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Connections - AR Rahman - Music review
Feb 06, 2009 09:47 AM 5980 Views
(Updated Feb 07, 2009 11:10 AM)


I can feast on AR Rahman's music for 2 and a half days without food. Not sure about you! The moment I heard about this new album, I thought of checking this out and here I am with its review...

Silent invocation A – the serene Sitar starts and finds company in the flute that accompanies and transforms the listener to a spiritual world. Hear this for the uniformity in compositions. The various notes that the flute takes make you concentrate within and lead you to all what you have ever believed in. If you hear this sitting in a room, alone chances are you will be in tears within 2 minutes…

Do hear the way the flute takes deep breaths…and also the 2nd flute that follows the primary flute…the camaraderie is subtle but cannot be missed. The slow thuds of electronic drum in the background creates the swivel that is necessary for thoughts not to get stuck while listening to this lovely piece.

Silent Invocation B – Has a very Buddha feel to it right from the word go. Again the flute takes the lead with subtle sitar in the background. The flute continues on the same note with different pitch and if you let loose, you will not be able to decide whether you are sinking or swimming…Not surprising this composition has a watery feel to it. Hear this one for the simplicity of composition. The end is almost haunting with the flue becoming distant…and distant…

Silent Invocation C – Gives you the morning feel the moment it starts. The echo of the flute (accompanied by another subtle flute) creates an impression. There is a silent clock like sound which leads this composition towards its end but not before making you realize that your eyes are now open…

Edited 7 Feb 2009 - Please note that it is taanpura and not Sitar as mentioned above. This is contrinuted by MS Id - sureshmehcnit . If you havent read his reviews, stop right here and check them out...they are far better, far far better!

Mylapore blues – Miracle, keyboards, guitar and matka among other things draw your attention to this ‘guitar dominated’ composition and Rehman drops the tempo of the guitar the moment we think it will be all the same. The ability of ARR to ‘pick’ the tune from depths and play with all the levels is just a treat to the ears. Hear this one to see how naughty a guitar can be, and the calming effect it can have on you. What sounds very much like light notes of Mridangam come and lead this composition towards the end and its just magical! This could be ARR’s tribute to the vibrant neighbourhood Mylapore in Chennai….hence the title

Himalayas – starts with light keyboard notes and violins conversing with them in their mother tongue, Music! Oh! The way in which ARR plays with the keyboard will remind you of a sweet little naughty girl coming down the steps and that too mischievously! The only bad part about this piece is that it ends too soon!

Mosquito – Rahman marries the evergreen sarangi with other instruments and makes us re-live those kingly mehfils and functions where the sarangi players left the listeners asking for more. It has a bit of Rajasthani touch and that makes the overall feel very ‘folk’, and just when we think it is ‘folk’ electronic keyboard flirts with the sarangi and throws color on it! Sarangi allows itself to be colored by all the colors and retains its grace. Do hear the jugalbandi towards the end of this composition. Aah! Let me push the ‘repeat’ button again!

Kural - TheKural is one of the most important forms of classical Tamil poetry. It is a very short poetic form, exactly in 2 lines, the first line consisting of 4 words and the second line consisting of 3. It should also conform to the grammar for Venpa. (courtesy – Wikipedia). The female voice comes and takes us through the tamil poetry in a way it should be done.

The ‘young and vibrant’ blaze swoops in and successfully introduces us to the laws of respect and honor. I don’t understand tamil fully so couldn’t understand the tamil words but Blaze makes it up for us….love the way he doesn’t go over the top and remains within the overall sanctity and character of the song (look out for the haunting vocals in the background when Blaze raps it up). This one has a message and a very clear one.

Jiya se Jiya – Oh we know it is AR Rahman the moment this one starts. Chorus of instruments mostly drum like, accompanied with clapping. As in most of his songs, this one doesn’t take time to start…Oh yea! Hear this one to celebrate the union of two souls...! You can’t help but tap your hands in appreciation..check this out!

Mann Chandre – The killer Punjabi slow song. Yes slow and punjabi can you believe it? You better, for when the heart is crazy (which is what is meant by Mann chandre) you don’t need words to express and its irrelevant what language the heart chooses to convey it’s hurt. Heart, when it loves can neither afford nor want satisfaction. It doesn’t care and looks for the beloved and none else. It hides after crying. Pain and hurt is all that happens to the heart and it doesn’t want anything else.

The song opens with Shradha Pandit’s lovely voice and sukhwinder takes it over although I would have loved to hear more from Shradha pandit…she portrays being in pain without taking deep breaths or going hysterical(shreya, you listening?). She lets her voice do the needful. If you have ever been in love, this one will bowl you over.

With only 3 vocal songs, (in Tamil, Punjabi and Hindi), this album is by all means refreshingly different. Rahman doesn’t need a ‘very useful’ from me so I cannot judge his music. The write up is a tribute to this Indian Mozart who gives a lesser mortal like me, a reason to derive peace and tranquility from his compositions.

The last I know is that some pieces (and if you are lucky then the entire album) is supplied with select Nokia phones. I have no idea about the official release of this album, but I thank my very good friend who bought a new Nokia and gave me this music.

Please rate and leave your commentsPeace and equanimity to all

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Connections - AR Rahman