Guru music disappointing? HELL NO November 18, 2006Posted by sk in A.R.Rahman, Bollywood, movies, Music.
I don’t normally blog about Bollywood and I’ve never reviewed any movie or album so far, but Guru is different. This was something I was eagerly awaiting. After all, it’s the Rahman-Mani Ratnam combination once again, the same combination that delivered great albums like Roja, Bombay, Dil Se, Alaypayuthey (Sakhi in Telugu, Saathiya in Hindi), and to some extent, Yuva. After Rang De Basanti (RDB), I had great expectations from this album, but, to say the very least,
I’m disappointed (it’s actually a very high quality album if you discount Baazi Laga). And it has been a pretty long wait too, after RDB. That album was released in late 2005. Wow!! Feels like eternity. Since then, I’ve shifted apartments 5 times in three different cities. On a personal front too a lot has changed since then. This blog didn’t exist then. I hadn’t even started reading about Microsoft then. So, has it been worth the wait? Sadly, the answer to that question is an unequivocal “no”. The songs aren’t great. (While this is not his best album, I think some of the songs a really good) There’s no other way to put it. Here’s the list of songs and my comments about each one (note: I don’t know who the singers are… I’ll update that later):
- Barso Re – A decent song with a nice Rajasthani tune, probably one of the better ones in the album. I liked the background beats a lot. Also, I love the way the tune changes. It sounds a little bit like Yeh Rishta from Meenaxi, but there’s not much in common between the two songs to say Rahman was inspired by it.
- Tere Bina – As of now, I think this is by far the best song in the album. It’s Rahman’s tribute to Nusrat and the song is stylistically similar to some of Nusrat’s songs. My sister thinks it’s a poor copy of one of Nusrat’s songs and I tried to argue with her saying it’s only the style that has been copied and not any song in particular. She liked the song too. I know of many others who did too. By the way, Rahman seems to be singing better and better with age. Has anyone else noticed that?
- Ek lo ek muft – I think this song plays during the intro titles. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. It’s been sung by none other than Bappi Lahari and I think he’s done a pretty good job. Not bad for a tapori type song. I don’t like the way it begins though.
- Mayya – Now this is simply a product of Rahman’s Khalbali (from RDB) hangover (well, the song is shot in Turkey so he obviously wouldn’t use a Carnatic tune for it… d’ohh!). I don’t know what to say about the song. I hated it when I first listened to it. It’s slowly growing on me,
but I still don’t think I’m going to like it much. I like only parts of the song.(It’s one of my favorites now. I love the way Rahman handles the tune-changes… in a way that only he can. I also like Maryem Hassan Toller’s voice. Who cares about the accent!!)
- Ay Hairathe – A good song
, I guess… it’s actually not all that bad, but not all that great either. (This is one song that really grows on you. Beautiful ballad by Rahman.)
- Baazi Laga – Sounds similar to Yunhi chala chal from Swades and Humraahi jab ho mastaana from Pukaar. It’s a pretty bad song compared to those two. I actually liked those two songs. I don’t really like this one. It’s actually a pretty bad song by Rahman’s standards. On second, it’s a pretty bad song by any standards.
- Jaage Hain: Hmmm. I don’t know. Rahman hasn’t been able to get rid of his obsession with Western classical after Bombay Dreams. We saw that in Lagaan (O Rey chori), Kisna (Hum hain iss pal) and some other movies. The tune is actually pretty haunting
, but..A great song that caps a great effort by Rahman. But we all knew that Rahman wouldn’t disappoint us, right? Right?? :-))
Overall, I don’t think this is a great album. It’s not bad, but not great either. I had expected a lot more from Rahman. Come to think of it, when Rahman starts giving bad music for a Mani Ratnam movie, I don’t think it’s good news, right? Does this mean he’s on a decline?
P.S. I’m a huge fan of Rahman’s music. I have probably listened to all his songs in Tamil and Hindi by now, even those from movies that no one has heard of. Also, considering that this is a Rahman album, I may change my opinion about it later, but for some reason I don’t think it’s going to happen this time. The songs seem like rehashed versions of some of his old tunes.
UPDATE 2: I’m beginning to like some of the songs!!! 🙂 The song Jaage hain reminds me of a Rafi song from a Guru Dutt movie, “Dekhi zamaane ki yaari”.
UPDATE 3 (Nov 21): Lesson learnt: Never review a Rahman album unless you’ve listened to the songs at least 10-15 times. Except for Baazi laga, which I think is a very pedestrian effort, the other songs are very good. I can’t stop listening to Tere Bina and Mayya Mayya. While the songs do remind me of some of his old tunes, it’s indeed surprising that even after 15 years in the industry, Rahman is able to come up with some mind-blowing numbers. I’ve updated this review a little bit. The updates are in brackets.
UPDATE 4 (Nov 23): I am addicted to Mayya Mayya and can’t stop listening to it. Today I played Hamma Hamma from Bombay after listening to Mayya Mayya and I was surprised at how much Rahman’s music has matured during the last 10 years. While Humma Humma itsself was considered pretty complicated in those days, it’s nothing compared to the kind of music he composes these days. The tunes may not have changed much but there’s a huge difference in the kind of instruments he uses and the number of layers he uses these days. Fascinating.