Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jhootha Hi Sahi

Music: A.R.Rahman

There is talk that, post-Lagaan that Rahman, excels only in experimental music. As a follower of his music I sincerely believe Rahman’s output depends more on the director’s ability to create the picture for him than the milieu. After all he is not a magician to produce something out of thin air. Jhoota Hi Sahi is another example of that. The outline of the songs may sound very familiar and could even remind you of the director & composer’s previous collaboration. For instance ‘cry cry’ could very well stand in for ‘kabhi kabhi aditi', ‘call me dil’ for ‘kahin to’, ‘I’ll be waiting’ for ‘tu bole’; there is an offbeat dancer number here too which goes like ‘maiya yashoda’, apparently having a remix version too. But the similarity ends there for the novel factor to take control; and how it controls! It creates a time wrap where we are constantly subjected to pleasant surprises; and goose bumps too. Is it the soothing melody that these songs provides on the whole?

Jhoota Hi Sahi is the breeziest album of Rahman in recent time surpassing the melodic Vinnaithandi Varuvaya. It acts like Italian wine which goes in smooth and engulfs us like a slow poison. Take ‘cry cry’ for instance; when was the last time you heard African beats in a melody? The superior re-recording never lets you feel the hard hitting sound. Instead you hear the swift flow of violin and cello accompanied by the rustle of guitar. This being engaging at one level the attitude that Shreya brings to the song taking off from the sweet Rashid Ali elevates the songs to another level. ‘Maiya yashoda’ is not short of surprise either. The élan with which Chinmayi attains and shifts between different octaves keeps us hooked to the song which itself marches forward gradually to rapid pace as it heads towards the coda.

While ‘Maiya yashoda’ is a mixture of bajan and dhandhiya music, ‘hello hello’ is techo blue in its true sense. The swaying notes of violin which acts like an extension to the pleading tone of Karthick brings the songs alive, aided by the eerie telephonic sound that places itself aptly. The cadency of violin shifts to super flowing piano for ‘do nishaniyan’. Sonu Nigam at helm here guides this bitter sweet song through various levels of crescendos in both versions of the song.

True to its name, Shreya pops into the scene with ‘pam pam para’ in all gusto drawing inspiration from her ‘Latoo’. Her girlish energy is such overpowering that at times it feels like is she that good or the tune is such so? Guess this is what they mean by true singing. But why have they spoiled this wonderful song with poor sound output balancing of the chorus? Thankfully such mistakes don’t occur in ‘I’ll be waiting’, the best song of the album which is an ensemble of crème de la crème. Vijay Yesudas using the old charm of classic jazz, scores as high as the reach of moon and lands us in utopia. The paced down rendering of the motif which circumvents the pulsating notes of piano backed by trumpet is one of the high moments of this song. If ‘I’ll be waiting’ was romantic, ‘call me dil’ is a heart wrenching number. Rashid Ali like a pro, travels through the mood of this indie pop number and renders a gem of a song.

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