Raanjhanaa – A.R. Rahman

                                                 Raanjhanaa, Music by A.R. Rahman

2013 is special for Rahman fans all around the globe. This is because they are going to hear a lot more from their favourite composer who has decided to take up more projects in Tamil by striking the balance between Tamil, Hindi, Hollywood and a project for MTV Coke Studio as well (at least that’s what the sources have confirmed). While people were enjoying his latest release in Tamil, many were hyper excited about his next offing, Raanjhanaa. Thanks to the expectation a Rahman album carries along with the music So what does Raanjhanaa as an album have? Let’s take a look at the music of Raanjhanaa, Rahman’s latest release to date.

As soon as I opened the album, Aise na dekho was the first in the list of nine songs(some say eight. Thanks to an instrumental piece, but still it gets counted as a song as it also finds a place in the list, right?) The song opens as a thick Jazz-layered number with Rahman and chorus making sure Irshad Kamil’s colourful lyrics gets along nicely with the song.This song took me to the time of Iruvar which had “Vennila Vennila”, another number with Jazz pattern. While listening to this song, my mind told me that this album is going to have a breadth of genres integrated in one fold.

Ghatam finds a major place in Ay sakhi along with Madhushree, Chinmayi, Aanchal Sethi and Vaishali with Madhushree and Chinmayi dominating the song throughout. Ay Sakhi is playful, colourful with a lovely arrangement and the back-up voices are brilliant. The song has a classical base to it in an album that is largely semi-classical.

Banarasiya starts off on a high with strings, tabla and flute, elements that are needed for a classical track to be largely successful. Shreya Ghoshal seems to be in no mood to give up as the song takes a new high. The voice gives way for sitar in the interlude and takes over again once it finishes. Both Ay sakhi and Banarasiya makes us wobble between the tracks in want of classical music.

Rashid Ali and Neeti Mohan’s carefree singing delivers goods for Nazar laaye with both the singers getting enough space to show their mettle in singing a song that sounds neat throughout. Tu Mun Shudi is all techno, having its moments here and there. The track blends brilliantly with shehnai and gives a suave feel that it is classical. Thanks to Rabbi Shergill who deserves more enchanting tracks in the future. The Land of Shiva is an intrumental track to demonstrate the holiness of Banaras.

Tum Tak gives us joy in all ways. Javed Ali’s voice takes off from the word go and helps largely in making the song sound classical. The song’s pattern appears to be unconventional and Pooja Vaidyanath shares her joy by lending her voice in the middle. Keerthi Sagathia, the other name that features in the track packs a power punch.

Sukhwinder Singh and KMMC’s Sufi Ensemble deliver a treat to the listeners in the form of Piya Milenge. Rahman rarely goes wrong with anything that is sufi, does brilliantly well again. This could well go down as the song of the album with its religious coating, sufi verses and ornamented notes. Hear the song once and this could well go on a loop.

Jaswinder Singh sounds dynamic while Shiraz Uppal is free-flowing. Raanjhanaa’s title track is a good orchestral score with violins, sitar and dhol beaming throughout. Rahman can take pride in giving the lead singers, especially Shiraz Uppal an opportunity to sing this track.

Rahman’s experiment in blending the album with various genres which is largely semi-classical seems to have worked big time. Raanjhanaa is enchanting and colourful with freshness written all over it.

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