Rang De Basanti Music Review

A.R.Rahman is pretty sure about the kind of response that he wants for his music in Rang De Basanti. He wants it to sell as like any of his albums sold in the start of his career. He is more concerned abut delivering a hit music. But he has done it without compromising the quality or the class. Commercial failures of some of his best works in the recent past seem to have really bothered him a lot. Though the songs of this movie may not be the best of A.R.Rahman, they are energetic, youthful, refreshing and ground breaking. The album is sure to become a chartbuster. Also as like any of A.R.Rahman songs, these songs take little time to grow but once it do, you will not stop listening to it. The album has got 10 songs. Lyrics are penned by Prasoon Joshi.

Ik Onkaar by Harshdeep Kaur is a devotional number. Don’t know whether it is tuned by A.R.Rahman. Lets us switch to next number

Rang De Basanti (Daler Mehndi, Chitra)

At last we have a Punjabi number which doesn’t have a deja-vu sound. With all the usual elements of bhangra music intact, Rahman adds his unique elements which make the song more spicy, energetic and refreshing to listen to. The unique elements are the melodious guitar that joins Daler Mehndi whenever he starts with “Thodi se dhool meri”, the additional percussions that adds a punch to the looping bhangra beats, innocent vocals of Chitra which turns the number a little soothing in the middle and above all the Mandolin that plays the “diggu diggu” tune. This song is destined to be a hit at the time of its birth itself. Ever since I saw the promos playing this song, the funny “diggu diggu” was lingering in my mind. It gives a whole new flavor to the song. Daler Mehndi does a great job as the song belongs to a genre that in his genes.

Paathshala (Naresh Iyer, Mohammed Aslam)

It is a ground breaking song all the way. The pumping beats along with electric guitar captivate us the very moment it reaches our ear drums. I think this kind of lyrics, mixing Hindi and English words is pretty new for bollywood music as far as I know. This is already there is Tamil film music. Prasoon Joshi has done a good job here. Listen to the acoustic guitar pieces that come and go out the song in the middle, another Rahmanish element that gives a new sound to the song. There is also another version of the song which has got English Rap bits by Blaaze in addition to the original version. This version is again very catchy with more synth stuff and additional beats. The sweet guitar piece that I mentioned in the original version gets a slot in this version to sound alone without any voiceover. Get ready to lose your control while listening to this song.

Tu bin bataye (Madhusree, Naresh Iyer)

This is the only romantic melody in the album. I think this is just an average melody which gets elevated by the beautiful orchestration. The string section conducted by Sirnivasa murthy is just brilliant in this song. Also the choir backing Naresh’s vocals in the later part of the song is beautiful. The strings and choir carry lots of necessary emotions with it. Madhusree sounds sweet as honey. Naresh Iyer has a soothing voice and we can expect him on more melodies like this in days to come. It somehow reminded me a Tamil song of A.R.Rahman.

Khalbali (A.R.Rahman, Aslam, Nacim)

Those who follow Rahman’s music from the beginning will definitely know about his special fascination towards Arabian music and that comes to fore yet again in this song. It is a very unconventional number rich in Arabic flavor. When Rahman’s different style of singing with an Arabic accent, Arabic lines by nacim sandwiched in between, the Arabic percussions by Hozam Ramzy (who collaborated with A.R.Rahman before for Meenaxi), the middle-eastern strings, and synth bass are mixed together, it evolves as a new sound which we get to hear in this song. This song needs at least ten times of listening to get used to the unusual format and sound of the song. It is another great number in the album.

Khoon chala (Mohit Chauhan)

It is a beautiful song with a nice melody and great orchestration. The beautiful piano notes, the strings, the haunting Cello piece together impose a haunting effect on the listeners. The orchestration and beats backing the final crescendo are brilliant. Mohit chauhan’s quite unique vocals are soothing and expressive enough.

Luka Chuppi (Lata Mangeshkar, A.R.Rahman)

The guitar strumming all through the song is similar to that of “Chanda Sooraj” song from “Vande mataram” album. But the resemblance makes no harm to the beautiful melody in this song. Instead it aptly aids the melody. Rahman used Lata’s refined voice by restricting her not to go high and nasal. Rahman has also done a neat job especially swara alap at the end is great. I liked Vibraphone usage in this song which I feel has a sound that could make listener easily relate to kind of emotion that this song celebrates. There are lots of surprising deviations in the form of orchestration and rhythm as the song proceeds. The much talked about Maa-betta song doesn’t disappoint.


It is kind of a poem recited by Aamir Khan widely misunderstood as sung by Aamir Khan. We will be able to know more about this song with the visuals. It has got additional bass section, distant vocal humming and chorus running in the background creating a strange aura.

Roobaro (Naresh Iyer, A.R.Rahman)

Yet another song that starts with a speedy casual guitar strumming. I don’t know how to categorize this song. It is very peppy and captivating. “Roobaro Roshini” is where Rahman’s peeps into the song in between and it sound like high-pitch “Anjaana” bit from Yuva. The song has catchy jazzy beats and strange backing vocals. This song turns addictive on second listening.

Highlights of the album

First of all, this is an A.R.Rahman album without Naveen’s flute. I don’t remember any album of A.R.Rahman without Naveen’s contribution.

A.R.Rahman avoided the usual Udit, Sonu, Alka and others in the album paving way for new singers to exhibit their talents.

The variety in the songs. No two songs sound same in this album. Of course this is true for most of ARR’s albums.

Naresh Iyer seems to the latest favorite of A.R.Rahman. He has got 3 songs in such a big film and that is definitely a great debut for any new singer. Naresh Iyer does a great job in all three songs which are completely different from each other.

At last, an album which even common bollywood music lovers will like and that will make the album a big success commercially.


Varun said...

Great review boss!! I enjoyed tu bin .. and Lukka Chuppi!!


Prasad said...

hopped in via LG's blog.. a very good review indeed..

muthuvel said...

//...At last we have a Punjabi number which doesn’t have a deja-vu sound. ..//

Agreed, the song wasn't a cliched Bhangra. But no Dejavu?....the intro part of the song is just an instrumental version of 'Moonezhuthu ketta vaarthai andha vaarthai sishy...ennavendro solli tharavaa' from Rahman's own 'Parthalae paravasam'.

Maverick said...

Doesnt the stanzas of 'Paathshaala' remind you of 'We didn't start the fire' by Billy Joel?

Sushma said...

Hey Suresh
Great review. Now that 'maverick mentions it I do see the strage resemblance between the Joel number and this one.

Suresh Kumar said...

i meant that among the usual bhangra numbers, it sounds different. My comparison was only with bhangra nos and this tamil song didn't cross my mind when i heard the song.

maverick: sorry yaar, haven't heard billy joel. if what you say is true, think ARR is going in a wrong way. Do you mean it is a blatant copy or just an inspiration.

Sushma: thanx for ur comments.

Zero said...

grabbed it soon after it's release and am liking it a lot. I agree with all ur points.
Talking about the latest favourite of Rahman, in the last 4-5 years, Rahman has moved from being the one who uses a whole range of singers.
Yeah, even in his earlier years, he used some singers very regularly.. but never could one sense a clear favourite among the whole lot he used for the different varieties. Just an observation. No qualms as far as the music still is good!

Supremus said...

Awesome revu!!!

I loved the highlights of the album - right now I cant have enough of this album - I loved Khoon Chala - superb vocals in that song. You are bang right abt the guitar in paathshaala - its awesome.

Keep inking such


Maverick said...

I won't call it a blatant copy. Just that those lines in stanzas remind you of Billy Joel. Can call it an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Nice Review. Bought RDB, listened to it. I know Rahmans songs take time to grow up. I hated "Rangeela" in the first few listenings but later it turned out to be one of the best albums by Rahman.

But, RDB's songs really suck... something big is outta league. The only song that gives some kind of gratification is the "Rubaru" song. Rest of the songs simply suck. Rahman thinks Patriotic movies are killin' him, I'd say his lullaby songs and mother-son songs are killing him -- have had enough of those kinda songs. The songs like "Luka Chupi" and "Ghoomparani" from Bose, they both have same problem... twisted melody. Jees... whatever happened to good ol' Rahman.

Oh yeah, Lyrics suck too!!

Suresh Kumar said...

maverick: thanx for that info, i thought it would be bad if a man of Rahman's stature copies it note to note.

who is he: hey, i think you have a different taste.

Anonymous said...

The two songs I have been playing
repeatedly are Khalbali and Lukka
Chuppi. When I hear Khalbali I want to get on my keyboard and start playing. As for Lukka Chuppi , Lata marvels and the classical part I really like.

Anonymous said...

You missed the other album without Naveen's flute. Its the "come back" Ah Aah...
-- Prashanna