Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jodha Akbar Music Review

Huh !! Finally Jodha Akbar's audio has hit the stands. I believe it got delayed in India for some reason. However Sony has released it worldwide and believe me, it was totally worth the wait. After listening to all the songs including instrumentals, I feel there can be only two words that would be apt to describe the album -Pure and Eternal.

Ashutosh and AR Rahman combo has got another winner in this album. Its got 5 songs and 2 instrumentals all of which are class apart and beautiful in their own terms. There was a time when I felt only Mani Ratnam knew how to extract brilliant music from the Musical Wizard. With the arrival of Lagaan that view changed and I was very happy that ARR had got another good director who has a very good ear for music and who appreciates good soulful music. In Jodha Akbar we get to hear ARR in his best creative form who's taken his own time in coming up with some extraordinary music for yet another period film. I didn't just want to write a review, rather I wanted to share the musical experience of Jodha Akbar, because not so often we come across albums like these. So here it is..


The album opens with Azeem o shaan shehenshaah. Right when you hear the sounds of horn followed by the thumping sound of drums, you get transported musically to the era which you've only witnessed in history books. In no time the blood starts to gush inside your veins and you feel like going with the crowd Azeem o shaan shehanshah Farmaan awaah..hamesha hamesha salaamat rahe.. Just when you are already captivated by the mukhda and the very catchy chorus chan chanananana line in the antara and want to keep hearing it again and again, you are grabbed and put right in the middle of battlefield where you hear clanging sounds of swords which form the interlude. Everything about this song is so perfect, so grand, so appropriately placed, in other words so Rahmanesque. Its just amazing how Rahman brilliantly matches his music with the essence of the situation, the idea, the thought and the event of Glorifying Emperor Akbar... a composition which even Akbar would be proud of. Marhaba..O..Marhaba...

We all have heard innumerous melodies offlate. Very easy on ears, quite understandable in the first hearing, and immediately on our lips. But Rahman reminds us every now and then that melodies can also be complex, unconventional and yet be scintillating and pleasant to hear. In Lamhon ke is one of those compositions. Its a mesmerizing song sung both beautifully and soulfully by Sonu Nigam, who's for sure reserved a nomination this year. If the first song was about people singing praises to Akbar, this one goes a bit further by digging into the heart and mind of Akbar and his realization of Love...hmmm Ishq hai saari hawaaon mein...The antara portions induce lot of goosebumps with the high crescendo regions and the intoxicating choral renditions..and then arrives Madhushree with her nightingale voice..the way she sings can be best described like a painting...a painting of a river..a free flowing river that meanders happily and ends up in a lake...where everything comes to a standstill..and then we hear Sonu whispering to us...
Mere khwabon ke is gulistaan mein, tumsehi tum bahaar chaayi hai ..
phoolon mein rang mere the lekin, inme khushbu tumhi se aayi hai...
a moment of absolute bliss. I don't want anything more from this album. I've got it all in this one song. The song where you get filled with peace and harmony and Javed saab drowns you in his poetic ocean. A mellifluous number which would be remembered for a long time.

The first thing we notice when we hear the next song Jashn e bahara is Javed Ali's laid back casual singing style. I couldn't believe he's the same guy who earlier sung another chartbuster song "Kajra re". After this song, I'm sure he'll be placed on par with other top singers of our country. Credit goes to none other than ARR for bringing out the best from him. This is a lilting melody and an instantly appealing song. It brings with it a whiff of fresh air. Javed Akhtars lyrics are top notch here. Give close hearing and you'll observe intricate details and brilliance throughout the song, various layers with different instruments producing pleasing sounds. All put together very carefully by Rahman who manages quite effortlessly to produce a beautiful romantic melody. A strong contender for the song of the year.

Later in this album we also have an instrumental of the same song with Naveen's flute replacing Javed Ali's vocals. Notice closely and you'll find that the entire song is not just played with one flute. Both the antaras have different flutes used, I guess to break the monotonous feel, and it works pretty well. A very soothing melody, the power of which you can only realize when you switch off all lights in your room and give it a hear. An amazing instrumental.

The next song is a spiritual qawwali number Khwaja mere Khwaja written by Kashif. ARR's already proved that he's the undisputable king when it comes to spiritual numbers with songs like Piya Haji Ali and Zikr. With Khwaja mere Khwaja, he's added one more to the list. Throughout the song he does some great rendition moving easily from ultra mild to high pitches. The mukhda part is extremely catchy and the entire song is backed strongly by one instrument, tabla, the sound of which is crisp and vibrant. The arrival of Oboe instrument in the interlude signals a serious moment which we might only understand when we watch the movie. Its a number which truly belongs to Rahman.

The album also comes with Khwaja mere Khwaja instrumental version which surprisingly sounds very different from the vocal version. Oboe instrument dominates the full song with subtle orchestration in the background. Parts of the song reminded me of the Bose theme, but that might also be due to the instrument itself. The whole song has a mystic feel to it and its a song which one can hear in repeat mode. I just wished it was a bit more longer. Brilliant, just brilliant instrumental.

Ashutosh - ARR combo album is incomplete with a bhajan song. And so we have Mann Mohana which surprisingly has a very rich orchestration in its interludes for a devotional number elevating the song to higher levels. The song also has a haunting melody which takes time to sink in. For me its few levels above his older devotional numbers like Pal Pal hai bhari and O Palanhare. The orchestration with flute tune still reverberates in my ears even after I finish listening to this song. Believe me...give it sometime and you'll get submerged in this song. Special mention has to be made on new singer Bela Shende who's sung this song very passionately.

And so the album ends on a strong note, with all the tracks being gems, with every track having an identity being the best possible song in its own category. Not often do people make movies such as Jodha Akbar in India. And for that I really respect Ashutosh in coming up with this movie in which he's invested a lot of time, money and effort. To compose music for such a film needs lot of dedication, imagination, research and understanding of directors vision and Rahman pulls it off with great élan. I can't imagine anyone else coming up with such a score which not only compliments the movie so well, also raises the bar for Ashutosh to make the visuals even more enticing. And for that reason alone this album truly deserves 5 stars. I think a lot more is in store for us when we actually witness the movie, in the form of BGM.

Every year starts with a Rahman's album which goes on to grabs numerous awards. By taking historical facts into account and adding Rahman's consistency and his dependability factor, I think he's got it this year as well. Also going by the hype and the promos with music, I have a strong feeling Jodha Akbar is going to be a classic film. I hope Ashutosh doesn't disappoint me. I don't have to specifically mention that this is a must have album or its better than this and better than that...Here's the fact -

There is good music, there is great music and then there is AR Rahman's music.

Do I have to say more ??? Go grab your CD right away...

22 comments:

Ganesh said...

Absolutely Right, and Devine music,for me ARR is god, his music always brings me up from depression and makes me happy, And that is what we go to temple..to get mental peace.. good review

Anonymous said...

Hi Sirish, I was quite sure that the Gowarikar-ARR combo would deliver its magic. But as a hardcore Rahmaniac, I was so happy to see your review. I am betting big on Jodha Akbar as one of the most important Indian films in recent times. This might be ARR's crowning glory. Rahman Tujhe Salaam.

Vijay Srinivas
Delhi

Anonymous said...

well awesome music from the legend himself.
But I think this kinda music wont be very popular with the masses, but this ones surely a master piece...

ganesh said...

review buddy......as if u heard wat is in my heart.....

rahman rocks to the core......

Anonymous said...

great review buddy.....as if u heard wat is pondering in my heart.,...

hail rahman.....

u rock........

- S i R i S h - said...

Thanks for all your comments guyz...i agree with u ganesh. ARR's music always brought some kind of a hope in me..some happiness..his music isnt like wat we listen to car for sometime and then when another music comes, we let go of it...its ever-lasting. I too hope this movie would be ARR's crowning glory Vijay..I hope it won't be Mangal Pandey type where songs were placed badly.
I also read Indiafm's review, and I have to say that Jogindher has no musical sense whatsoever. I can't believe he said Swades wasn't upto the mark and gave JA 2 stars while for Umrao Jaan he gave 5 stars. They should ban him from the site. How can a man with no musical knowledge be allowed to judge someone's music ??? Its ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Good review from Sirish..........
NATIONAL AWARD for this year should be given to ARR

Anonymous said...

I would say hats off to u Mr.Sirish for spending so much time writing this excellent review.. Gud Luck !!!

Sridhar said...

Your review is pretty good and detailed, better than the one I wrote bro.

rav lee said...

Hi Sirish, all I can say is that your review is as awesome as the music of Jodha Akbar itself.

Anish said...

Good review man ...

rahul.smallworld said...

First of all thanks for the review.A very good review for an excellent music by ARR.E-Baharaa song has touched my heart and i heard this song more than 100 times and i am still hearing this song white penning this comment.I bet this song will get him the best male singer award as well as the best music award.Lets wait for the film and see what they have to give us.Anyways the songs will make up if there are any void in the picture.

katrina said...

Dear,Friend
Jodhaa-Akbar is a forthcoming period film, to be released in 2008. It is being directed and produced by

Ashutosh Gowariker, the director of Oscar-nominated Lagaan.The film centers around the romance between

the Muslim Mughal Emperor.
Please visit for more detail
http://desidirectory.com/desi-indian-blogs/

faiz basha said...

Hi Everyone,
Rahman agains proves that he is the best when it comes to any form of Music.He is a genius.All the tracks are exceptionally good.Jashn-E-Bahaara is the best..Hats off to the legend-A.R.Rahman.

katrina said...

Dear,Friend
Jodhaa Akbar is a love story between the Mughal emperor, Akbar

(Hrithik Roshan), and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai

Bachchan) during the sixteenth century. With great power and

balance of strenght and wit, Emperor Akbar soon extended his

empire to extend from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal, and from

the Himalayas to the Godavari River.
Please Visit For More Detail
http://www.desidirectory.com/desi-indian-blogs/

Binoy said...

The music was OK on the international scale, to be honest. Far from being a masterpiece..Far from awesome... I also noted hints of music from other movies blended in, among others.... "Gandhi"...

The movie attempts to be historical but misses by a mile..

carked mind said...

Great review Shirish. This album truly deserves 5 stars. Wonder how that nut(Joginder from indiafm.com) gave this only 2 stars. He's totally insane.
Music of JA is very soulful and melodic. The fantastic orchestra,arrangement add more to it. The singer choices has been very unique. New voice for every song. "Mann Mohanna" is my favourite..it's so haunting..u really sink into that song after 2-3 hearings..

Pranay Meshram

Anonymous said...

excellent music by ARR and good review. In my opinion Sonu would have done a better job for the song Jashn-e-Bahaara. I don't think that Javed Ali was a good choice for this song...you can feel the effort he made to sing the higher notes...and also could not give that feeling which can touch your heart!

- S i R i S h - said...

ARR had mentioned in his interview that he was looking for a fresh voice...a new voice for a song in JA and then he came across Javed Ali. I thought his voice was very refreshing for the song. But again it might also be the tune which always manages to bring a smile on my face :)...good work on picturisation too..

Anonymous said...

I didn't like the music when it was released even wehn my most "trusted friend(s)" told me it's great. But, now, after watching the movie, I'm telling..ARR is a genius and i'm completely into the songs of JA in repeat mode. I read "that nut(Joginder from indiafm.com)" 's comment after refering him in the comments here,it's high time they rename that site/article to rubbish. Excellent review Sirish. I just couldn't help myself from not expressing this somewhere... ARR is a real genius

Anonymous said...

Hi Sirish,

Totally agree with you... beautiful songs... just started listing today... i am totally into it now...wow...
ARR Rocks

- S i R i S h - said...

JA songs are going to have a lasting appeal man. I still can't get over Jashn e bahara song...it still sounds so fresh in my head