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Music Review: Aparichit - The Stranger

Ranjani Saigal
05/16/2006

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

Aparichit - The Stranger
 
Year: 2006
Genre: Drama
Director: Shankar
Music Director: Harris Jayaraj
Leading Cast:  Sada, Vikram 


Harris Jayaraj who made waves with his ‘Rehnna Hai Tere Dil Mein’ has come back with an interesting Carnatic- Bollywood combo track for the dubbed version of the Tamil superhit movie ‘Anniyan’.  Featuring star vocalist like Unnikrishnan and Hariharan the score tries to capitalize on the fine musicianship of these artists while combining it with superb orchestral arrangement.  A lot of the music is in pure Carnatic style Harris Jayaraj is tries hard to combine it with popular music to appeal to a rather general all-India audience.  Whether he will succeed is to be seen.

The album opens with a fast paced number ‘REMO’ sung by Nakul and GV Prakash. The number has fabulous western musical arrangement. The song has excellent dynamics and one can quite imagine this becoming a favorite of the DJ-Dancing crowd.

Kumari is a beautiful rendition by Unnikrishnan and Harini.  One is not quite sure who Harris Jayaraj is trying to appeal to in this piece. Carnatic music fans would find it to be a light classical number while the Bollywood crowd is sure to classify it as something “Madrasi’ ! Perhaps the Southern immigrants to the north may find this interesting. Unnikrishanan and Harini present a flawless rendition and it does make for easy listening.


‘Gora Gora’ is a fabulous rocking number that makes the album interesting.  Leslie Lewis and Vasundhara Das’s high energy rendition of the song captures the attention.  The musical arrangements are very engaging and we will certainly hear this number for some time to come.

Saint Thyagaraj himself is a co-lyricist for the next song! The song opens with the famous Pancharatna Krithi (one of the five gems created by Saint Thyagaraja) in the Ragam Nattai  - Jagadanandakaraka. The song is rendered with an extended chorus and then moves into a Hindi song ‘Iyengar Ghar Ki’ l sung by Hariharan and Harini.  We hope the audience likes it enough to find out more about Saint Thyagaraja.. Knowing the Bollywood audience though it most likely will be a fast- forward.

Kay Kay and Shreya Ghoshal present the next number ‘Chori Hai’ It is number that has a village folksy feeling to it. It is a hit number that may be seen on a few ‘India Day’ type of events.
Best part of the enterprise comes at the album's end in the form of theme track

Perhaps the finest piece in the album is 'Stranger in Black'. A very original score that has wonderful orchestra complimenting the vocals by Sunitha Sarathy the piece has great variety to it.

Anniyan was a superhit but it has been a while since dubbed films have done well in Bollywood. The sound track will be extremely enjoyable for those who transcend the North-South boundary and enjoy music.  For Bollywood goers though REMO, Gora Gora and Stranger in Black is it. If Saint Thyagaraja makes it to main stream, there will be none more pleased than I.


 



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