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Music Review - Delhi 6

Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala & Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Music Director: A.R.Rahman
Actors: Abhishek Bachchan, Om Puri, Sonam Kapoor
Music on: T-Series

Way to go, A.R.Rahman!!! His music for Slumdog Millionaire has already swept many an international and prestigious award this year and as far as the Academy Awards go, ARR may soon join the ranks of John Williams, Andre Previn, Newman, Maurice Jarre amongst other well known composers and musicians ………well, we are keeping our fingers crossed…

I want this to be a simple and straightforward review and not a critique of Rahman because almost everyone already knows what fantastic paths he has forged in the arena of music worldwide, his outstanding musical scores over the last 2 decades standing testimony to his exceptional talent.

With all the hits that he has had in 2008 with Jodha Akbar, Jaane tu ya jaane na, Yuvraaj, Slumdog Millionaire – expectations are riding high and the music of Delhi 6 in no way disappoints the listeners! An aesthetic collage of musical confluences – combining a touch of classical, a taste of semi-classical, a sampling of Sufi, Bhajan and qawali and a splash of modern with rap, ballad and rhythm and blues and hip-hop and jazz.   I liked most of the songs of Delhi 6 on first listen itself, a couple of songs overwhelmingly beautiful………..transporting the listener to heights of listening pleasure and peaks of divine gratification……….

Tumre Bhavan Mein, an Aarti by Rekha Bharadjwaj, Shradda Pandit and Kishore Gowrikar and Sujatha Mazumdar is a simple, short and straightforward and melodic invocation.   With traditional lyrics and refrain, Rajat Dholakia is credited with additional musical supervision of this track.
Arziyan – my pick of the album – this classy song with its strong Sufi flavour and shades of Yaman just tugs at your heartstrings – and Kailash Kher and Javed Ali just excel in this soul stirring and uplifting number…………..a sublime expression that invokes divinity and spirituality…………Rahman’s deep involvement with Sufism has indeed resulted in some memorable and moving songs in the last 2 decades.

Bhor Bhaye – a perfect guru-shishya duet with Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Shreya Ghoshal vying for vocal honours with their emotive and exquisite rendition – set to Raga Gujri Todi with just the harmonium and tanpura and tabla in the background.

Delhi 6 – Usually the title track is meant to be the most interesting one - this title song may need a couple of listens to appeal (or not)– a lot of Hinglish and French rapping– the female singer is a little too casual and laid back and on the whole turns out to be a rather unimaginative, very average and disappointing title track.

Dil Gira Dafatan – a song with very minimal percussion accompaniment -marvelous strings and wind section complement the very talented Ash King and Chinmayee through their passage of this very charming song.
Masakali – Mohit Chauhan just rocks in this beguiling song – peppy and youthful and radiates spontaneity and cheer – a song of the dove symbolizing liberation and freedom to spread one’s wings. There is freshness in both the score and the rendition, and the song seems to have all the trappings of a sure fire hit!

Hey Kaala Bandar – this song on the monkey is generously endowed with English and hindi rapping.  Despite catchy lyrics, breezy and racy vocals and good support from a well coordinated chorus, another ordinary track in this otherwise very remarkable album.

Rehna Tu - The song’s opening lines bring to mind Self Control by Laura
Branigan, and then the melody ambles into a slow and laidback ballad with romantic and philosophical lyrics.   The highlight of this very decent number is a brilliant Hindustani-Carnatic melded (khamaj-??) concluding solo by ARR on a very woodwind-like instrument – and after much searching on the net, I learned that this was the continuum which technically is not an instrument and by itself does not generate sounds. Rather, it must be connected to a sound-producing source that will receive MIDI input, such as a synthesizer module.       For more details on the continuum visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_(instrument)

Gendha Phool by Rekha Bharadwaj, Sujatha Mazumdar and Shradda Pandit is a contemporary take on a traditional wedding song – starts off with folksy flavor and then meshes into a blend of western beats jamming with an essentially Indian folk tune.  Rajat Dholakia is credited with additional music supervision for this track.

Delhi 6 is surely a very good addition to your music collection! The music is classy, pleasant, youthful, uplifting, spiritual and soothing!  Music for your ears and music for your soul!  

(Homemaker & amateur light music singer (specialising in the golden oldies) based in New England - sings with Saptaswar in the US and Friends' Orchestra in Chennai, India and also gives private Karaoke based performances. She is also deeply involved with Tanker Foundation (that helps the poor & needy with kidney ailments- www.tankerfoundation.com) and Bala Mandir Kamaraj Trust (a home for orphan and destitute children in Chennai). Sudha's music websites: http://www.youtube.com/user/sudsless and http://uhooroo.com/sudsless )

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1. February 10, 2009latha kumaraswami 

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