With a tag line like “Music Binds Love”, it is easy to surmise that Subhash Ghai’s new film, Yuvvraaj, has music at the core of the story, so the soundtrack had to play an important part in the film. Ghai went with the master of soundtracks A. R. Rahman and the master of lyrics Gulzar to create the symphony for his film, and symphony it is. In fact, the sound engineer Shridar said, “I think it’s going to rock, well orchestrate … It’s going to reach a lot of people … and touch their minds and souls.” It certainly does orchestrate, with nearly every track being backed up by the magnificent Chennai String Orchestra. There are some truly incredible tracks, but there are also some that missed the mark when it came to the music played on top of the orchestrations. Read on to find out what I mean.
One of the most iconic pieces of classical music is Symphony Number 5 by Beethoven. For Main Hoon Yuvvraaj, Rahman combined parts of that glorious orchestral piece with a voiceover by Salman Khan. Interesting concept, but why? Maybe the film will show us.
Benny Dayal, singer of the hit ‘Pappu Can’t Dance’, is heard in a totally new avatar on Tu Meri Dost Hain. He is wonderful on this song; in fact all the performances on this track are outstanding. Shreya Ghoshal was the perfect voice to sing this piece – she owns the song. Near the end, when you think the vocals are perfect, A. R. Rahman lends his voice to the track and adds yet another layer of wonderfulness. The vocal spectrum beginning the song is gorgeous and meanders in and out throughout the song. But it is the music that must be talked about on this track: the melody line is just gorgeous, the music is truly, ravingly remarkable, a symphony on its own. I loved it so much I wished for an instrumental version to play as well. A brilliant composition!
A lovely string section begins Tu Muskura, but then a more western beat comes in and the underlying synthesizer is too much. The incredible voice of Alka Yagnik is heard on this track and in the beginning her voice does not mix very well with that underlying synth beat. Fortunately, there is a musical change up with a great guitar and orchestra section and the synthesizer line disappears more into the background. Then, the wonderful instrumentation of Rahman shines through, and you can hear the beauty of Alka Yagnik’s voice. There is an amazing sa re ga ma vocal line by Javed Ali that also stands out. The song grows in its musical depth and just gets better as it goes. Rahman really is amazing with his musical arrangements. So get past that first minute and you will be very glad!
Mastam Mastam is full of voices including Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Naresh Iyer and Benny Dayal. Nigam stands out as lead vocal; he sings with such great inflection. Several awesome backbeat parts were great, and the fab male chorus and very, very cool interlude dazzle. The percussion section was amazing as well. Like ‘Tu Muskura’, the song gets even better as it goes. By the end, it seems to be a huge celebration song. I am very curious to see what will be happening on the screen while this song plays. Sadly though, by the end, the song lets you down which never is a good thing. I think it will work more in the context of the film.
A lyrical piano line begins Dil Ka Rishta and then the music transforms to a strong orchestral line that is wonderful, but the song falters in its arrangement. There are at least three, maybe four, styles of music that are very distinct within the song. I would love to have had each section as a separated song and I would have given each a good review, but together and changing so much, it just does not work as a cohesive whole. You just get used to one sound and it then it becomes a totally different set of notes. The track has a huge cast of singers including Sonu Nigam, Roop Kumar Rathod, A. R. Rahman, with Clinton, Suzaane, Vivianne Pocha, Naresh, Benny Dayal, and Blaaze on backup. Again each singer’s piece is performed wonderfully, but they do not mesh either. There are also quite a few English lyrics that, though not senseless (as is the latest trend), they certainly did not seem to fit. Overall, the song fails to appeal because there are way too many sounds, way too many different styles, and they never seem to be come together to make one good song.
Shano Shano with Sonu Nigam, Srinivas, Karthik, Timmy, Sunaina, Vivianne Pocha, and Tina is the sole dance track on the album. It is a very R&B flavored track with some serious electronica. A total get your groove on track. Being a bit picky (but that is my job!) the lyrics and vocals at the beginning are quite annoying. But then it settles down into the chorus that is quite good. The song gets better as it moves along, and parts of it definitely will make you want to get to the floor like the lyrics suggest. It has got some bad points but some good so give it a try.
The Shano Remix featuring Ember is a completely different song, and I think I liked it better because it had a cooler sound and mixed the various sections together in a more cohesive way. It has a hard rap section – if that is your thing you will really like it. It has a good groove so definitely give this remix a listen, not a skip.
Vijay Prakash, recently heard on Ru Bu Ru, does a great job on the vocal for Manmohini Morey. He especially makes his mark on the “scat” sections of the song. The song had flaws, and one was the combination of his more classical singing and the modern beats. The synth beats were also very stock and never changed, which grew tedious, and they did not fit with the notes he was singing and in parts it made the song discordant. A hit vocally, but a miss musically.
Zindagi Zindagi is a simple song that makes you say “ahhhh” after all the sounds of the last few tracks. Sometimes unembellished is better! Srinivas is wonderful and his voice has such a splendid tone. This shows Rahman’s prowess at combining a superb vocal line with most excellent music to make a great song. Loved the cello line running throughout this song – my favorite on the album. Give this one a listen and then put it on replay.
Since the film does center around music, I had very high expectations before listening to Yuvvraaj, especially since I thought that there would be a strong orchestral element running through the songs. In the end, I was very impressed with the orchestration – it was superb! However, overall some of the songs did disappoint and some were wonderful so I struggled with what my final rating should be. Finally, I decided that the album was a 3 but added an extra 0.5 for the magnificent orchestral arrangements. I imagine that this is one album that, after seeing the film and perhaps even after a few listens, will grow to a 4 so be sure to check it out! Yuvvraaj is scheduled for release on November 21st.