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    Rahman-ce Version 2.0
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    Apr 2011


    Default Rahman-ce Version 2.0

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    The first thought on listening to Ekk Deewana Tha is of how much Bollywood audience misses out on A R Rahman’s dazzling Tamil works, which fortunately or not, is more than half of his compositions. Thanks to director Gautham Menon’s decision to remake Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya, Rahman’s return to romance in Bollywood after four years (Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na was in 2008) is expectedly remarkable.
    What makes this soundtrack special is how inconspicuously it holds five gems in a row that could have been scattered across five Bollywood soundtracks as stand-out songs and yet would have single-handedly saved the day. Dost Hai (Girl I Loved You) surreptitiously installs a manic groove in your head with its deep bass, fresh melody and beats-heavy arrangement. Amidst the sounds of guns ****ing, shooting and a synth keeping a racy rhythm, Naresh Iyer sings with part-rap and hip hop sections spat out by Jaspreet Jasz and Arya.

    Phoolon Jaisi Ladki reasserts Rahman’s comfort with minimalism — a one-note bell in the backdrop and simple beats that emphasise Clinton Cerejo’s endearing lines. Liberal use of autotune in the second verse is for such delicious effect that you may forgive all the misuse it gets subjected to in the ‘coolest’ of today’s songs. Mellow guitars and mellower synthesisers exalt romance to operatic heights in the Madhushree-Rahman duet Sharminda Hoon. What also helps are the sweeping background ambience and Akhtar’s sparkling lyrics — Tumko maine chaaha bhi hai…tumhi ko maine gham bhi diye…Sharminda hoon.

    Aromale (which means beloved in Malayalam) is a grungy acoustic piece par excellence in VV, but in Hindi, Akhtar’s dense lyrics burden the track’s mind-bending quotient until it flattens out like an unplugged jam. Again, unlike VV’s Hosanna that was spot-on in its mushy space, this version lacks spontaneity. Let’s not even get to how sorely we miss Blaaze’s ace rapping from the original.

    Javed Ali intimately puts out a wondering, wandering Zohra Jabeen; the title track of VV. Rahman takes to the mic, musing what love is all about in the hard-to-like, Waltz rhythm-driven Kya Hai Mohabbat. An ode to 70s rock era, Jessie’s driving me crazy is a bread-and-butter classic rock number with a simple distortion riff and standard drumming. Three instrumentals — Broken Promises, Moments in Kerala and Jessie’s Land — are stuff that Rahman could effortlessly stack up over a few hours of musical introspection. The hum and feel of Jessie’s Land evokes fond memories of Latika’s Theme from Slumdog Millionaire.

    While it is irresistible to compare this ‘remade’ album with the original and point out some loss in magic, Rahman doesn’t once let his soaring music dip. Once again, he shows how romance revels in his music console in all its glory.



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