Ahh... at last.... I found time to write the review. As usual, I have attempted to cover the finer aspects which are so beautiful but go unnoticed on cursory listenings.

Ik Onkar

Basically a Sikh Prayer song – This is actually adapted from what is known as the Mool Mantra. There is very minimal use of instruments – hardly any! This is beautifully rendered by Harshdeep Kaur. If u are wondering if u have heard her voice before – u are right! She has lent her voice to many commercials, including the Cadbury’s Perk ad.

Listen to this track early in the morning – when there is no disturbance to feel the magic of this one!

Rang De Basanti
Tired of all those punjabi songs with the same tune recycled again and again by the “Punjabi MC”…Want a bhangra song, which is as Bhangra as can be, and still fresh? Then , this is a track for you! ARR shows yet again, as to how you can retain the flavour, yet give something totally new. Huge relief that the lyrics are also fresh and do not have words like Kudi, Munda etc which find their way into any Punjabi song! Daler Mahendi and Chitra do a great job.

Notice the “aha aha” that comes throughout the song… It is not same throughout… Even that keeps changing in a set pattern!

Paathshala & Be a rebel
There are two versions of this song “Paathshala”. One is the rap version by Blaaze and the other without the rap. Naresh Iyer and Aslam lend their voice in both the songs. The continuous lead-guitar loop throughout the song keeps lingering in ur hears even after the song is over!
The rap by Blaaze rocks. Blaaze impresses with the rap lyrics as well, with innovative stuff like “Zinda-bad, Zinda good”!

The other version is again a typical Rahman youth song – yet different. A fast college song – so youthful in both the music and the lyrics – with words like “lose control”, “I am a rebel”, this track gets u in to the college mood. You think the song ends with someone shouting “Lose control”… But there is a surprise waiting after this, to close the song which impressed me a lot!

Tu Bin Bataye
A slow, melodious romantic duet. This is the second song for MadhuShree and Naresh Iyer together and they score yet again! ARR impresses with his awesome backing strings arrangements in this song. Very short hints of flute(a few seconds before the first interlude) tease us – but the flute stops right there after tempting us! The sax interlude is awesome. Rahman has given wonderful sax interludes in many songs like Azhagiya Cindrella (Kangalal Kaidhu Sei), Sabaq Aisa (Tehzeeb) and of course the songs in Duet. This song can be added to that list of songs with memorable sax interludes.

Khalbali
The song starts with awesome techno guitar stuff (which continues almost throughout the song). U expect a full-fledged techno/rock song…Then u get a huge surprise – ARR starts Khalbali Hai Khalbali in typical Arabian style… Wow… What a blend – techno + arabian… I doubt if anyone would even dare to try such a combination. Aslam and Aacim (who is the also the lyricist for this song) provide good support. The "Ziddi ziddi" part in the song is just too good!!!
Still wondering how Rahman perfected that Middle-east style of singing!!!

Khoon Chala
Basically an inspirational song. Mohit Chauhan of Silk Route gives a soothing touch. His voice at the starting of the songs reminds of ARR’s voice!

A very lovely melody which is beautified by the the piano accompaniments, wonderful orchestration and the haunting strings.The song which starts very melodiously ends with some fast beats.

Luka Chuppi
No electronic intruments… no synthesized voices… Plain acoustic guitar strumming, harmonium, Tabla and mellifluous voice of Lata Mangeshkar… and of course ARR’s voice. These are enough for ARR to create magic. It is a pure, unadulterated acoustic song. You can even hear those small screeching noises that are produced when you move your fingers along the strings of the guitar, to change chords. Those who claim that ARRs songs sound great only because of the electronic jazz he does, here is an awesome reply from the master!
Small hints of flute here and there in this song too… The swaras at the end, recited by ARR and Lata together provide an ideal closing for the wonderful song.

Lalkar
Nothing much to write about this one. Aamir Khan recites inspirational poetry, with some light instrumental and vocal chants in the background.

Roobaroo
A fun song – sung by ARR and Naresh Iyer. Opens beautifully with some great acoustic guitar strumming. Its been a long time since we have heard such prominent acoustic guitar strums from ARR (I think Vellai Pookal was the last song).
This song is a must in Karaoke mode… You thought you are hearing only one voice at a time (either ARR’s or Naresh’s)? Listen to this in Karaoke mode and you will know…Throughout the song there is ARR’s voice. Wherever Naresh is singing, there is one more layer -that of ARR’s voice - with the same lyrics, but ARR’s is at a lower pitch… Mannnnn…. This gave me goosebumps…It is two persons singing throughout and I did not even realise it!!!!

Listen to all songs in Karaoke mode (winamp has a plugin to remove voices) – u are in for some sweet surprises! These are what make any ARR album interesting – even after some 15-20 listenings, u are bound to find something new.. something that u missed… ARR continues with that trend with Rang De Basanti!

Long time since ARR composed for such a youthful movie in hindi and he comes back with a bang! A wonderful album with such a great variety - a bhangra, sikh devotional, arabic, rock, rap, love ballad...Wow... I dont think anyone can even come close to successfully providing such wide variety!

By Aravind on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 7:42 PM Post Categories: , ,
Comments
  1. mysorean

    Aravind,

    Good review! Not great though!

    You know why? An A R Rahman album grows on you slowly. And at the end of a month or so, you are totally in love with the album! I am sure you agree! That love is missing in this review!

    I will wait for your one-month-down-the-line review mate! :)

    A few comments on this one though:

    Mohit Chauhan's voice did remind me too of ARR's voice! :)

    Lukka Chupi is probably ARR's best melodies till date. I just don't seem to be able to stop humming it!

    I have given up writing reviews on ARR albums for one straight reason. My opinion about each song keeps changing from better to best to "bester" to "bestest"! ;) so I quit writing reviews. And I find that all early reviewers fall into the same trap too!

    Nothing was meant to hurt you!

    Regards,
    Adi.
    arrahmanfans@yahoogroups.com

  1. Sridhar Raman

    Great review smiley! :)
    Infinite loop of RDB continues...

  1. Rams

    nice review...
    it wud be great if u cud point to the plugin u hav mentioned coz i cudn't find it out inspite of my search on the winamp site

  1. Sheks

    i'm yet to buy the cassette.

  1. siddharth

    arr rocks. nice review..

  1. Aravind

    @ adi:
    Thanx... My review would have definitely been different if I had written it next week, and further more different if I had delayed it even further :))

  1. Aravind

    @ chilli (sridhar):
    Thanx... Infinite loop of RDB continues here too... HAve heard nothing else since RDB release :)

  1. Aravind

    @ rams:
    Thanx...
    There are lots of plugins actually... The one that I use is Vocal remover..It is free...
    U can get it from this link
    http://www.download.com/Vocal-Remover-Winamp-/3000-2169_4-10254946.html

    These plugins are never perfect.. There are traces of voice still left!

  1. Aravind

    @ Sheks:

    Do buy it.. it is definitely worth more than is cost :)

    @ siddharth:
    thanx :)

  1. Sushma

    Hey Aravind,
    Great review. I do believe we think alike, atleast when it comes to ARR's music :) I actually agree with the fact that Mohit Chauhan sounds kinda like ARR. The first time I heard the song he sounded like ARR. But as I listened to him more I quit thinking that. I really really like Khalbali still though. My fav hasn't shifted as yet.

  1. Ferocious Killer Kat

    ok I have listened to most of the songs a lot of times now. I still don't like khalbali.. Though my favs have shifted quite a bit now. roobaroo, khoon chala and paathshala..

    Also I totally agree with u that the ending of Paathshala -- the guitar riff is realllyyy good..

  1. Aravind

    @ Sush:
    >> I do believe we think alike, atleast when it comes to ARR's music :)
    we haven't discussed anything other than ARR's music, have we? LOL :)

    I am still hooked on to Khalbali... luvvvvvv the way ARR sings in the Arabian style:)

  1. Aravind

    @ kunsjoi:
    I am sure u will start liking Khalbali after listening to it a few more times :)

  1. Sushma

    Well if two people whose blogs are named arrahmaniac and trublurahmaniac discuss anything I'm fairly sure of what the discussion would comprise of :D

  1. Aravind

    @ Sush:

    hee hee :D :D

  1. Anonymous

    Excellent review.
    Excellent music. North Indian directors boasts that South Indian music directors cannot make music that appeals all.. I think they are wrong.. I believe that music tallent has no such barrier..
    ARR proved it to the world.

  1. Aravind

    @ anon:
    Thanx..
    I think that music has no barrier whatsoever..ARR has proved it time and again... I remember what SPB said during ARR's LA concert.. "U must all be wondering in what language we are gonna sing... It is the language of music!"

  1. Ferocious Killer Kat

    ok!! I bow to u!!! Khalbali is now my 3rd favorite song behind roobaroo and khoon chala and if I keep listening to it more it will be no 2 soon and then maybe no 1 :)

  1. Aravind

    @ kunsjoi:

    Hey... i saw visited ur blog - from ARRFANS and i immediately remembered ur comment in my blog :)

    ARR rulezzzzzzz

  1. Ferocious Killer Kat

    Khalbali is already upto no. 2 on my list now!!! Can I also join the ARR's fan group??

  1. Ferocious Killer Kat

    hey taking some inspiration from u I have a new post up on my blog about rehman!!

    http://kunsjoi.blogspot.com/2006/01/arrehman-some-thoughts.html

  1. Aravind

    @ Kunsjoi:
    What are u waiting for??? Join the online ARR fans community... jus enter ur mail id in the text box in the right panel of my blog!!!

  1. Aravind

    @ Kunsjoi:

    Yeah... read ur post, buddy!
    It is "Rang De Basanti", all the way in ur blog!!! :)

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