Oct 2, 2002

Bombay Dreams revisited
Bombay Dreams (now officially a surprise hit on the London stage) will be going on Broadway (set to premiere in 2004). I got my first chance a few days ago to listen to all the songs together. There were a few interesting songs, but on a whole, it probably is nowhere near some of his other albums. Lots of orchestration (a trend towards which ARR has been leaning towards, not having what I call a lot of "silence", i.e songs which have very few but distinct instruments and hence a lot of scope for that instrument to break through, which marked some of his classics) is evident in the songs. Shakalaka Baby is surprisingly better than its original (it has been reworked). I can only think of one other instance where a Rahman remake has been better than the original : Que Sera from Pukar ,which was a whole lot better than the one from En Swaasa Kaatre. Like an Eagle (funny lyrics), Salaam Bombay & Wedding Qawaali (shades of his peti magic with Kannalanne or Kehna hi kya from Bombay). But Love's Never Easy a.k.a Taal's Ishq Bina doesn't quite work out for me.

In more Rahman news, Kaadhal Virus is his next Tamil release, which will be out this week. Supposedly Saathiya promos will be on in the middle of October. Wonder how Pachai Nirame is going to look and sound on le Oberoi & la Mukherjee.

Rahman has sometimes shown an inclination to using certain instruments more often or to more effect. I call them the violin songs (some from Taal, Puthiya Mugam), the Mridangam songs (a few from Sangamam, Indira), the train songs (Chikku Bukku from Gentleman, Chaiyya Chaiyya), the sea songs (Tu Hi Re, Nahin Saamne), the percussion scores (Rangeela, Thiruda Thiruda) and so on. I got hold of Anthimanthaarai, directed by Bharatiraja which had a couple of songs (the songs are not in the film) which are quite great. The santoor (I think) and mridangam in Sakhiye, sung by Unnikrishnan & Swarnalatha's rendition in Oru Naal are quite enchanting. The opening piece in Sakhiye is quite superb, IMO. Wish I had a better musical vocabulary to express better what these songs are like!

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