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Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack --- It Rocks!!

I'm pretty sure you've heard about Slumdog Millionaire.

If you haven't then I suggest you get out from under your rock and read the next line: Slumdog Millionaire is the film critics are raving about these days. This film is already being hailed as the 'Juno' of 2009.... infact many believe its even better!! The film is set to release in India in January 09. I can't wait for this movie to release, Infact, if quality torrents appear before the Indian launch, I'll even torrent it!! However the movie is all the more special for Indians since its soundtrack is composed by Indian Legend A.R. Rahman.

The soundtrack has gotten a Satellite award and is nominated for the Golden Globe as well. Trying to see if the soundtrack was actually up to its name,I decided to check out the tracks of the movie, and here's what I felt about them:

The album starts off with the song O..Saya, which has been performed by A R Rahman in collaboration with Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. The background is an African drum beat which sounds exactly like an Indian train running across a bridge. A Brilliant piece for the bass freaks, this song has loads of tribal elements in it, including whistles, shrieks and the like. A R and M.I.A complement each other brilliantly. This explosive track sets the pace of the album, and is a must hear if you're a fan of fast paced electronica music.

Following O..Saya is the song Riots which has an eerie feeling to it, very eerie, in fact I won't be surprised if RGV uses this track in his next scary film.

Next comes the mindblowing song Mausam & Escape. This song is absolutely unbelievable... a genre-defining Rahman track!! No one, in India or anywhere else, can pull off a song this complex with such dexterity. The oddly named song ( Mausam means climate!!) starts off slow but picks up speed brilliantly.The tracks starts off serenely with Rashid Ali and Sanjay Joseph plucking at the guitar but at about 40 seconds into the track it shifts the gear to overdrive and takes off on a crescendo of ridiculously thrilling Sitar plucks by Asad.

Then the album moves onto the M.I.A segment, with Paper Planes and the DFA remix of the same song. Paper Planes is, in my opinion, the best song of album. M.I.A. simply rocks!! The song has an amazingly original chorus (almost no vocals in the chorus!!) and everything in the song simply works!! M.I.A.'s breath is heard in quite a few places and this gives the song a very humanish feel. Seriously, rappers need to understand that breathing into the mike is not a bad thing in some cases!!

The DFA remix of the song, which has been used in some of the trailers of the movie, has a catchy feel to it, but slows down a bit too much for my liking towards the end with an unnecessary piano segment.

Following these rocking tracks comes the mindnumbingly stupid Ringa Ringa which is a neo version of Choli ke peeche kya hai, but sounds more like the background music of a bad Dantmanjan advert. This song makes you wonder if you've played a song from a different album by mistake... Its completely jarring!!

But the next song reminds you that you're definitely on the same album.... The song named Liquid Dance is another genre-definng (definite) smash hit. Its one of those sounds you've never heard before and probably never will again. An amazing piece of Indian Fusion music classical Indian vocals from Palakkad Sriram, this song gives me a high even after hearing it for the millionth time!!

Then comes Millionare, which is a fast racy track, which sounds OK-OK but is nothing to write home about, followed by the two slow tracks, Latiqa's Theme and Dreams On Fire, which feature Suzanne, who gives soulful vocals to these more-than-decent tracks.

Following these, comes Gangsta Blues, featuring Blaaze (Of BnB and Ban The Police fame) and Tanvi Shah. You don't really expect an Indian composer to do full justice to such a track but Rahman does a good slick job of it. Too bad that parts of it sound more like the Channel [V] Full On song more than a rap.

The album ends up with Jai Ho and Aaj Ki Raat, both composed by the trio of Shankar Ehsaan and Loy. Both these songs sound nice, but after listening to songs like Mausam & Escape, Paper Planes and Liquid Dance, you pretty much find these songs crappy.... but still better than Ringa Ringa!!

My Final verdict: With his latest international venture A.R Rahman has once again proved his ability to produce tracks which will make you go "woot woot woot!!". Being an Indian, I have known about A.R Rahman all along and am well aware of the musical genius in him. But most of the Western world are unfamiliar with this gem of a talent. I hope this soundtrack will change that.This is easily the best International work by Rahman and will go down in the history as one of the greatest soundtracks ever made. Rahman has many names- Mozart of Madras, Indian Timbaland, Musical Prophet- all of them agreeing on one thing- he is a musical genius who makes music on a level which is totally different from anyone else.

I'd buy the album even if it had only the tracks Paper Plane, Liquid Dance and Mausam & Escape. The addition of Gangsta Blues, Dreams On Fire, Latiqa's Theme and Paper Planes (DFA Remix) add to the CD's VFM.

A definite must buy, in my opinion

I rate this album 4.5/5

What about you??

5 comments :

Samantha said...

I watched the movie a few weeks back

It was amazing, my pick for movie of the year. Not Wall.E, not the Dark Knight, this is the one to watch!

its funny that such an "Indian" movie hasn't been released in India yet!

Navin Pai said...

whoa!! you're amazingly lucky Samantha

I've heard so much about the movie that I'm almost desperate to watch it!!

Anonymous said...

yeah man

completely agree

the music is awesome, totally Rahman

Navin Pai said...

I'd said I'd do it, and I did

I torrented the movie and watched it!!

It rocks!!

A review coming up soon!!

sumedha said...

still waiting for that review :)

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