Highway – A. R. Rahman.
We have seen this new idea of releasing one song from the whole soundtrack as a “single” in recent times. This seems to have worked quite a bit though this might not be favoured by some Pundits around. In case of Highway, we have had two releases before the whole soundtrack was released. So, there is a fair chance that people would have listened to these two songs and some would have even been familiar with the whole flavour of the album before it even got released. It is quite obvious and there are no prizes for guessing the first song of the album.
Patakha Guddi was thought to be a female dominated track before Rahman threw a surprise by releasing the male version of the song with himself being the singer too. The song has been designed in such a way that it requires a voice that has the prowess to meet the sharp rise in the pitch it has to offer. Though the male version has been tweaked a bit, Rahman would have kept this in mind before convincing himself to go ahead and sing the song. The song has been tagged as a Punjabi folk with an unconventional pattern like most of the Rahman songs in recent times. Jyoti and Sultana Nooran known as the Nooran Sisters seem to have no difficulty in rendering the song the way it needs to be presented. The singing starts off slowly and takes off once it sees a new high in the pitch backed by an arrangement that could largely be seen not in Qawwali songs. The pattern is like a wave that keeps coming back again and again once it leaves the shore for good. The male version is more like a play that has two halves. The first portion has a mix of sufi with harmonium, tablas and synthesizers while in the second half, the song gets into a genre as to what is known as Sufi rock today. Electric guitars, drums, dholaks, synthesizers and harmonium accompany the song till the end.
Maahi Ve has vocals by A.R. Rahman. I guess this is one of the few albums where Rahman has sung two songs and has pulled off both brilliantly. This song has a strong feel for melody and has breezy backing vocals by Maria Roe Vincent, Rhea Raphael, Neethi and Dorairaju and also has an orchestration dominated largely by strings viz ukulele, guitars, violins and there is piano, the instruments we usually associate a Rahman melody with. It is difficult to understand a Rahman song these days, courtesy the pattern and arrangement it has but I feel this is the kind of song that can bring you back from the state of despondency as they cannot be reflected in these type of songs. Once you are done with it, a feel-good Rahman song is what we would love to remember this song as.
Wanna Mash Up has Rahman that we keep seeing since Enthiran, thanks to Kash & Krissy. One can come up with a thousand predictions before we actually get to know why this song has been included in this album, which is quite impossible unless we get to see it in the movie. There again, we can only pray that this song serves the purpose for which it was composed. Tu Kuja has the most wonderful tune in the soundtrack and Sunidhi Chauhan doesn’t let the tune down with her singing. The song has wonderful layers synthesized beautifully and packed well. The pace of the song would literally blow the listener away and this is the type of song you would expect every Rahman album to have. A tinge of Qawwali is the other thing I found in this song, well, literally, and thanks to the usage of synthesizer for that.
I was excited when I saw Alia Bhatt singing just to know how her voice would help Rahman in making a song for this movie. Sooha Saaha is euphonious and is rendered wonderfully by Zeb and Alia Bhatt. I have a gut feeling that this song is going to work out big-time in the film and these kind of songs soak you into the melody before you actually get to notice their orchestration and its pace is constant in progression. When you keep playing all the songs from this soundtrack, you would be surprised to find something interesting. Implosive Silence is somewhere between a song and a theme before the sub-conscious mind mumbles to you that it is an experiment. The sound keeps floating on your head in the voice of Jonita Gandhi and seems to be tethered to something western.
Jonita Gandhi deserves a special mention for the way she has rendered Kahaan Hoon Main. The mood exhibited by her in her singing has been backed up well by the tune, that gives a serpentine feel. All the songs in this album give you a feel that they are intricate but this song is sure to evoke the wistful feel in you, if any. Chennai Strings Section deserves a worthy mention in Heera. The song is well orchestrated and rendered well by Sweta Pandit. Just when you think the album is going overboard with synth, Heera proves to be a welcome change at the right time just like the album that is a bit experimental as well.