Nov 9, 2008

'Yuvvraaj' - music review

The CD booklet for Yuvvraaj says (brace yourself) - :

Imagine a film where: Salman is a dreamy singer...
Katrina is a leading musician...
Zayed grooves to a chaotic disco sound...
Anil Kapoor enjoys only classical music...
Clearly, Subhash Ghai possesses a one of a kind, not to mention dangerous, imagination. I tried very hard to pull off this impossible task, but couldn't. I don't know how much success music director A.R.Rahman and lyricist Gulzar had, but we'll take this album as their best shot. I've tried wrapping my head around this soundtrack for a while, but continue to find it a mixed bag. I blame Subhash Ghai - I think he's finally got to Rahman, whose clever ploy of working at odd hours kept the Guy out of harm's way during previous collaborations. This one must have been made in broad daylight, which Ghai channeling Laxmikant-Pyaarelal. The result is a very confusing medley of styles and songs, and a subdued Gulzar.

lat uljhi...manamohinii more (Vijay Prakash) is the stand-out. Rahman has often thrown in western orchestrations for classical numbers, which coupled with the singer's assured singing, makes this an excellent song. The contemplative zindagii zindagii (Srinivas) is so mellow that it is in danger of being disregarded by listeners. However, it is one of the few songs in the entire album to feature some Gulzar sparks, and so worth getting on the playlist loop.

For me, the Gulzar-ARR partnership has always been successful when they have connected on an elemental level of 'sound'. Unlike the Vishal-Gulzar duo, where the music reinforces word semantics in a snug fit, Rahman's music reacts best to the onomatopoeia of the great man's words. In this album, Mastam Mastam (ensemble) achieves this in its orchestrations and sonorous lyrics. This is in the vein of ooh la la lah (Minsara Kanavu/Sapnay) and shabbaa shabbaa (Daud), and worked for me.

The recipe of dil ka rishta (ensemble) , though rich in musical themes, is a throwback to Ghai's idea of a 'musical' , with every bit of the soundscape painted mercilessly. shaaNo shaaNo ("Beware Blaaze" alarm) provides a basis for similar complaints. tu meri dost hai (Benny Dayal) has a simple melody which only improves when Shreya Ghoshal and Rahman take over in the end, while in tu muskuraa has Alka Yagnik touching Castafiore-ian scales.

Stay away from mai.n huu.n yuvvraaj (can't imagine Beethoven doing a jig at finding his name coupled with Herr Salmon) and the shaaNo Remix (to be honest: didn't bother listening to this. Why do I want to?)

I suppose all this bias is because a wise man once said: always be suspicious of any film that contains:
1. Salman Khan
2. Zayed Khan
3. Subhash Ghai
4. Blaaze
5. Anyone 'playing' a musical instrument in the proud Bollywood tradition of torturing it into revealing its octaves by giving it a good massage
6. Katrina Kaif
7. Any film title with superfluous letters, especially an extra 'v'


daemon said...

Listen to the remix 'cause its different. Its not just the usual double the beats kind of stuff.

J Ramanand said...

Thanks: I did.

CruiZen said...

Thankfully, we have Slumdog Millionaire and Ghajini to look forward to. This score is simple enough that it does not threaten to haunt and grow as a typical Rahman album does. Like Yuva, and even Taal.

Ajay said...

Your review of every track is spot-on (or rather, I agreed with all of it :))

ARR works best for me with spare orchestration. The Subhash Ghai predilection for spectacle seems to have infected him here. "Manmohini" is a standout though.

Ganesh Hegde said...

Well, there are some additions I'd like to propose.
I call them 'red flags', upon seeing which I freeze in my tracks and dare not proceed forward to watch the movie.
Celina Jaitley
Riya Sen
Bobby Deol
Fardeen Khan
Saawan Kumar Tak
Payal Rohatgi
and so the list goes on...