Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jhoota Hi Sahi- First thoughts (Quite literally)

I am writing this as I'm listening to JHS for the first time. These opinions might not exactly be the same in a week or so :)

Hello Hello

Love the bassline and the filtered strings. Lazy feel, instant appeal. Majorish transition though kind of expected still works! Nice singing by Karthik.

Verdict: Like this song at first listen. I think will go on to love it

Do Nishaniyan

Starts off almost exactly like the Oru Naal Unnai Naan phrase in mannippaya. Why do I feel there isn't clarity of vocals?? Is that second bgm a continuum?? String runs, swells, crescendos... Song seems to have all ARR elements intact.

Verdict: This song will take time to grow I guess. Sounds good at first listen.

Pam Para

Shreya :D Like the way the song starts. Sounds like vintage Rahman. Wait I'm just 40 seconds into the song. What's with Shreya sounding all college girlish! Ok I am NOT biased towards this song because there's Shreya in it. As it progresses, it does seem to get a little monotonous. I'll give it some time.

Verdict: This might go on to be a big hit. Commercial stuff.

I'll Be Waiting

Oh man Jazz!! This one's gonna be a hot favourite of mine! Vijay Yesudas singing in English??!! Very very good! Man this song's killer! The Tu Bole of JHS. Another ode to good ol' Louis Armstrong? Expected a sax bgm, got one. The strings backing is super brilliant. I am not even paying attention to the tune because I know it'll be fabulous and will grow on me the more I listen to it. The overall feel of it is AMAZING.

Verdict: To borrow from Woody Allen, I luurrrve it!

Do Nishaniyaan (Heartbreak Reprise)

The first one sounded like heartbreak too. Can't seem to find much difference in the feel in both versions. Like the flute bgm. Why so much autotune in the aalap :(

Verdict: Same as the first version

Call me Dil

Saw Rahman sir performing this at Saregamapa and was blown away. Why didn't he sing the final version?? The "Call me Dil" chorus is awesome. Song has a very positive vibe to it and I'm loving it.

Verdict: This will be on my playlist for a while. Would've loved an unplugged version

Mayya Yashoda (Both versions)

Ok I'm used to this and Cry Cry as I've heard it multiple times already. Love the singing and flute. Vintage ARR sitar bgm backed by lovely strings. And just noticed, the synth bass line is sexy. Tempo changes work fabulously in creating a very upbeat mood. Respect to Javed's last sangathi! Thames mix is groovy. More or less the same stuff with an extra thump and groovy programming. The flute fits seamlessly into this remix ;) Love the ending

Verdict: Like the original version better than the remix, but then again, the original's so good, even the remix is a notch above a lot of other original compositions I've been hearing of late ;)

Cry Cry

Not yet saturated with this song, having heard it atleast forty times till now. Love the arrangements. Bass slides every now and then, the EP grooves, some awesome chord work when Shreya sings. And that last harmony in Cry Cry! Song's a hit already. This is probably my second favourite song in the album from what I've heard so far.

Verdict: Works big time!


Firstly, all those who dissed the CWG theme, well STFU. JHS is here and here to stay!

Love this album, although I might not have been able to get the hang of most of the songs at one go. I have a feeling it'll be a sure shot hit, and heck even if it's not, it's got some really really good music and that's all that matters. I have been looking forward to this one, and I am certainly not disappointed. Another week and the songs will sink into my system in all their glory. I'll write again then. Perhaps not, I'll just enjoy the music. You do too! And please. Buy the CD!

Friday, September 03, 2010

The CWG Theme... My Take on all the BS

The commonwealth games theme song is out. With all the controversy shrouding the games, it is but natural that Mr.A.R.Rahman would not be spared either. Hasn't it always been characteristic of our sensationalist media to pull attention to shy, non controversial, rather subdued yet iconic people like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahman into controversy given the slightest opportunity? And that despite being world beaters at their respective professions, they have time and again managed to come out unscathed, only to silence critics to kingdom come!

What seems to irk people is the price quoted for the song. While the veracity of this amount still remains to be established, I personally feel there is nothing wrong if the song indeed came at such a price. After all you are hosting an international event, and more importantly you are signing up an international music icon to represent your country. You are signing up the brand that is A.R.Rahman. And brands come at a price. Any Tom Dick and Harrish could have been roped in to compose the theme song. The song would've still worked. But when you're hosting an international event in your country, it becomes imperative to show up in your best dress. With everything else about the cwg going haywire and corruption rearing its now familiar head with an extra smirk on its face, A.R.Rahman is the only positive buzzword. But no, we don't want to let him be either!

Coming to the song itself, I personally like it. Yes there are songs by the maestro in recent times that I have liked better, but this song is still very good. For a sports theme, I think this is more than sufficient. If at all I would pick out one sore aspect, it would be the lyrics. But what exactly were the critics expecting? Another Vande Mataram? Had that happened they would've said the song sounds repetitive. If ARR had done this song free of cost I'm sure the same people bickering now would've had different opinions. Maybe they would've even liked the song!

Success makes people jealous. Other people's success I mean. I read a rather surprising article in a newspaper asking people about the song. The "people" being questioned were supposedly singers and composers no one had heard of (and hopefully wouldn't want to hear or hear of), and everything from the tone of the article to the opinions expressed was utterly negative. Almost as if someone at the newspaper decided to launch a personal tirade against the composer.

To these people and others who think Rahman didn't deserve what he got for this song, I have some questions. Would you rather have composed this theme? Who are you? Did you slog your butt off and win the country two Oscars, Grammys and some hundred other awards and still remain composed and firmly grounded? Having said that, I'm sure A.R.Rahman's goals weren't winning awards. They came to him, and not the other way round. When the Oscars came there were people who said he didn't deserve them. Funny it wasn't them that were part of the jury but much more qualified musicians instead.

I am not saying you shouldn't dislike the song. Everyone has a right to like or dislike the song and express it. But dislike it because it doesn't appeal to you musically, not because your mind is conditioned to dislike everything about the Commonwealth, thanks to corruption and media hype, or because Rahman allegedly got paid an amount you wouldn't be able to charge in your profession because you aren’t half as good in what you do as he is in music.

For those who like it, enjoy the music. My sincere appeal to true fans of the legend to not feed this controversy with angry retorts and to avoid arguments that you know you can't win with logic. Because our icon is not someone whose reputation we should be damaging by cheap fanboy-ism. Nothing irks bad mouthers like silence and patience. I have seen genius at work, and trust me, his genius combined with inhuman mental equilibrium is something we can only dream of achieving! A.R.Rahman is beyond all this, and he will be back with some great music. And that is all we should be looking forward to!

Ever a true Rahman fan.