Wednesday, October 15, 2003

more aural offerings

Samay: This had to happen. Remixes popping (no pun intended) up on movie soundtracks. DJ Na'ryan Beck and Jayanta Pathak are responsible for the first: Aaj kii raat, R D Burman's melody for Anamika, famously covered by the Kronos Quartet, gets the loud backing synth-rhythm-wraps-readymade-melody-and-drowns-out-most-of-the-lyrics treatment. Up next, Vaishali Samant dishes out her version (complete with the DJ mouthing a bleeped f-word) of R D's adaptation of the age of aquarius for Raja Rani, jab a.ndheraa hotaa hai. Sandeep Chowta steps out to provide booty shakers laailaa laailaa (yes, that's how sowmya raoh pronounces it) and some interesting background themes. {the indiafm review conveniently misses out on crediting RDB for aaj kii raat!}. The zi.ndagii reprise (losing to win) has a simple melody overlaid on an interestingly unsettling soundscape. The chase mixes clapping and furious percussion. And then we have the theme (who's that Southie-tinged voice??). And Sowmya Raoh returns with zi.ndagii, backed by pleasant nylon guitar fills and synth strings. A decent listenable melody. Why do parts of this song remind me of Pancham's zi.ndagii me.n aap aaye from Chhalia ?

Tehzeeb [press release | movie preview] (Beating JR once again!): Being Khalid Mohamed's second venture as writer/director. This time he bags ARR all the way. There's a strong sense of a hangover from Boys. What with I wanna be free (this is the 'Freedom' song slated for Namrata Shirodkar's item cameo). Yes, the riff is catchy and I liked the abrupt cut that ends the song. Shaan steps up to the mic next with khoyii khoyii aa.nkhe.n. Very ARR-esque: the soundscapes are interesting (even though in the case of this song, it seems like a melange of fragments from Alai Payuthe, Padayappa and Boys. Meharbaa.N meharbaa.N marks the return of ARR favourites Asha Bhosle and Sukhwinder Singh: my pick for the charts and a personal one too: a good soundscape (with some of the trademark ARR chord progressions), albeit a catchy one. Wonder when ARR will return to the non-danceables like Kamosh raat. Wonder why Raaga has two editions of the song -- didn't see any difference. Next up, Sujata Bhattacharya (who was first heard on Kuch Naa Kaho) with mujhape tuufaa.N uThaaye logo.n ne, a 7/8 song adapted from a ghazal by Momin Khan Momin. How many ghazals has ARR attempted before this? Can't say much for this song, although I would have really liked to. ARR's sound conversion pipeline transforms this potentially interesting composition and makes it his own; as a result the song loses out on lyrical impact (a complaint I have with most ARR songs anyways). The next offering (similar soundscape, 7/8 again) transitions seamlessly, which is a very very bad thing. It's more pleasant than the previous ghazal excursion. But the singer's pronunciation sucks in several places -- which leads me to wonder if Raaga got the versions (this one's billed as the one by Sujata; there's another one by Vijaya) mixed up; especially since the singer's malpronunciations seem to be of a South-Indian nature (I'm assuming that Vijaya is a South-Indian). Stuck in this morass of parochial criticism, I'd love a clarification. Up next, sabaq aisaa, an adaptation of a work by Nawab Mirza Dagh. The song's rhythm is so so wrong: it's more remix/dance-hall/lounge. And there's more of that hangover from Alai Payuthe. Good saxophone run though, but very much in keeping with the lounge bent. [more news] [filmfare preview]

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