1.24.2009

Delhi-6



In Delhi-6 soundtrack, Rahman shows us the beauty of simple melodies, elegance of eclectic orchestration, gives us hookiest of the hooks to help us understand his experiments, takes us to a newer musical zones and much much more.

The beginning of 'Arziyan' was surprising with simple Tabla beats and natural harmonium pieces, because Rahman has the tendency to make such songs with thick layers of orchestration stuffed with synth bass, strings, sometimes e-sounds, and even the Tabla would sound a little harder and heavy in such songs. But I always wanted such a simple tune just simply presented without Rahman's usual ornamentation, and in this song, for those initial 2 minutes, the serene melody on contrasting vocals of Javed Ali and Kailash Kher was intoxicating to listen. Rahman soon returns to his usual elements of adding layers but thankfully it doesn't burden the simplistic beauty of the melody as it normally would, and the lighter feel and touch of divinity prevails till the end. A song lasting for almost 9 minutes without much of variations in tempo or deviations in its structure, could easily get tedious after a point but Rahman cleverly makes it more accessible by bringing in the 'Maula' hook at regular and right intervals. It is one of those hooks that I can listen to on and on non-stop for a whole day.

The opening alaap which later turns out to be the main motif of the song, the rhythm on Congo drums (the percussion instrument that became the most clich├ęd sound in Indian film songs long back, sounds so fresh and strangely befitting in the context of this song) and beautiful accordion solo pieces sprinkled throughout (performed by Rahman himself) in 'Masakkali' takes us on a liberating journey into the old world. The intentional casualness, the dynamics and attitude in the singing of Mohit Chauhan, adds charm to the melody. The highpoint of the song of course is 'Udiyon na' that appears twice in the song where the additional folksy percussion layer, the singing and Prasoon's musical word play make the listeners jump with joy. There is no single instrument or sound which is not used or heard before, but by the way he puts them all into one homogenous layer backing the beautiful melody, Rahman once again reminds us what the term 'Rahman sound' actually means.

'Delhi hai mere yaar' is catchy from the word go and yet it is an unconventional anthem for Delhi. It is unconventional in its pace for a song that wants to be an anthem. But the love for the place has been cleverly conveyed with one funky and hooky phrase after another. There is Tanvi's 'Delhi hai mere yaar' which is the main motif (why Rahman always puts Tanvi's voice in some sound machine), there is bass heavy Blaaze's hook, there is a French hook (which instantly reminds us of the song Jhoom le from Ghajini) and all these come one after the other in different order and finally Tanvi's bit turn victorious taking the pride of slightly getting modified and sounding heroic with trombones and timpani backing it.

Nothing prepares you in a song that starts so light with soft beats, for the shocker of a sound that is about to start in the most unexpected beat of the rhythm. I am talking about the way Rahman starts 'Rehna Tu' on the softest registers of his voice, which sucks your attention instantly into the song. After a very strong beginning with a very identifiable and hummable melody the song slips into a very innate melodic zone which sounds as if Rahman just sang the song instantly after seeing the lyrics, with whatever melody that came to his mind. And being quite aware of the fact that these lines may put off the casual listeners, a guitar motif is brought in, and that fills for any possible gaps that fall in between the unpredictable journey of the melody. Even if a listener initially travels into the song holding on to this motif, he/she will soon recover and be able to travel through the main melody without its help. In spite of being so experimental, it is this concern that Rahman has on his listeneres that makes him a composer that he is today.

Rahman says 'Come with me, I will take you to a place where you haven't been before' with the song 'Dil Gira Daftan'. The contrasting pace of the gorgeous main melody and the addictive guitar motif that loops (it was repeatedly playing in my mind for one whole day) throughout the song, the eclectic interlude (Celtic, Irish folk, Chinese, western classical and Indian strings put together to create an alternate musical universe around you) and the softness in the Ash King's voice all takes us on a exhilarating romantic ride. And Chinmayi's counterpoint is another pinch of beauty and brilliance. As in 'Rehna Tu', here too the melody sounds very innate and spontaneously developed but development and movements between phrases sounds more organic and measured.

'Hey Kala Kala' is the funkiest song of the soundtrack with lots of catchy hooks sprinkled at right spots throughout the song. While Karthik and Naresh Iyer enthusiastically croon for most part of the song, it is Srinivas and Bony Chakrabarthy who leave their impression with their breathless singing towards the end of the song. In 'Noor' Rahman provides an apt celestial aura around Prasoon Joshi's poetry. I don't know how much of A.R.Rahman is there in other songs but they add variety to the soundtrack and raise our expectations on the movie. With 'Bhor Bhyae', Shreya Ghosal proves once again why she is a legend in the making. 'Ghendha Phool' is extremely charming folk song that gets a techno twist. The devotional 'Aarti' to Delhi-6 is what 'Ik Onkaar' was to Rang De Basanti.

At the end, Rahman makes us exclaim - What a beginning!!

6 comments:

s6 said...

You are spot on about Dil Gira! The prelude takes you to a Paradise instantly and Rahman completes the package with right choice of Music and Rendition.
This song is so addictive that i always feel like coming back to it.
Overall this a 4.5 Stars ALbum. One of the very best of A.R!

Arun said...

Thanks Suresh! This is a phenomenal soundtrack. I'm in love with Rehna Tu, Dil Gira and Arziyan.

Suresh Kumar said...

S6 - Definitely. Also, soundtrack raises a lot of expectations on the movie. Rakeysh used Rahman's songs beautifully in RDB.

Suresh Kumar said...

Arun - u r welcome. A solid soundtrack.

Vishal said...

This is definitely one of ARR's best works in a long time. Each and every song of this album is a gem. Especially Dil Gira - just out of the world. This was the only song that did not catch my attention INSTANTLY - but once it grew, I just can't get it out of my head. Mind blowing, jaw dropping stuff man!

Nice review.

Here's my take on the album: http://vishal12.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/delhi-6-music-review/

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