Dare I say that I am attempting to do something impulsive by letting a few words out only after a couple of listens to Rockstar?
Why do I say ‘dare’? Because this album apparently has 4 years of thoughts and brainstorming that went behind it. Because this is AR Rahman’s first hindi album in almost a year. Because the theme of the movie is so original and for a traditional classic (western) rock music addict like me, this theme presents so many possibilities to imagine..Because the team Rockstar worked with AR Rahman with so much respect giving him the space he needed to work on an album like this where in Indian movie business circles, that is really not the first criterion to consider. Because a blend of a bit of Sufi music and Indian rock scene presents an opportunity that I can imagine only AR Rahman in the current generation of MDs could even dare to attempt.
So there..That’s enough burden on me to try not to pass on an immature or a thoughtless comment on an album after a couple of listens right? Unfortunately, the emotions a few numbers in the album bring are so much that I decided that for a change I would blurt out right away. I am sure the so called professional music critics would do their job soon.
BTW, T-Series and whoever else involved with the official CD release have mismanaged the scenario so much that the CDs likely won’t hit the stores till the middle of next week.
Aur Ho – This belongs to a melancholic rock number category. Instead of comparing to a western rock equivalent number, I would just just point out that this has oodles of sufi blues in it. Mohit Chauhan gets a number where he gets to extend his vocal chords quite differently & at quite a high range too.
Hawa Hawa – What can I say about this? Flamenco flavor all the way. Move over Senorita from ZNMD.
Jo Bhi Main – This is another song that belongs to the ‘rock’ category. Yet, a sort of thoughtful rock number which involves invoking the crowd to join you in the thinking process. Brilliant is all I can say – The lead guitar, the whole humming, chanting and finally Mohit Chauhan. And I also feel that this is a song where AR decided to pay some subtle tribute to Deep Purple. Genius work.
Katiya Karun – Totally addictive and insanely fun filled groove. It is hard to remake an already popular folk song and make it something of your own. Rahman has done something similar so many times in the past and this one passes the muster with flying colors.
Kun Faya Kun – This is a genre that AR Rahman owns. And one more opportunity for him to prove that he owns it like no one else. Divine, Blissful, etc. etc. – Even if you are a non-believer, I bet there are moments in the song that will make your mind transcend somewhere else.
Naadaan Parindey – Initially I wasn’t sure how this would play out. But after 2 listens, I am still not sure. Quite a complex piece..as I couldn’t box it into one category. It is a very “painful” song as in a song that evokes some kind of a pain. Rahman’s vocals add that many layers to the song..specially for the painful part. It is a rock song in many ways. I like this and I am afraid this may end up growing over me more than the other numbers.
Phir Se Ud Chala – Ok. This song is all about Mohit Chauhan and the guitarist. Of course, Rahman just had to bring the right people together for a tune like this. And he is a master of that. It works. It works big time. Another song which I connected with after the first listen itself.
Sadda Haq – I won’t say anything more than the fact that this song will rule the charts and this song will define the movie, this album and everything associated with it. Awesome guitar work by Orianthi. And brilliant. That’t it. An anthem of sorts.
Sheher mein – I bet Rahman found this song the most challenging one to make..You got to understand the context (I am guessing based on the lyrics) to appreciate the humor…and how difficult it would have been for the music director to make fun of himself & his own work..Again Mohit does well. Karthik does his bit to perfection as well.
Tango for Taj – Have to see the visuals to connect with this as this one is instrumental. Of course Rahman creates a wonderful Tango piece.
The Dichotomy of Fame – I will just stop with saying that this could be the theme music of the story. Will end up being in my all time favorite Rahman instrumentals for sure.
Tum Ho – One of the 3 songs I may need more listens to connect with it completely. Of course, this sounds like a romantic ballad that Rahman has created many a time before. But may work well with the visuals. No need to mention that Mohit aces this one.
Tum Ko – Kavitha on an AR album after ages. Quite the right song for her. It works. It works in invoking some inexplicable emotions.
Meeting Place – Nothing much to be said as it is supposedly based on some Rumi’s verses.
Alright. That’s it..I am not going to get over this album so quickly. Unfortunately I have to wait till next week to even order my CD. Till then, I will rely on streaming audio.
Overall listening to the album is like taking me to a feast after starving me for a week where there is a smorgasbord of dishes prepared by a master chef.
Do buy original CDs or Download through authorized stores on the web.