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Music review of GURU

Mani Ratnam’s winter release GURU, with Abishek Bachchan at the helm, is this year’s most awaited film. The last Mani Ratnam movie to come out was Ayutha Ezhuthu two years back. He made India sit up and take notice of the junior Bachchan as an artist of note. Now he is back with a straight Hindi film, which is widely reported to be based on the life of the late Dhirubhai Ambani.

Mani Ratnam and A R Rahman have always been a winning combo, since their Roja days. Together, they have created absolute magic and it is no wonder that expectations are sky-high with the upcoming release. Mani Ratnam has pulled off a casting coup of sorts, with Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan and Mithun Chakraborthy sharing stage with Abhishek. Though the cast is of no importance whatsoever when the director is Mani, the media’s interest has been more than piqued, imagining these artists together, in one movie.

The audio for GURU was released in Mumbai earlier amidst much fanfare. There are seven songs on the album and one can see more than the odd interesting name amongst the singers. For instance, Bappi Lahiri is singing a Rahman song for the first time ever. The song, Ek Lo Ek Muft is quite unlike anything Bappi has sung till now. It is a typical Rahman number, which in turns means that Bappi is trying to do something completely different to what he has done before. For that reason, I wonder how much acceptance this song would get amongst the singer’s fans.

Ey Hairathe first grabbed my heart when I downloaded the ringtune from the movie’s website. It had an odd melancholy to it that reminded me of Bombay. Hariharan's voice, as he sings the ghazal-like verses is mesmerising.

The song, Tere Bina is already proving to be a rage among the fans – every website carrying the music review has raved about this number. After listening to it a couple of times, I can understand why. It is ARR at his best and for me, one of the best songs of the year. Chinmayee’s voice blends really well with Rahman’s and the result is a melodious, classical number that will keep resonating in your ears long after the CD has finished playing.

Barso Re, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, is a rain song. I haven’t heard a good rain song in years and now this one has come to end the drought. Like a typical rain song, this is full of pep and energy. Like Tanvi in Sillunu Oru Kaadal, ARR has made the singer change her voice modulation to suit the mood of the song and I have to say, this time, it was worked perfectly. For Shreya herself, this song is sure to bring numerous accolades.

Jaage Hain, with Chitra getting together with Rahman, is another decent track. Most of the numbers on this album are of the slow variety and this one is no exception. But it is great, nonetheless, with the Madras Chorale Group joining the two main singers to do the backing vocals. The mood of the song is that of a big stage, orchestra production and the singers do full justice to it. The vocals are amazing and Chitra sounds absolutely fantastic. A class number, this one.

To me, the best song in the collection is Mayya Mayya. Sung by Canadian singer Mayyam Toller and Chinmayee, this is a sultry number, with the singers’ voice blending together beautifully. The song is sure to raise the pressure of any red blooded-male (or female, why be sexist?!) up a couple of notches. Another number with Middle East overtones, this one is a sure winner. This song is the one that is rumoured to have been picturised on Mallika Sherawat.

Baazi Laga, by Udit Narayan, Bhargavee, Madhushree and Swetha is one number I did not like. It does not sound like a Rahman composition to me, and the whole arrangement did not jive. Gambling songs are popular in the Indian movie scenario, one of my most memorable ones being Aadi paaru mangaathaa from the movie May Maadham. I cannot be the only one who feels disappointed with this one.

The album, on the whole, has mixed offerings – some might strike a chord in your heart instantly while some you might dislike so much you want to skip to the next track. But in my opinion, this is pure ARR – most of his songs take a bit of getting used to before they grow on you. Give it a couple of listens and then judge the songs – you just might love them!

Posted by DesiGirl 12:20 PM  

7 Comments:

  1. Qalandar said...
    Excellent review desigirl! (You should post this on NG as well IMO)...
    Qalandar said...
    Re: Baazi Lagaa: it's interesting you read this as a gambling song; that hadn't occurred to me, and I was thinking of it more as part of whatever "genre" Mangal Pandey's Takay Takay was...
    DesiGirl said...
    hey!
    thanks man! hmm, reason i didn't upload this on NG was cos there were already 3 reviews - including urs, which rocks!!
    wouldn;t it seem like overkill??
    Anonymous said...
    I loved ur review. ARR rocks and rules isnt?! by the way, i like baazi laga.. plz give it few more try.. u vl definitely love it. i feel its tune is instantly catchy!
    Qalandar said...
    shame on you desigirl!!! No such thing as "overkill" where ARR is concerned no? :-)
    Manthan said...
    It's (4/5) for me. 1 mark less due to "Bazzi Laga".
    Manthan said...
    It's (4/5) for me. 1 mark less due to "Bazzi Laga".

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