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Music Review - Yuvvraj

Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)


Produced by: Mukta Arts Entertainers
Directed by: Subhash Ghai
Music Director: A R Rahman
Lyricist: Gulzar
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Benny Dayal, Shreya Ghoshal, Vijay Prakash, A.R. Rahman, Salman Khan, Alka Yagnik, Roop Kumar Rathod, Javed Ali, Srinivas, Subhash Ghai, Naresh Iyer, Clinton, Suzanne, Blaaze, Karthik, Timmy, Sunaina, Vivianne, Tina
Starring: Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Boman Irani
Music Label: T-Series

While some of A.R.Rahman’s songs hit you head on, some of them have the tendency to grow on you and some others – well, let’s just leave them alone, shall we……….Sometimes his songs tend to sweep you away with their sweetness and sheer genius that he employs in putting together such a melody while sometimes they just fade away, forgotten forever!

2008 has been a good year for Rahman – he is choosy about his projects and this year Jodha Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na have been rated very high musically! So one expects great things from Subhash Ghai’s multi starrer musical extravaganza Yuvvraj which is now playing in theatres in the USA and worldwide–– lets hope that it goes the Taal way and not Kisna in terms of the box office!  

Main Hoon Yuvvraj – Salman Khan mouths off his lyrics with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony playing in the background – introducing himself (with apologies to Beethoven) as a slightly mad, slightly bad and yet superstar kind of guy!!  Guess it might serve as a promotional track or introduction to the film….

Tu Meri Dost Hain – sung by Benny Dayal and Shreya Ghoshal – starts off with a familiar humming and starts sounding like the soft rock outpourings that are common in almost every Hindi film today – however, even the orchestral accompaniments and chorus back up that are of the highest quality – with cellos and violins that sound splendid – and the vocal prowess of Shreya and Benny do not elevate the song to any great stature! Portions of the song bring to mind Rahman’s Sahana Saaral or Sahara Pookal from the Tamil film Shivaji, especially the closing lines……….

Shano Shano – not one of my favourites – Abba’s gimmee gimmee creeps into your mind involuntarily - 80’s type disco number that sounds hackneyed and repetitive.  And boy, is it a long song – but I guess when one wants to dance, the longer the better – and what do you know there is a remix version (join the gang, ARR) – which is just faster and more rappy and mercifully shorter, not that it is any sweeter……….

Tu Muskura – Alka Yagnik’s vocals seem softer and less grating (than in Mastam Mastam) and Roop Kumar and Javed Ali join her in this track, which like the others in the film, also has generous doses of Hindustani thrown into an otherwise standard ballad genre of song.  A syrupy dessert type of song.

Mastam Mastam is catchy and infectious with some lively strings interludes– in the genre of songs like Ooh La La La And Ho Ke Sara Sara etc.  Sonu Nigam and team impress with a spirited performance - the song is a mix of a march, Goanese folk, reggae and finally a splash of animated Eastern European folk music.  Energetic and foot tapping number!  Hopefully a picturisation as vivacious as Ooh La La La from Sapnay  (Minsara Kanavu in Tamil).

Zindagi Zindagi – rather sweet and soothing melody by an understated singer Srinivas, who has earlier given us some lovely Hindi and Tamil songs – his rich voice breathes life and intensity into this soul-stirring number.  This ghazal-ballad bears Gulzar’s distinctive stamp with some beautiful lyrics drenched with melancholy and rich verse abounding – the accordion intro to the song is haunting and keeps on through the song, as do the viola-violin and guitar endowing it with an extra special charm.  A listener’s delight!

Dil Ka Rishta  - rather majestic overture that seems to summon up a symphony of sorts and then tapers off disappointingly into an average number (with a smattering of indistinct English lyrics) which is resuscitated in parts by the magnificent strings section – the song is some part Hindustani, most part Western Classical with English and Hindi lyrics and the voices of Roop Kumar Rathod and Sonu Nigam and ARR and an impressive choral section contributing. …….

Manmohini –Though reviewed last, this song is TOPS!  Seems to be based on raga Bhimpalasi (readers – do forgive me if I am wrong and do not hesitate to correct me) and here is an east-west synthesis that impresses on first listen itself–really superb vocals – the opening dhom thanam by the chorus sets the pace for the rather interesting musical amalgam that follows and showcases the vocal dexterity of gifted singer Vijay Prakash as he skillfully sashays between aalap and swara and song and makes it a truly pleasurable listening experience.  Vijay has a magnificent voice (1999 Saregama finalist) that has been thoroughly underutilized.

The few flaws in the album are the incomprehensible lyrics in some of the songs – esp. the English ones – and a sense of ‘now where have I heard that before’ from some of the songs – and a certain grandiloquence that comes a cropper halfway through the song…good beginnings with rather ungraceful falls………..

The pluses of the album are as always the fantastic arrangements and the ingenious juxtapositioning of a wide variety of the brass, string and percussion sections and the top notch back up vocals and recording quality, the brilliant reinvention of fusion music and his unique blending of eastern and western music styles and the excellent talent that Rahman promotes in each album, Vijay Prakash and Srinivas deserve special mention in this album as do the Chennai Strings Orchestra and other instrumentalists who really shine in all the songs. 

Without any doubt I would say that this is one of the better albums of 2008 – well worth a buy and easy on the ear and guaranteed to bring a fair amount of listening pleasure!

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