Saturday, January 19, 2008

Music Review: Jodha Akbar

Film: Jodha Akbar

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Music: A.R.Rahman

Azeem –O-Shaan-Shahenshah:

This opening song of the album sets the tone for what is to come. With grandeur written all over it, if you let your imagination play, you’ll find yourself amidst the crowds in the era, saluting the Mughal Emperor! The chan-chan female chorus interludes, and the brass and rhythm sections stand out. The dheem-thom-thanana remind you a little of the piranthom-iranthom part in the Ellapugazhum song in ATM. I’m waiting to watch this song on the big screen!

In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein:

A lilting melody is what the Tamil industry is yearning for, from you Mr.Rahman. And Ashutosh Gowarikar walks away with this one! And 3 more!

Again the western classical backing blends mellifluously well with the Hindustani classical vocal chorus and sitar. When the credits read Sonu Nigam and Madhushree, you know what to expect. You are not least let down! The ebb and flow of the song leaves you listening to it again and again…

Jashn-E-Bahara:

You almost mistake Javed Ali’s voice for Sonu Nigam’s in the first few lines of the song. Only as the song progresses do you realize it is actually different. Yet another excellent find by the maestro! The phrasing of words in this song gives you a feeling of deja-vu. Listen a few more times, and that feeling is gone, as you discover many aural pleasantries intricately woven into the apparently common basic tune. In typical Rahman style, this song grows on you with repeated listening. I’m still discovering!

Khwaja Mere Khwaja:

It seems to have become routine for a Quawali in every Hindi album that Rahman does these days. But hey, no one’s complaining! The average listener might draw a parallel with songs like Piya Haji Ali or Tere Bina. Listening to these kind of compositions, you realize the devotion with which he composes. I’ve always held Noor-un-Ala(Meenaxi) as his best Quawali till date. I still stand by that, but this song comes close to the top! It would be a gross understatement to say Rahman and his co-singers in this song have sung superbly well! With typical Quawali elements including the tabla, harmonium and the characteristic claps, and the Rahman stamp provided by some wonderful strings, bass and an instrument that I reckon is an Oboe, this song leaves you mesmerised!

Mann Mohana:

Speaking of devotion, we all know Ashutosh Gowarikar can’t do without a bhajan on Krishna or Rama in his films. With Man Mohana, its Lord Krishna again. This song takes me back to the good old days when I used to listen only to Piya

Ho(Water) throughout the day! Another wonderful melody that grows on you… leaves you thanking Rahman and Ashutosh for this album! The flute compliments excellently, Bela Shende’s voice, which I have run out of adjectives to describe, lest I sound redundant!

Jashn-E-Bahara Instrumental (Flute):

Remove the vocals from Jashn-E-Bahara, and add a flute instead, and you get this song. The flute is one of my most favorite instruments, and so I love this version!

Khwaja Mere Khwaja (Oboe):

If I’m right, this is the Oboe version of Khwaja… This 2-odd minutes version, with beautiful western classical arrangements. sounds rather melancholic. Again, an experience that might be more enriching while watching the movie

Overall, an excellent album from the Mozart of Asia, after a rather disappointing Azhagiya Tamil Magan. I wouldn’t put it among Rahman’s best just as yet, for I haven’t heard it enough to let it sink in completely. But my intuition says this is one album I’m going to love in the long run!