3.15.2007

Water Music


Some of the regular readers of this blog often ask me about why I skip writing reviews for some of the soundtracks and this has been my constant reply to them. As a policy, I write review for a soundtrack only if and after I buy the original copy of the soundtrack. Of course, I do listen to songs on the net but I think I have no rights to write a review on a soundtrack without even owning it. It is like stealing the food and yelling that it was tasty or not tasty to who cooked it and to others who are waiting to buy the food. And that is why I haven’t posted my opinion on A.R.Rahman’s ‘Water’ though I heard the songs long back on the net. Now the soundtrack has been officially released in India and I have bought it.

Not often we can attach the words like Masterpiece, Magnum opus, Path breaking to music albums especially the film soundtracks. It has become a rarity these days. Though we had some good albums from Rahman like ‘Rang De Basanti’, and ‘Guru’ last year, I may not use these superlatives for these soundtracks. Of course they had great music by any standards, but a soundtrack like ‘Water’ extends and opens up new horizons for A.R.Rahman. The serenity and purity of the music takes the listeners on a new emotional journey.

The music of ‘Water’ is like as natural, spontaneous and pure as the sound and rhythm of natural river flowing. It feels like the music has just happened, and doesn’t sound like someone has used so many gadgets to make these music pieces. Such divinity, purity and serenity can come only through simplicity. We are used to listen to heavy orchestration, rhythms and multiple layers (too many at times) in Rahman’s songs. I think even Rahman couldn’t resist it. But in this album he has restricted himself to a selected set of sounds, rhythms and vocals which actually adds to the beauty of the songs, even when he is tempted to use layers, he does it so carefully that it doesn’t sound deliberate and forced in the song. He just wants to stir our soul with the tune and swing our body with a simple yet catchy rhythm.

If you have seen any Rahman’s concerts, you can very easily notice that many layers and instrumental fillers in the actual song in not being played and yet for us it doesn’t make much difference. These layers are like ornamentation or beautification of something which is beautiful by itself. But when you take any song in this soundtrack the minimal ornamentation adds to the beauty of the songs and they are integral part of the song. The difference is that the songs in ‘Water’ will miss something without those layers but others (like those performed in concerts) doesn’t. That is the difference between a great song and a greatest song.

Sukhwinder Singh and Sadhana Sargam give their career best performance in the songs of this soundtrack. After the magnificent ‘Meenaxi’ and ‘Bose: The forgotten Hero’, ‘Water’ also enters into that list of stunners from A.R.Rahman. What are you waiting for? Buy it now. Listen to the music from the original CD in its best sound quality. If possible, switch of the lights, put the songs in your handy player or an ipod and listen to it alone, you are sure to be transported to a different world. I saw the song clippings from the movie, from what little I have seen; I think the song enhances the mood and feel of the visuals for which they are used.

Finally, a word about ‘Pray For me brother’. The song is just brilliant, especially no one would have ever thought of layering of a silky female chorale singing a prayer as the guys rap in the fore.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

i beg to disagree with u on RDB coz i felt in most songs i cud feel the unique musical vision that sets apart the best frm the rest..for eg.v hav listend to sooo many youth based -rebel themed songs in all genres lik film/rock..but pls observe the rhythm pattern/groove of masti ki paatshala...in my limited knowledge of music i 've not heard something lik that..then in the same song electric guitar layered on acoustic guitar in the lines na koi padne wala na koi sikhne wala..
RDB has many such stunning moments..though i agree that it cannot match upto a Thiruda Thiruda..but RDB was more of a soundtrack needs to be emphasised..
anyways jus my thots..

Suresh Kumar said...

Stunning moments are there in RDB agreed... but i was talking about a completeness in the song as a whole...with each layer and every single sound in the song trying to make it an ideal perfect piece of music... that is music of 'Water' for you.... I didn't mean to degrade RDB.. it indeed is one of the most successful soundtracks of rahman in recent times...

Avishkar said...

Hi Suresh,

Have you heard or reviewed John william's "Memoirs Of a Geisha"? I would love to hear your word of comments, since I feel someone like you with such good taste for music should never miss JW's oriental music with yo-yo-ma's haunting cello & Itzhak perlman's scintillating violin pieces.

Haven't heard 'water'. Hope your review is as ever perfect :)

- Avi

Suresh Kumar said...

Avishkar, Being a fanatic of John Williams scores, how can i miss Golden Globe award winning score for 'Memoirs of Geisha', I have the soundtrack and not a week passes without hearing the 'Sayuri theme' atleast once... JW is always known for his bombastic action and heroic themes, but this is one of the most beautiful and intimate score that JW has written... the best tracks in the soundtrack are 'Sayuri Theme', 'Chairman's waltz', 'End Credits', 'Becoming a geisha' and 'Going to school'. You cannot stop listening to these tracks. Also watch this video from youtube where JW and Yo-Yo ma perform Sayuri theme togather

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKk0lhpiICk

Avishkar said...

Thats great! Its one of my daily routines to hear 'Geisha'. And do u love Celtic music?

Suresh Kumar said...

Celtic music. Haven't heard any hardcore celtic music, except for a glimpse of it in film soundtracks... can you suggest the best albums of this genre?

Avishkar said...

I usually hear fusion of celtic folks rendered by 'The Corrs'.One of their recent albums is 'The Corrs-Home'. I love all the songs from the album. Their old albums are also too good. Our YSR's "Nenjodu kalandhidu.." song's pallavi is a violin piece of one of their best songs - "Runaway". Hope you might have known this. Other than corrs you have celtic albums like 'celtic myst','celtic woman',albums from Enya...and it goes on.

Cheers.

Avishkar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Avishkar said...

I love to hear their songs rather than watching video unless its unplugged version. Those versions bring these siblings playing so beautiful. Inspiring!
Runaway-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFRo9z2t_Co
At ur side-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQTkBEC4I24
RebelHeart-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4AYW8suDzA
Haste to wedding-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I6QhQkx5-o

I can tell you one thing. When i hear songs from 'Home' or any of theirs based on irish folks the melody, guitars, violins reminds me IR's lilting folk tunes of 80's. Hear Spancill Hill first if you want to hear 'Home'. I am sure you would definitely love its postlude folk :)