Monday, June 3, 2013

MUSIC REVIEW : RAANJHANAA



Tanu weds Manu was a very special film – the earthiness of the movie, the lead actors’ very natural acting and most importantly the music. What an album it was – wedding song, a romantic song, a semi classical song, and that piece of awesomeness which we know today as “RANGREZZ”.

So it is just natural to expect a LOT from Aanand Rai’s 3rd bollywood outing. As if that was not enough, he ropes in A.R Rahman to compose the music for Raanjhanaa. After a slight blemish (Read Jab tak hai jaan), let us see whether Rahman bounces back with Raanjhanaa.

“TUM TAK” was the first song released few days ago. On watching the video of the song, the song didn’t appeal too much to me. The song was edited too shabbily for the video in my opinion. But things took a total turn when I heard the entire audio song. It turned out to be marvelous.
Guitar and manjeeras welcome us in the beginning of the song before Javed Ali starts singing. Javed’s super splendid vocals are just an auditory treat. He is flawless in his rendition of this devotional cum romantic track. The interlude that follows is lovely – the shehnai and the dholaks making a brilliant combo.
They soon give way to the second star of the song – Pooja AV. Her rendition is very melodious and soothing. She effortlessly sings her complex portion with ease and makes her bollywood debut in grand style.
The song changes completely with the beginning of the second interlude. As Rahman puts it in one of his recent interviews, he “GOES GUJARATI”. And Keerthi Sagathia does a fab job. That portion appearing at 3.08 minutes (Naino ki ghaat…) gives you goosebumps. The song ends with some lovely tabla and even some faint sitar is heard in the background. Overall, people might be aghast but I am totally in love with this song. Catchy, melodious and very hummable!


“RAANJHANAA” begins with a wonderful prolonged aalaap by Jaswinder Singh. Alas that’s the only portion he gets before Shiraz Uppal steps in bringing the dholaks with him. This song is very massy in appeal and will be a rage in the coming days. Shiraz’s vocals are good but could have been better. Rahman compensates by the wonderful arrangement throughout the song. The two interludes deserve a special mention. The first interlude consists of a climaxing violin piece which is simply superb.
But it is the second interlude which takes your breath away. Asad khan BLOWS you away (Literally!) with his sitar. Yes this is the same Asad Khan who was responsible for “Mausam and escape” from Slumdog millionaire and improvised grandly in Rahman’s “Classic incantations” concert. This piece consisting of sitar and tabla gives you goosebumps and you just can’t help but simply marvel at the genius of Rahman. Thoroughly engaging!


“BANARASIYA” finally makes you feel that this is a song from an Aanand Rai movie. It is a song which could have been a part of Tanu weds Manu.
The magnificent saarangi piece with that tak tak beat instantly holds your attention and you know this is going to be BIG. The flute and tablas follow immediately and then it is Shreya Ghoshal’s show all the way. Her classical rendition is mind blowing and she aces in this song. It is such an immense pleasure to hear Shreya in such a song. I was really getting weary of her recent mediocre songs. But this one comes as a slap in my face proving to me that she is indeed the finest female singer at present. She is ably assisted by Meenal Jain and Anweshaa.
The song overall has a playful mood and the repetition of the line “Thaath banarasiya” in various tunes and tempos fits in perfectly. It reminded me of Rangrezz where Krsna did a similar thing.
The song ends on a high note with the table and sitar enchanting us. Bravo Shreya Ghoshal. Bravo Rahman!


“TU MUN SHUDI” is a song which will garner the most diverse and contrasting reviews as @rohwit points out. A.R Rahman’s loop of “Tu mun shudi” is undoubtedly the high point of the song. With an energetic background chorus comprising of chants like “Hay” and “say”, the song has a very catchy and Rang de basanti feel to it. And then rahman does something totally brilliant – he uses shehnai like never before. That hip rendition of the shehnai with the sound of a car being raced in the background is just too good.
Rabbi’s singing is, well, usual. He sings in his typical style sounding nice at places and off the tune at places but he manages to deliver. The lyrics of the song are another highpoint. The “Humse wafaayein lena, Taaza hawaayein lena” portion has been stuck in my head since two days. The use of dholaks with this line before the 2nd antara is superb. Rabbi nails the song by his rendition of the second antara.
The overall anthemic feel provided by Rahman’s loop will benefit this song a lot in the coming days.


“AYE SAKHI” is a typical girl song sung by four singers – Madhushree, Chinmayee, Aanchal Sethi and Vaishali. The beginning of the song with the prolonged aalaap and the fantastic accompanying table is awesome. The lyrics are also apt for the song which is a playful banter between sahelis. The singers do a commendable job. There are two outrageous pieces – “Tyu tyu tyu” and “Pep pe pe” ones. Well, okay they seem totally out of place, but heck I am singing them since morning. Also, I found the “Pep pe pe” portion better than the “Tyu tyu” portion. (Laughs guiltily)
There are small glimpses of many instruments here – ghatam, garba beats which only enhance the cuteness of the song.
A song which should be expected to have a nice video.


“NAZAR LAAYE” transports you instantly to the days of Jaane tu ya jaane na. With beautiful guitar riffs, this is an out and out romantic song. Sung by Rashid Ali and the surreal sounding Neeti Mohan, I had found this song to be an average one on first hearing. But it grew on me in a way I had never fathomed.
Imagine a rainy Sunday afternoon. You are sitting in the balcony with a cup of tea in your hand and headphones in your ears. THIS will definitely be on your playlist!


Another song which will also be a part of your rainy Sunday afternoon playlist is “AISE NA DEKHO”.
The “Dabey dabey paaon” entry of the accordion along with Rahman’s soft voice is beautifully done. A soft jazz number, this is rahman’s second one after Jaane tu ya jaane na, and he again manages to entice you.
The biggest plus point of the song is that nothing is overdone here. Rahman sings it with utmost ease as if he is giving a live performance to few guests at home. Then there is the lovely guitar and the lovelier chorus humming softly in the background. There are even whistles in the second interlude. It is this overall “thehraav” which makes this a song with high repeat value.


“PIYA MILENGE” sees Sukhwinder Singh teaming up with Rahman after a long time. When it comes to Sufi, trust Rahman with your eyes closed to deliver. Here he uses his KMMC Sufi ensemble and they are the real stars of the song. Sukhwinder Singh is in top form as he delivers a knockout performance.
The beat to which the song is set is addictive – alternating between Indian and western arrangements. The “Akal ke parde peeche karde” portions reminded me of “Chale chalo” from Lagaan.
But the crowning moment of the song is the rendition by the KMMC Sufi ensemble starting at three and a half minutes. And from 3.57 minutes onwards, they transport you to heaven. Literally!
What. A. song. Period.


The album ends with a short instrumental piece titled “THE LAND OF SHIVA”. With drums, bells, chants and some heavy arrangements, this one is an ecstatic short building orgasm. Wish it had lasted longer!    

OVERALL, “RAANJHANAA” is a stunner of an album. Rahman uses his “Akal ke parde” to the utmost coming up with very imaginative arrangements, instrumentations, variations, deviations midway through a song and tunes. After a long time, we get to see him in his original form – full of experimentation and innovation.
This album will be a huge success without any doubt. I just hope the film doesn’t let down the amazingly brilliant soundtrack. All eyes on you now Mr Rai. All the best and please deliver.

As for A.R Rahman, he comes back strongly silencing all his critics who gave him flak after “Jab tak hai jaan”. Thank you Mr Rahman. You have given us an album which will have a long shelf life.

MY RATINGS – 9.25 / 10

3 comments:

  1. great music and outstanding review. glad to hear the songs and happy to read your review.

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