Cast : Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Swara Bhaskar, Kumud Mishra
Music : A.
Story : Himanshu Sharma
Editing : Hemal Kothari
Cinematography : Natarajan Subramaniam, Vishal Sinha
Lyrics : Irshad Kamil
Screenplay : Himanshu Sharma
Direction : Anand L. Rai
Raanjhanaa is an upcoming Hindi film directed by Anand Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma. The music has been composed by the one and only AR Rahman. The film has a star cast including Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol in the lead. The lyrics of all songs have been penned by Irshad Kamil. This was a hugely expected album mainly because it is the debut movie for Dhanush in Bollywood and of course because the music is by AR Rahman. It is turning out to be a great season for Dhanush with back to back albums with AR Rahman(This and Maryan). Let us check out how the album has turned out to be.
|Raanjhana||Shiraz Uppal, Jaswinder Singh|
|Banarasiya||Shreya Ghoshal, Anwesha Dutta Gupta, Meenal Jain|
|Piya Milenge||Sukhwinder Singh, K.M.M.C Sufi Ensemble|
|Ay Sakhi||Madhushree, Chinmayee, Vaishali Samant, Aanchal Sethi|
|Nazar Laaye||Rashid Ali, Neeti Mohan, Nakash Aziz|
|Tu Mun Shudi||AR Rahman, Rabbi Shergill|
|Aise Na Dekho||AR Rahman, Karthik|
|The Land of Shiva||AR Rahman|
|Tum Tak||Javed Ali, Keerthi Sagathia, Pooja Vaidyanath|
Singers : Shiraz Uppal, Jaswinder Singh
Hugely popular thanks to the promos, this one follows a pattern that is very inconsistent. The song opens with an aalap & the composition doesn’t follow a template neither it is clichéd. The singers bring out the best in them & deliver their best renditions till date. The entire song as well as the lyrics is high on energy with peppy arrangements. The arrangements have a classical touch in them & we can expect some dance moves on screen as well. Brilliant start !
Singers : Shreya Ghoshal, Anwesha Datta Gupta, Meenal Jain
Classical song – check. Flute, Sitar, Tabla – check. The resultant output is something untried in this genre. Shreya Ghoshal pulls off this song spectacularly well along with adequate vocal backings from Anwesha & Meenal. The interlude flute segment is something in a different league. Just shows the versatility of the composer that he can compose songs around both ends of the spectrum. And, you also get to hear some rare sarangi arrangements in this song. Don’t miss !
Singers : Sukhwinder Singh, KMMC Sufi Ensemble
The Jai Ho team is back ! “Piya Milenge” is a part classical, part contemporary track where Sukhwinder is in full form. The ‘piya milenge’ hook is very catchy. The chorus portions by the sufi ensemble give us that required qawwali touch. The lyrics get intense as the song progresses. Watch out for the chorus portions near the end of the song – stunning. Goosebumps all over !
Singers : Madhushree, Chinmayee, Vaishali, Aanchal Sethi
The thing that stands out in ‘Ay Sakhi’ – the lyrics by Irshad who uses plenty of wordplays & at the same time conveys what he intends to. This song boasts of some strong classical singing by Madhushree & Chinmayee. The ‘tyun tyun’ segment seemed unwanted. Definitely not in the same league as some other numbers in the album. Didn’t work for me !
Singers : Rashid Ali, Neeti Mohan
When it comes to delivering something out of the box without any prior indication, ask ARR. ’Nazar Laaye’ is a slow, pleasant rom-duet with relatively modern arrangements compared to the rest of the album. Neeti Mohan is a rockstar – no second thoughts. The way she eases through the song is one of the song’s high points.
Rashid Ali is not far behind & delivers a flawless rendition. My pick for a perfect evening song !
Tu Mun Shudi
Singers : A. R. Rahman, Rabbi Shergill
The real show-stealer ! ‘Tu Mun Shudi’ marks the return of Rahman to the good old ‘Dagga Lakka’ days from ‘Yuva’. This is a revolutionary song & yeah, the bass in this song is amazing. Unlike the usual ARR numbers, this one would be liked straightaway. The chorus part, beats, interlude arrangements are all top-notch. Rabbi makes his second outing with ARR post Challa & is fabulous as well. The shenai arrangements deserve a mention (The last time Rahman made such extended use of shenai was probably in Jodhaa Akbar, Swades). This one tops it all !
Aise Na Dekho
Singers : A. R. Rahman, Karthik
Jazz’s back ! ‘Aise Na Dekho’ shows traces of ARR from ‘Tu Bole’(Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na). We get to hear very little of Karthik here & it is fully ARR show rendering it in a sober, husky voice. The whistle interludes are lovely & despite reminding us of the earlier Rahman composition, it turns out to be one of the best tracks in the album.
Land of Shiva
‘The Land of Shiva’ lasts hardly over a minute & nothing can be comprehended from its short duration except the fact that it is loaded with chants, ’thaandav’ instruments to capture the essence of Benaras. Too short !
Singers : Javed Ali, Keerthi Sagathia, Pooja Vaidyanath
The album’s most expected number & it doesn’t disappoint us ! ‘Tum Tak’ is a poignant, semi-classical romantic track with fantastic vocals by Javed Ali & Keerthi Sagathia. Pooja Vaidyanath comes as a surprise package and despite singing along with two established singers, holds her own very well. And yeah, once again the shenai is found doing wonders. The final minute of the song is certainly the high point of the song. Highly innovative number !
To sum it up: Is it Rahman’s best album till date? NO. Is it a fabulous album ? YES. Is it better than Delhi 6, Swades, Rockstar ? No. Not at all. Is it this year’s best ? Guess we have to wait for that too ! The album suffers from being one dimensional(It has too many classically arranged songs that might not be liked by general audience).Most of the songs won’t be picked by listeners at first instance.But,the songs do grow(common ARR phenomenon). Yet, ’Raanjhanaa’ has an earthy feel attributed to it – something that could be regularly found in ARR’s earlier numbers. This album marks the return of Rahman to the roots(Lagaan, Zubeidaa). The classical folk genre hasn’t been tried in movies for quite some time and ARR pulls it off superbly. The choice of singers have been perfect and this album boasts of fantastic renditions from Sukhwinder Singh, Neeti Mohan, Shreya Ghoshal, Chinmayi, Rabbi Shergill, Javed Ali & many others. Sit back, listen & enjoy !
Picks of the album: Tu Mun Shudi, Nazar Laaye, Raanjhanaa, Aise Na Dekho, Tum Tak, Piya Milenge
Verdict: Load your playlists !