Dutt’s drug addiction phase, I think it’s deliberately composed like that — so many lines repeating so many times; there’s actually three discernible different parts in the song that keep repeating over and over. And it sends us into a trance. The percussions are amazing too, as are the strings! Shashwat Singh masters the grunge very well, and I especially loved the part when he does the descension from ‘Tu bhi, ruby, ruby…’. Poorvi Koutish is a capable backing vocalists, and her ‘la la la’ is so haunting, it sucks you in.

Speaking of haunting, Rahman’s next song Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo is just that. A sensuous composition, rendered just perfectly by Nikhita Gandhi, the song immediately has you hooked. It has a number of lines ending with high notes, which Nikhita holds so wonderfully. The rhythm Rahman employs in the background is intriguing, and reminds you of ‘Muskaanein Jhoothi Hai’ from ‘Talaash’ with the shakers, the subtle percussion, and very muffled strings that give the song an even more sensuous atmosphere. Irshad Kamil writes lyrics that suit the ambience of the song, and I feel that the song itself can transport you to the moon. Also, Nikhita hums so brilliantly at the end of the song. 😍


Sanju turns out to be the weakest Hirani album for me, due to the meaningless quirks from the newer songs by the younger composers, that just brings the album down. The music field has sadly not been conquered by Hirani this time.

Total Points Scored by This Album: 8 + 5 + 8 + 6 + 8.5 + 9 = 44.5

Album Percentage: 74.17%

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: Mujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalo > Ruby Ruby > Main Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya = Kar Har Maidaan Fateh > Baba Bolta Hain Bas Ho Gaya > Bhopu Baj Raha Hain

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

Advertisements

MY FAVOURITE A.R. RAHMAN SONGS (PART 1: 1992-1999)

So, I had asked my followers on Twitter which composer they would like me to make a list on about my favourite songs by that composer. The options were A.R. Rahman, Jatin-Lalit, Anu Malik and Nadeem-Shravan, four of the most prominent Bollywood composers in the 90s. Of course, only one of them is just as relevant now as he was then, and that is Mr. A.R. Rahman, and maybe that’s the reason he ended up winning this poll.

But then I thought, How am I ever, ever going to cover my favourite ARR songs in one post? The man has so far had a very illustrious career in the music industry, ranging from Tamil to Hindi and even making us proud by composing entire soundtracks for so many Hollywood feature films! So I thought of splitting my post about him into four parts. Or maybe three. Let’s see. Also I’m sure I can’t limit myself in number of songs in such posts, so for whatever composer it may be, I will list as many songs as I feel, really deserve to be listed! So let’s get started with my favourite songs of A.R. Rahman from 1992 to 1999!

P.S. The following list is in order of release of the movies.

P.P.S: Including dubbed Hindi versions of the songs as well, because there are some real gems in those albums. 🙂

Here’s the Saavn playlist so you can listen along.


1. Chhoti Si Asha (Roja; 1992)

Singer: Minmini, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Well, Wikipedia tells me that initially, Alka Yagnik was going to sing this song, one of my most favourite songs from when I was a child, but due to date issues, it had to be sung by Minmini, who sang the original Tamil version as well. And little did I know then that this song marked the debut of a young composer who would later on be so influential and bring a sound revolution to Bollywood! This song’s composition is like a dream realised in the mode of a song, and the lyrics, even though they’re dubbed, resonate in some way with each and every one of us! And that iconic opening flute just fills you with happiness whenever you hear it. Enjoy!

2. Yeh Haseen Vaadiyaan (Roja; 1992)

Singers: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by: P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

Another classic from the historic debut album of the maestro, this one is a lilting romantic number that gives me goosebumps everytime I listen to it. SPB and Chithra complement each other oh so well, and the song really reaches its peak when the singers sing “Mere jaane jaan…” The sensuous composition by Rahman and the digital beats that accompany it, are well managed, and Mishra’s lyrics are spot on!

3. Roja Jaanemann (Version 2) [Roja; 1992]

Singer: Hariharan & Sujatha Mohan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Magnasound Media Pvt Ltd.

I promise, the 26 years late ‘Roja’ madness will be over; this is the last one! But I love them all so much, especially this one and especially one of the songs I’m cutting out (Bharat Humko) and just had to insert this one here because… It’s so good!! Deliberately listing the Hariharan version because hey, his aalaaps are goosebumps-inducing and also, SPB got his Roja song on this list. Sujatha Mohan’s haunting humming throughout the song is just 😍.

After that he did a number of Tamil films, which definitely were dubbed in Hindi, but I’ve heard only some of those songs, and I like even fewer.

4. Muqabala Muqabala (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singers: Mano & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

This has become a dance anthem, thanks to Prabhudheva’s movies in this song, and the beats are just as worthy of making this song so popular. The quirky (though bad) lyrics help the song sound silly but likeable, and Rahman’s tune is really catchy — the song isn’t so famous for nothing!

5. Sun Ri Sakhi (Hum Se Hai Muqabala; 1995)

Singer: Hariharan, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Venus

Rahman experiments a lot with strings and tablas in this one, a beautifully charming romantic number that melts your heart by sweetness. Hariharan gracefully renders Rahman’s just as sweet tune, and it results in a song that I’d listen to for years to come.

6. Kehna Hi Kya (Bombay; 1995)

Singer: K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

I don’t think I know a soul on this planet who has heard this song and doesn’t like it, except for the 567 souls who have disliked it on YouTube. God bless their ears. This song is a showcase of Rahman’s versatility, composing such a heart touching composition and adorning it with splendid tablas, santoor (I believe) and the Qawwali part which he sings (again, I believe) is so beautiful. Chithra’s voice us as sweet as honey, and the way she pronounced “Unhe” is adorable. The most iconic portion of the song is probably the rushed female chorus, awkwardly trying to fit Mehboob’s lyrics into Rahman’s tune that goes too fast, but it’s an immortal classic by now and we all enjoy it so, nothing more can be said!

 7. Tu Hi Re (Bombay; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Universal Music India Pvt. Ltd.

Now don’t tell me you came here looking for my favourite Rahman songs and didn’t expect me to include this gem. Yes, it’s highly popular and it’s quite surprising to see such craze for a dubbed Hindi song! I mean, the recent dubbed albums by Rahman almost went unnoticed! Rahman’s lilting composition gives me the goosebumps everytime and Hariharan’s silky smooth voice is the USP of the song, coupled with Kavita Krishnamurthy’s strong “Aayi re..” followed by a whole stanza sung by her. The plucked strings give the song its necessary haunting touch, and that high portion in the antara is composition at its best.

8. Hai Rama (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Hariharan & Swarnalatha, Lyrics by: Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Yet again, another song you should have expected to feature here even before clicking the link. Indian Classical music is one of the best pacifiers in the world, and in ‘Hai Rama’, Rahman creates a very sensuous atmosphere with the opening music itself — a Bandish from the Raaga Puriya Dhanashree starts the song off supported by the ever faithful tanpura, followed by addictive percussion (Thavil?) and again, immersive strings. The melody only starts and makes things even better. Here, Hariharan sounds quite different from what he did in his previous songs with Rahman, all the gentle qualities shed off and he assumes more of a bold voice here, while Late Swarnalatha does wonders with her voice. 😍 The interludes in this song are amazing, again relying on percussion, flutes and low pitched vocals that are so haunting. The sound Rahman has introduced with this song should have been utilised more by other composers, but I somehow think they would never have accomplished it and hence, didn’t try.

9. Pyaar Yeh Jaane Kaisa Hai (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Suresh Wadkar, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Now this song is a showcase of Rahman’s splendid work with strings. The same string loop plays repeatedly in the background, never sounding tedious, but making the song more inmersive and accentuating the melody along with enhancing the listening experience. The thumping sounds Rahman included alongside that violin loop, are great and the interludes yet again, are a class apart, especially the violin solo from 2:40 to 3:10 in the video below. And what can one say about Kavita Krishnamurthy’s voice? The great Suresh Wadkar himself, with all due respect to him, fizzles out in front of her. Rahman must make such songs again!

10. Tanha Tanha (Rangeela; 1995)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Again, splendid work with strings and flutes makes this song stand out. With a distinct oriental sound, this one is a great song to listen to when you want to chill out. Asha Bhosle’s naughty voice makes her sound younger than she ever had before, and every time I listen to the song, she reminds me why she is my favourite Mangeshkar sister. I’ve spoken less about Rahman with this song, because the maestro very graciously sits back and let’s Asha ji do her thing while he adds mere digital beats during her vocal portions, and steps forward for the mind blowing prelude and interludes.

11. Yaaron Sun Lo Zara (Rangeela; 1995)

Singers: Udit Narayan & K.S. Chithra, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Hey, stop complaining about this whole list being about ‘Rangeela’! It is my favourite album from the 90s and I’ve no qualms in including all the songs from it on the list (don’t worry, I won’t!) Also how can I ignore Aamir Khan? All the others have been picturized on Jackie Shroff. This song is one of my favorites for a reason — the upbeat composition by Rahman doesn’t impend him from adding cool stuff with strings, especially in the interludes, where the entire orchestra pitches in. And that quirky sound at the beginning is so iconic! Again, Chitra sounds so cute with her Hindi pronunciation, and Udit Narayan as always sounds young. He still does. That doesn’t mean we should remake this song, Bollywood.

12. Telephone Dhun Mein (Hindustani; 1996)

Singers: Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by P.K. Mishra, Music Label: Tips Music

One of the most exemplary songs when it comes to bad Tamil to Hindi dubbing, this one actually has a strong and catchy ‘Dhun’, and it seems like a sign for things to come as Rahman would compose something similar five years later for ‘Lagaan’ in the song ‘Ghanan Ghanan’. Hariharan again, changes all preconceptions about him, and sings wonderfully even in a calm but fun dance number. Rahman does his job great with the nice percussions.

13. Awaara Bhanwre (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Hema Sardesai & Malaysia Vasudevan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama 

Thankfully this dud of a movie had good music. This song is an ode to nature of sorts, and Rahman’s catchy composition is so beautiful. Sadly, my friends think that this song is an original song from the Pears (or was it Ponds) TVC. Rahman’s inclusion of the hill tribe folk music in the interludes is engaging, as are the catchy but minimalistic beats which the melody is based on. Hema Sardesai sounds a lot better here than she does in Anu Malik songs.

14. Chanda Re (Sapnay; 1997)

Singers: Sadhana Sargam & Hariharan, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: Saregama

If this list were in the order of my favourite song to my least favourite song, this one would be somewhere at the very top. The beautiful santoor tune that follows the hook line each time, is goosebumps-inducing, and Hariharan singing the high notes along with Sadhana Sargam’s beautiful voice, are a treat to listen to. The composition of ‘Inn dhundhli dhundhli..” is so ravishing! Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are heart warming as well.

15. Shabba Shabba (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Ranu Mukherjee, Sonu Nigam & Neeraj Vora, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

This song is just as addictive as the characters in the film find whatever it is they’re drinking. I’ve never heard of the singer Ranu Mukherjee, but I commend ARR for finding her because her voice is so perfect for this song. Sonu Nigam seems to be struggling to create a husky voice texture, but Rahman’s addictive tune and wonderful tribal folksy music makes up for it. And don’t miss interlude 2, with an amazing, amazing violin portion!

16. Yeh Jaan (Daud; 1997)

Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy & Vinod Rathod, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: Tips Music

Another one along the lines of ‘Pyar Yeh Jaane Kaisa’ (Rangeela), this one is another sensuous romantic song. This time though, substituting the strings that repeated in that song, is a low pitched tuba, that sounds just as majestic. The legendarily low pitched Vinod Rathod complement Krishnamurthy well, and the slow and haunting tune by Rahman works wonders. Also, is it just me or does the tube remind you of ‘Roja Jaanemann’ too?

17. Ajooba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Sadhana Sargam, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

One of my childhood favourites, this song is as beautiful as whatever the most beautiful thing you can think of is. Name it, and this song is more beautiful if not as beautiful, as it. With that impressive flute melody, you cant really go wrong. And Hariharan. And Sadhana Sargam. What can go wrong? And nothing seems to have, even in the picturization. Aishwarya Rai. The seven wonders of the world. What else can you ask for! 😍

18. Tauba Tauba (Jeans; 1998)

Singers: Hariharan & Anuradha Sriram, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

Yet another song that looks as wonderful as it sounds, with Rahman doing a great job with the percussion and the intermittent Qawwali touches. Hariharan obviously sounds great; by the end of this list it’ll probably be 1000 times I say it. Again, great work with the folksy sounds that Rahman has produced for the song, especially the Dandiya and the claps etc. The female chorus is wonderful and Anuradha’s haubting humming is a nice addition. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics make it all the better!

 

19. Kehta Hai Mera Yeh Dil (Jeans; 1998)

Singer: Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

This one being based on a Carnatic raaga, it is, I believe, Rahman’s forte. And right from the vocal rhythm by Krishnamurthy, to the flute, to the melodious composition, this song is brilliant. There is some funky stuff going on in the video, what with two Aishwaryas, skeletons and whatnot. But the song as a song, is something I’ve loved since childhood. A pure Carnatic song.

20. Jiya Jale (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar & M.G. Sreekumar, Lyrics by Gulzar, Malayalam Lyrics by Girish Pulthenchri, Music Label: Venus

Now this is where the actual Rahman magic actually starts, for me. Picking a singer who was almost towards the end of her career, and giving her a boost by making her sing a song with the essence of Kerala in its beats, and knowing it would do so well, I wish every composer had brains like Rahman. While others composers during this period were miscasting Lata Mangeshkar and making her sound too old for the songs she sung, Rahman skillfully managed to create this song in such a pitch that the songstress wouldn’t have to sound strained. And what can I say about Sreekumar’s Malayalam portions? They’re heavenly! And probably the only Malayalam most Indians know. Gulzar’s poetic lyrics (I believe a first for Rahman) served the song well, and wow. Just wow. This song is wow.

21. Ae Ajnabi (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Udit Narayan & Mahalakshmi Iyer, Lyrics By Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

If this list seems generic, it’s because it is. Nobody can ignore these songs when it comes to talking about the best Rahman songs! ‘Ae Ajnabi’ is one of those, complete with its haunting classical melody, especially in the antara, where Udit Narayan goes mind bogglingly high, and manages to pull it off effortlessly. Rahman equips a minimalistic duff rhythm in the backdrop, which has been heavily overused these days when composers want to evoke pathos. But some things work only once.

22. Satrangi Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The Arabic influence in this song is spectacular, and Sonu Hogan’s vocals, spot-on. The little nuances in his voice are wonderful to listen to, while Kavita’s haunting whispery portions send chills down your spine. Rahman creates a catchy tune, with the accordion (?) that plays the Arabic tune over and over again throughout the song. This song is goosebumps.

23. Dil Se Re (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers: A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

The iconic title song for ‘Dil Se’ was I believe, Rahman’s singing debut in Hindi, and the man did sing as well as he composed. The way this song goes from soft to loud in a fraction of a second, is worthy of compliments, and especially the classically inclined bits like ‘Piya piya…’ are beautiful. Again, the composer has done amazing work with strings, percussions and made the song sound grand. The song starts with minimalistic bass doing the whole job but goes on to include some really cool percussion.

24. Chhaiyya Chhaiyya (Dil Se; 1998)

Singers Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi, Lyrics by Gulzar, Music Label: Venus

Yeah, that’s pretty much the entire album of ‘Dil Se’ I have on this list, but I couldn’t help it! No introductions for this song, just sit back and groove to that irresistible groove that Rahman has equipped it with. And of course, the vocal powerhouses that Sukhwinder and Sapna are!

25. Taram Pum Taram Pum (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Babul Supriyo & Srinivas, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

A fun song, but Rahman never compromised melody in his songs, so in this song, we get a strong, actually, very strong, melody that not only is catchy, but also melodious. Babul Supriyo and Srinivas have a blast singing it, but the melodious portions in the second stanza onwards are the best. Rahman’s percussion again, is mind blowing and the flute is beautiful. This was one of my favourite songs as a child!

26. Bol Sajni Mori Sajni (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; 1998)

Singers: Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy, Lyrics by Mehboob, Music Label: T-Series

Now this is a song I discovered a year or two ago, and immediately fell in love with it, making it one of my favourite Rahman songs ever. The way he starts the song with a trademark Kathak portion, complete with Bola and Tablas, and switches over to an immersive romantic melody, decorated with his signature flutes, is commendable. Sonu Nigam has delievered one of his best renditions, and Kavita Krishnamurthy takes control of the song because her portions are quite louder and higher pitched than Sonu’s, making them stand out among the calm rest of the song.

27. Ishq Bina (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sonu Nigam, A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram & Sujatha, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

Here comes the Titan of a soundtrack, Taal, but don’t worry, I won’t include all 12 songs on the list. The most popular song from ‘Taal’, and it truly deserves to be that. Rahman fuses Qawwali elements with other Indian sounds like ‘Manjeeras’, instruments you’d normally hear in bhajans and the like. But this is a Rahman song and nothing is demarcated within rigid rule barriers. Anuradha takes the female lead quite charmingly, but it is Sonu towards the end who takes the song away, and Rahman with his Qawwali portions, provides a nice break from the repetitiveness (not in a negative way) of the female part. The bass in the female part accentuates the composition, while the violin before Sonu Nigam’s part is wonderful. And who cannot notice Anand Bakshi’s metaphorical lines? 👌

28. Nahin Saamne (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Hariharan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

This song. This song. This song. What can I even say? Probably the best use of piano and sitar (in a non classical song, of course) in any Bollywood song till now. And the beautiful humming, that haunting portion, that goosebumps-inducing portion, and Hariharan’s silky voice, never faltering even one bit, and that beautiful antara. Sorry if that was incoherent. It was, but, I can’t gather ny thoughts about this song just yet. NOTE: Sounds best when heard when it’s raining.

29. Taal Se Taal Mila (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan & Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

Another quite obvious choice, another rain song, another song where Sukhwinder is relegated to the background but does an amazing job. In this song he is the harbinger of the entire song, singing that classical portion before the song starts, before the female chorus starts, backed by Rahman’s wonderful Indian beats comprising matkas and whatnot, the sounds of raindrops, paayals, ghungroos, how beautiful the soundscape of this song is! And then that BEAUTIFUL flute! The rhythm of the song is really passionate, so befitting for a rain song. And that SARANGI, Wow! Listening to it after so long, in the monsoon season itself, is such an experience! Alka Yagnik (isn’t it her first with Rahman?) sounds cute to say the least, while I just keep waiting for Udit’s part to play, because it is one of my favourite portions of the song, when I could see Akshaye Khanna on screen,an actor I somehow sensed was a good actor, in my childhood. 😂 Even if I write 1000 more words on this song, they won’t do justice to the song. So listen to it yourselves. And also, special shoutout to the Western Version of the song — another auditory “sight” to behold.

30. Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jaaye (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Aditya Narayan & Richa Sharma, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: Tips Music

A spectacular song in all fronts, this one has the same passion that is carried in the title song, but this time, not in so pronounced of an Indian way, if that makes sense. Sure,there are those very adorable Aditya Narayan interactions and tribal portions throughout the song, but it really hinges upon the symphonic arrangements by Rahman — the orchestra, African drums and whatnot. Not that he doesn’t include a lot of Indian music elements. And of course, once they had Asha Bhosle on board, other composers sat back and relaxed, but Rahman has clearly not taken it for granted.

31. Kariye Na (Taal; 1999)

Singers: Sukhwinder Singh & Alka Yagnik, Lyrics by Anand Bakshi, Music Label: T-Series

Another recent acquisition for me wih respect to favourite Rahman songs,this song was very badly overshadowed because of the popularity of the other songs. Again,Rahman uses many Indian music elements like the Matka to make the song sound beautiful,abd Sukhwinder’s voice amongst that minimal background is a must-hear. And Alma’s Punjabi portion is so cute! Anand Bakshi’s lyrics though, are the highlight of the song for me.

32. Ruth Aa Gayee Re (1947 Earth; 1999)

Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, Music Label: T-Series

The Sukhwinder-ARR collaboration was going really strong in the 90s. This song is yet another example of how beautiful the two were together. Here, Rahman takes a typical Qawwali-ish rhythm and composes a motivating song around it, very Indian in its sound, and Sukhwinder’s booming vocals do the rest. No wonder this song became so popular!

33. Rang De (Thakshak; 1999)

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Lyrics by Sukhwinder Singh & Tejpal Kaur, Music Label: Saregama

This song is the quintessential Bollywood grand dance number. Rahman has included everything that is necessary for a hit number, in this song. Asha Bhosle going into the low notes quite effortlessly and sensuously, a captivating tune harking to folk music, engaging arrangements and a wonderful backing chorus. And who knew Sukhwinder Singh was the lyricist for this song? I didn’t! The percussions in this song are marvellous, and so is that flute in the interludes. Ah, sweet memories. If only Tabu could dance better.


Those were my favourite Rahman songs from 1992 to 1999! I hope I wasn’t too obvious and you got to learn some new songs. If not, you’re already an encyclopedia that contains all the knowledge about every Rahman song ever. Stay tuned fir the next part of the series, where I’ll cover songs from 2000 onwards (most probably till 2008)! And thanks for reading such a long post! 😁

BEYOND BOLLYWOOD!! (BEYOND THE CLOUDS – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: MC Heam
♪ Music Label: KM Musiq
♪ Music Released On: 2nd April 2018
♪ Movie Released On: 20th April 2018

Beyond The Clouds Album Cover

 

Listen to the songs: Saavn

Buy the songs: iTunes


Beyond The Clouds is a Bollywood drama film starring Ishaan Khatter, Malavika Mohanan in lead roles, and directed by Majid Majidi. The film is produced by Zee Studios. Majidi is directing a Hindi film for the first time, and he ropes in for the music, the same music composer who scored for his last Persian film, A.R. Rahman. Let’s see how the Mozart of Madras performs under the vision of such a prestigious director!


Rahman starts the album off with the two only songs with lyrics, and both of them feature some kind of mawali rap, but very stylishly done. The craziness isn’t toned down at all in Ala Re Ala; Dilshad Shabbir Shaikh MC Heam and Nikhita Gandhi doing their best to make it worthwhile. Nikhita especially, entertains with those unabashed interjections that really transport you to the humble setting of the movie. Ey Chhote Motor Chala doesn’t fare so well, thanks to some disconnect in the programming. MC Heam and Dilshad Shabbir Shaikh again, do amazing with the rap, but Rahman gives it a weird hip hop sound that doesn’t quite connect as much as the booming percussions in the previous song did.
The tradition from the lyrical songs to the instrumentals is wonderfully bridged by a song that is basically instrumental, but features Nikhita Gandhi’s humming. Beyond The Clouds is probably the most memorable instrumental track that will release this year; and Nikhita Gandhi’s soulful humming makes it all the more enjoyable. Rahman’s instrumentation is so beautiful, with the piano, taking centre stage, and the strings joining in whenever necessary. It almost feels like a live orchestra performance with Rahman on the piano. 😍 The signature tune of the song is a recurring tune throughout the album; it appears in many of the instrumentals. The last one minute of this track, though, is heaven. The track really opens up and clarinets join the vivacious strings, making it unforgettable!
The next track Son Of Mumbai is hinged around the same composition, this time too, with amazing piano and strings. The only difference is that, while the previous track took three minutes to gain pace, this one jumps right in, and is all in all much more memorable just for that reason! (If you’re the kind of person who remembers instrumentals, like I do!) The tune is given a different metre here, and it sounds happier and livelier, as opposed to the soul of the previous one. Rahman even throws in some brass towards the middle. Again, the last one minute or so is of a very feel-good nature. Wind instruments own that segment of the song.
The Game Of Life is the quintessential classical track Rahman is made to put whenever a Western director needs him, but this time since the film is set in India too, it seems more fitting. The wonderful mélange of the tablas (done oh so brilliantly) and sitar (done just as beautifully) makes you feel amazing. The short track ends before you know it, though.
Twist Of Destiny is the first mellow track we get, and is led primarily by low-octave strings. This one isn’t just as memorable compared to the others because it will definitely have an impact somewhere in the movie. Loved the harmony with the strings though! Again, the ‘Beyond The Clouds’ theme features here, but this time it is in a sombre mode.
The Gift makes things happy-go-lucky again, with Rahman’s amazingly placed flute playing the ‘Beyond The Clouds’ theme in its n’th variant. The high pitched flute that pitches in towards the middle stole my heart. Again, like all great things, it ends too soon.
The Family Comes Home has a certain poise to it, something that only comes with very systematically placed numbers in films — so I’m guessing it will feature at a very critical point in the film. Again, flutes steal the show, but strings are prominent too. One wishes this one were shorter.
Here onwards the album goes into a very sombre space, where most of the tracks sound more or less the same. Second Thoughts starts the melancholia with a very slow paced piano-led, strings-backed track that actually does work to soothe you down. Again, the theme features here beautifully, with piano, strings and wind instruments all teaming up to create a soulful impact. The song is one of the more interesting ones out of this lot of tracks.
Akshi, Hospital, The Family Leaves and Full Moon are melancholic numbers with the same instruments; they all seem way too long, and at this point the album has started to get repetitive.
Reunited is a waft of fresh air, in that it isn’t that melancholic, and just right for the casual listener. The strings and piano work well together, to make this track instantly likeable, and of course, because I liked it, Rahman ended it soon. 😤 The xylophone sounds beautiful, and I guess this track features during the resolution of the movie (as is evident from its title).
Holi gets Rahman into his “composing for Prabhudeva” mode; the shehnaai is really entertaining, as are the percussions! It’s nice to see him come back to such Indian sounds after a primarily Western sounding soundtrack! That was a great finale to the album!


Barring the low patch in the middle of the album, this soundtrack is primarily one of the best of the year so far, only because of the fact that it actually is a “soundtrack” in true sense! This goes beyond the usual Bollywood scope of music composition and kudos to KM Musiq for bagging the rights to the album, because nobody else would’ve released it the same way.

P.S. I will be lumping together the points of all twelve instrumentals and scoring them out of 120, instead of writing individual points for twelve similar-sounding instrumentals!

 

Total Points Scored by This Album: 7 + 6.5 + 9 + 84.5 = 107

Album Percentage: 71.33%

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: Beyond The Clouds > The Game Of Life > The Gift > Reunited > Holi > The Rest

 

No poll this time. For obvious reasons. 😛

 

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! 🙂

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! 🙂