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75%
3.31 

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Ghajini - Sound and Music of Rahman
Nov 27, 2008 11:49 AM 7917 Views
(Updated Nov 27, 2008 11:59 AM)

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In Rahman’s recent Tamil soundtrack ‘Sakkarakatti’, there is this song ‘I miss u da’, where Rahman tries to bend the rules, break convention on how not just a Indian film song but any song should sound, but the song is just that, it just bends the sound but not the music. It is one of the classic examples where there is more of Rahman’s sound than Rahman’s music.


Some of the very deeply emotive and soul stirring melodic phrases are in “Ghajini” soundtrack like those hums, hoons and hymns of Sonu Nigam throughout the extremely catchy ‘Guzairsh’, which on surface sounds like a routine love ballad with a familiar repetitive rhythm. It is Sonu’s soothing interruptions that take the song a notch higher with its emotional content. Though Kavitha Baliga’s operatic interlude sounds like an after thought, it is rare to find a Rahman song with such a simple sounding interlude that creates an aural ambience around the listener.


Equally soothing is Shreya’s humming in Kaise Mujhe with which she starts her part of the song, after Benny quite uncomfortably wanders through a tedious melody that has more silence in between phrases which sounds more manufactured than naturally fallen, so as to bring out the effect and emotion in the melody fabricated around those silences in between. But inspite of a very unconventional flow of the melody, with some touching phrases of melody and with the clever and an aurally alluring orchestration (which is more so evident in its blissful instrumental version) Rahman manages to convince at least those for whom a song need not be instantly hooky.


Bekha is unarguably THE song of the soundtrack where Karthik seems to have had a blast singing it. The attitude, expression and rendition of Karthik is mind blowing in this song, just listen to the way he casually rounds off those rough western notes in a sweet classical way. Rahman goes a little further from where he left in ‘September Maatham’ from Alaipayuthey (or ‘Chori pe chori’ from Saathiya) in writing unconventional melodies that makes lyricists go mad in finding words to fit the tune. The song sounds as if all those complex phrases of melody and counter saxophone pieces just flew instinctively out of Rahman’s mind when he went into the same euphoric and romantic mood in which the character in the movie is when he sings this song.


The sound heavy ‘Aye Bachchu’ is an enjoyable Rahman cliché with abundant layers, e-sounds and loops and head banging rocking guitars and percussions. Once the song gains momentum with ‘Jhoom le’, it refuses to stop and make us swing with its rhythm. Coming to ‘Latto’, by using Shreya Ghosal, with the addictive ‘Yaar Yaar’ hook and the interesting vocal harmonies in the interludes, Rahman sold it to me. When you put these two songs on your noise canceling headphones, you are in a unique Rahman’s sound universe where each sound makes some sense and doesn’t add up as a cacophony.


To continue from where I left in the beginning,


When Rahman’s sound is almost in balance with Rahman’s music, we get a soundtrack like Ghajini. Sometimes while doing so, Rahman asks too much from his listeners, he takes them too far a place where they are so uncomfortable, not because they don’t like the place but because they haven’t been there before. But indeed by Rahman standards, it isn’t an extremely unconventional or path breaking soundtrack, it is just (just is just because it is Rahman) an enjoyable and a vibrant soundtrack apt for a commercial movie like Ghajini and the one that has its highs and lows and those who want to like it will like it for those highs, patiently waiting in those few lows for the next following high. And I am one of them.


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