Blue

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Posted on September 11th, 2009 in Music Reviews

Oscar winning composer A R Rahman is back in Bollywood with his compositions for the upcoming underwater adventure Blue. The film with the tagline: “250 feet below is a treasure waiting to be discovered”, is something never seen before in Bollywood; especially with the many scenes filmed underwater. Blue is directed by Anthony D’Souza and stars Akshay Kumar, Zayed Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Lara Dutta. Rahman is known for making each OST different than the ones he has done before and with Blue he achieves that yet again.

Supporting the maestro are ace screenwriters Abbas Tyrewala and Mayur Puri, as well as Sukhwinder Singh and Raqueeb Alam, who each contributed lyrics. Some of the best singers in the business participated, including Sukhwinder Singh, Rashid Ali, Sonu Nigam, Udit Naryan, Madushree and Shreya Ghosal. So, does Rahman create something special? Read on to find out if the music sings, or sinks and goes glub glub!

The beginning of Aaj Dil Gustakh Hai has that trademark Rahman-ness of new sounds put together in a cool way and this track imbibes that with its new agey sounds that are very hip! The music changes to something completely different with the joining of singers Sukhwinder Singh and Shreya Ghosal. A very fast paced number, both singers sound great, but somehow the music does not seem to match the lyric phrasing. In fact, it sounds a bit discordant, there are too many sounds, too much going on in the background. Plus, with the echo effect added to their voices at the mixing board, it makes it even harder to listen to. This is proved at about 4:00 into the song, when the music is pared down a bit with Sukhwinder’s voice, and I really noticed the change and how much better I liked it. Not one of my favorite Rahman songs. I think if he kept in the same new agey mood that he began with and had in the middle change-up, the song would have been better.

Bhoola Tujhe is a gorgeous song that you must listen to and add to your Bollyfavs playlist. There is lovely violin beginning with beautiful melody. The song transforms to a more popish ballad with a gorgeous acoustic guitar line. Rashid Ali is outstanding on the track; he gives such feeling in every note he sings. The background music grows to a full orchestral piece that enhances the great guitar and then the addition of the trumpet is a high note in true Rahman style. This is Rahman at his best, music with such a full sound it fills you up – from the first note to the last it is just music to the ears and soul. So far, my favorite song on the OST.

A very modern track, the Blue Theme has a hard hitting beat and vocal, that I am sure will match up to the action that is going on onscreen. Lots of different voices are heard on the track including Blaaze, Raqueeb Alam, Sonu Kakkar, Neha Kakkar, Jaspreet Singh and Dilshad and they all have a fantastic inflection that adds to the strong beat of the song. There is also quite a mix of styles that range from new age, to hip-hop, to club and some Bhangra thrown in the pot as well. This song has a new sound, and I think onscreen it will definitely add to the coolness factor! If you have seen the promo, the boys, Zayed, Sanjay and Akshay, are playing on their jet skis and the music just matches it perfectly!

I am sure you have heard that Australian hit singer and Bollywood newcomer Kylie Minogue is performing the item number Chiggy Wiggy in Blue. She has a great voice and an amazing range. This is a very Western club song with a fab sound and cool beats. I’m not sure I’m into the ‘chiggy wiggy wid you’ lyric, but the sound is really wicked. (How do you chiggy wiggy, anyway? I guess we will see in the film!) To bring in the Indian flavor and get Akshay moving in the number is Sonu Nigam. He sounds great, and Rahman mixed the two styles and voices very well. I think Rahman again tried to push too many instruments and notes: it gets a bit overwhelming and takes away from the singing and also the enjoyment of the song. Overall a great beat, but by the end, I wanted to turn it down, not up.

Originally supposed to be performed by Farhan Akhtar, Fiqrana has instead Vijay Prakash at the mic and he sounds terrific. Rahman has a good mix and match of voices, music and beats, with a new age vibe that works and gives a cool, fresh feel to the song. Shreya Ghosal is heard again, she has such a lovely voice and it shines in her sections. The music is good, but maybe relied a little too heavily on the synth drumbeats. I would have loved to hear an old school drum set. Rahman comes up with a song that has a new sound and it is good. Amazing? No… but good. I think this one will play really well within the film!

Rehnuma is another slow song sung by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal. It has a jazz influence to the music in the beginning but then it transforms to more full orchestral number, while retaining its ballad-ness. Shreya Ghosal is wonderful; she gives the song the voice it needs with her range, her emotion, and her amazing talent. The music reminded me somewhat of a Bond theme in parts and feel. Sonu Nigam is right there as well, though I don’t feel the music matched him as well as it did Shreya. It develops into a very complex song musically and it’s wonderful. Rahman really is amazing at adding the orchestral movements to take the song up to something more. Very dramatic and very good!

Yaar Mila Tha is very Indian in voice and beat but it also channels a hip-hop vibe. With Madhushree and Udit Narayan, these two marvelous singers are of course top notch and make the song with their energy and classic voices. A very peppy beat in both music and vocal. I did not love the extra more modern vocal, but it did not detract either. Many will say it is their fav on the album but for me it’s just a fine song with amazing singers and worth a spin!

When you see AR Rahman listed as music director you know to expect something new and special. With Blue, he definitely lived up to the new sound, but I think he tried a bit too hard to make it that way and overdid it a bit. You have to admire his arrangements and, of course, the singers’ performances, but this OST misses the boat just a bit. I really liked ‘Rehnuma’ and ‘Fiqrana’, but besides loving ‘Bhoola Tujhe’, I was a bit disappointed. This album is very situational and I think seen in the context of Blue and in the feeling of the film, it will play brilliantly. It is A R Rahman, so of course, you have to hear it for yourself. So, give it a try – it may float your boat!

Our Rating:

Kuch Toh Bolo!

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