Friday, February 8, 2008

An Emperor’s Tune

I was watching the trailer of Jodha Akbar and all of a sudden I thought of one common factor that could link two men from two different centuries- Music. Tansen the greatest musician ever, and AR Rahman (ARR) India’s most creative composer and a living legend linked to Akbar! Hmm what do you say? But yes, there is a small difference though- Real life and Reel Life. Akbar the real emperor had Tansen to sing for him in his court. And here is our reel life Akbar (role played by Hrithik Roshan) who has ARR, well not really singing in front of him but his brand of course lingers in the movie Jodha Akbar. Ashutosh Gowarikar, after Lagaan and Swades, has come back with ARR and we have got high hopes from both of them.

One thing that can’t go unnoticed is that ARR has this knack of composing great tracks for period films. Lagaan, 1947 Earth, Mangal Pandey, Zubeida, The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Guru have some superb numbers. Songs such as Sarforishi Ki Tamanna (The Legend of Bhagat Singh), So Gaye Hai (Zubeida), Dheemi Dheemi (Earth) and Shuak hai (Guru) still give me goose bumps when I listen to them. None of us can deny the fact that he is one of the best musicians we have in our country.

I wouldn’t call this post as a music review of Jodha Akbar, but an opinion about few tracks from the movie. I am right now listening to ‘In lamhon ke daaman mein’ (5th time to be precise), sung by Sonu and Madhushree, the best track of the lot I must say. Sonu coulsud’ve been the only choice for this song. He sings each note with such passion and patience that can only be achieved through riyaz. Madhushree joins him somewhere in the middle of the song with her mesmerizing voice. I feel she is the most under utilized and under rated singer in Bollywood. Even after proving herself I see fewer musicians making her sing. Or maybe she prefers singing only for ARR. Possible. I don’t blame her then ;)

'Azeem-o-shaan' has got some powerful vocals by Mohd. Aslam, Bonny Chakravarti and also the back vocals sound nice. The rhythm of the song makes you look up and notice. If you are a sucker for songs which have an anthem feel to it and with some great rhythmic drums this is the song for you.

‘Mannmohana’ is next sung by Bela Shinde. Bela, a winner in a TV reality show in 90’s (Sa re ga ma) has come a long way. The composition is neat and she handles it well. She keeps up the emotion needed with maturity in her voice till the end of the bhajan.

'Kehne ko Jashn-e-bahara hai' is easy on your ears and is sung by Javed Ali. ARR has given him few intricate jumping notes which he sings effortlessly. Other than that the track is quite ordinary. But we do get a deserving change from all the Shans’, Ganjawalas’, Atifs’ and Mikas’. From an unheard Beti No. 1 to 'Nagada Nagada' to this, Ali has had quite a journey I must say.

'Khwaja mere Khwaja' is a typical ARR number with nice harmony. It has some amazing back vocals and of course Rahman’s voice in it. Music arrangement is commendable (the Tabla beat especially is very catchy). It starts really well and the Mukhda is beautiful. But seriously I can’t make out what the song is all about. Lyrics I mean. Its just that few words are too difficult to follow :p

As always you need to listen to Rahman’s music again and again to appreciate its beauty. Rahman definitely is an Emperor in his own way. From one Emperor to another, you expect grandeur and you get it to some extent. I would give 3 and a half stars for this album.

3 plate meals:

Manu said...

I agree with all that you have written about ARR.
Innovation = ARR.
Though I am kinda hooked on to Jashn E Bahaara ever since I listened to it, i am now all curious to listen to lamhon ke daaman mein.
Well written! Keep posting!

Shruthi said...

tanku tanku... :) hey I like Jashn E Bahaara too.. jus that its kinda simple and sweet.. nothing great, thats what i mean to say..

Nirmal Simon said...

I personally love the Khwaja number. Found its lyrics on freehindilyrics.com and think the song is very well written. A R Rehman has done full justice to Jodhaa Akbar’s songs