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Jan 17, 2005 03:51 PM 16332 Views
(Updated Jan 17, 2005 03:51 PM)


On January 6, the birthday of A.R.Rahman, I was really surprised to hear every other tea stalls and small shops in Chennai were playing A.R.Rahman songs but soon I realized that Radio mirchi was playing only ARR songs on that day.

The songs evoked nostalgia as they played some of his ever haunting and stunning songs and they covered every other hits songs starting from Roja to latest Swades. But one song which stuck to my mind and which made me listen to it after I went to my room was ?Dil Se (Uyirae)?. It is the album which opened doors for Rahman?s international career.

Though ARR albums are always fresh, there are some special albums like this which makes in stir in Indian film music and takes ARR to newer heights and it is with the albums like this, he sets new standards which sometimes becomes impossible for himself to meet in his future. The inevitable comparisons make the later album sound like it is not up to his mark.

It is the album by which Rahman made it in into West end Musical with ?Bombay Dreams?. Andrew Lloyd Webber got impressed so much by his music in this album and he released the musical as A.R.Rahman?s ?Bombay Dreams?.

It is the album which made a non Indian columnist Richard Corliss to shower praises on ARR in an article in TIME magazine to an extent that he criticizes his own Americans as myopic people for not accepting A.R.Rahman?s music.

It is the album which has the song that made it into BBC?s Top 10 songs in the world.

It is the album which has the singers giving their best. You take any list of best songs of Udit / Sonu nigam/ Sukhwinder singh/ ARR you will definitely find their songs from this album in the list.

It is the album which contradicts the theory that perfection is an ideal state. Can we think of any better music for the situations of these songs, if it can be; only ARR can give it? And that is why Andrew who re recorded all other songs differently wanted the song ?Chayya Chayya? as it is. Any attempt of betterment would spoil it. Isn?t that the point where the perfection is?

And now we will get into our usual business

Chayya Chayya

It is a perfect mass number with instantly catchy tune, rhythm, beats, tempo and energy to make the listeners go mad on this song. The slow bhangra type beats that captures the rhythm of train sound along with it adds authenticity to the innovative picturisations and situation of the song. The running strings in the background also add full tempo, energy and rhythm to it. Sukhwinder singh?s energy in this song is unmatchable and especially when he goes high in the middle and his rendition truly uplifts the song. Don?t get surprised if I say there is a great melody hidden inside the beats and that makes this song special and sets it apart from mere foot tapping item numbers. Just forget the beats and follow the vocals, you will realize the element of melody in it and here comes in the Sufi stuff. It is this expertise in unconventional fusion which took A.R.Rahman in a train to the west end musical.

Jiya Jale

Recently, if there is one song in which I really loved Lataji?s voice, it is this song. The music overshadows the err in the vocals. Rahman knows the strength of every artist and uses it to the best and he has done the same with Lataji?s voice in this song. Again the fusion of western beats with Indian classical notes is the highlight of the song. The surprising thing is he has not used any traditional instrument of Kerala but yet it sounds perfectly like a mallu song. I think the counter part with Malayalam verses and its tune and rendition brings in the rich flavor of malayali music in the song. Also the tabla beats that goes hand in hand with the soft techno beats, the excellent usage of Morsing, the less used instrument in film songs etc adds beauty to the song. Often I realize that Sarangi has a longing sound in it and so it adds apt emotions when used for such sensuous songs. Of course ARR didn?t leave his favorite flute, the song ends with great flute pieces blended well with the vocals. This is the song which has really what you call a fusion.

Dil Se re

This song has got an innovative, captivating, foot tapping techno and percussion beats and rhythms that synchs with it to make us nod our heads along with it. The tugging bass guitar rhythm is the soul of the song which sounds the swinging obsession of the character in the visual. The percussion of Shivamani starts to rock in the interludes and this time percussions are more like that used in Beat of Passion track in Taal with less Bass in it. As a singer, A.R.Rahman at his best and his rustic vocals going to various pitches adds ample emotive support to the song. In ARR songs, even if you sing a single line it will be worth it and here also Anupama makes a mark even with minimal usage of her voice. Her swara rendition with a husky voice in the interludes adds new sound to the song. ARR has always used this technique of overlapping voices in many of his songs and it has got a unique pleasant sound in it and he does the same in this song at the end and uses another less used mesmerizing voice of Anuradha Sriram for it. If you look into the list of my all time favorites ARR songs, this song will definitely be there.

Satarangi Re

I don?t know where ARR gets so much varied percussive sounds. The percussion dominates this track again but this time it sounds entirely different from the other songs. I like the sound of madly flowing Harmonium which aptly sounds the mad state of the characters. The song distantly has an Arabic touch in its tune. Just follow the bass flute in the background; its subtle breezy sound is simply haunting. Sonu Nigam has given his emotive best. The female humming evoking pathos feel has a different sound and sounds like some techno mixing has gone in the voice. Also Srinivas has done a great job in the Tamil version of the song.

Ae Ajnabi

It is a path breaking pathos song by ARR. The song has simple beats in the background and the tune has the full essence of somberness in it. Udit naryanan's rendition of voice takes the song to higher altitudes. The female part makes the song complete. The solo Shehnai piece played in between the verses and also used at the end of each stanza in the last line along with the singer?s voice rendering the feel haunts our hearts. I consider this is as one of the simplest composition ever by ARR with least number of instruments but yet powerfully elevates the mood of situation for which the song is scored in the movie. The lyric is as equally powerful as the music and blends well with the tune.

Even if I stop listening, my player will ask me to play the CD of this album once everyday.

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Dil Se Songs