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Rang De... has a recipe for youth

The music has its flaws, and is definitely not AR's best, writes Monalisa Sengupta.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 19:46 IST
Monalisa Sengupta (
Monalisa Sengupta (

After a spate of period movies, A R Rahman is back to what he is 'supposedly' best at— creating music for the youth.

And Rang De Basanti's music has all the ingredients for a 'young' recipe— a peppy bhangra, a rebel anthem, a coming of age song, and a dash of maternal instinct.

There's also plenty in store for the fans of Rahman-the singer. The music director has lent his voice for almost every other track.

High spirits

The album begins on a spiritual note, with the Gurbani Ik Onkaar. Sung by Harshdeep Kaur this one is a treat for those with an ear for devotional songs or otherwise.

After the sombre opening, the soundtrack literary blasts off with the winner title track, Rang De Basanti. Bhangra king Daler Mehendi is at his boisterous best, as Rahman infuses an infectious rhythm into the song.

The annoying Dingadingading just keeps buzzing in your head after a few hears. Chithra too joins in the party, as the music director gives Bhangra music a whole new lease from its overused pop-rock avatar.

Next comes the rock 'n' rollish Paathshala. Naresh Iyer and Mohamed Aslam croon this obvious but lighthearted rebel anthem, with lyrics that spell out as much. This one's a fun song with a lot of nonsensical lyrics from Prasoon Joshi, while Blaze adds his signature rap to the song's second version.

The coming-of-age number, Rubaru is yet another winner ably delivered by Rahman and Naresh Iyer. The music director's lilting breakout cry of Rubaru, roshni hai is a definite high.

Some lows

Madhushree, of Kabhi neem neem (Yuva) and Hum hain is pal (Kisna) fame, voices Tu bin bataye—a soft romantic ballad. But the song's tempo is too low to hold attention, and even Rahman's crescendo fails to save it. Its simple melody and mellow composition make it a tad too boring, and you may just get tempted to skip it.

Khalbali has Rahman singing in Arabic style, along with Aslam and Nacim. It's a great number for some groovy belly-dancing, but the lyrics, or rather the lack of them disappoints in this six-minute-long track.

Khoon Chala is a controlled yet powerful song with Strings singer Mohit Chauhan voicing some intense lyrics. The next track, Luka Chuppi captures Lata Mangeshkar's maternal instincts well, while the 'disobedient son' Rahman makes up for the 'mother's minor lapses' with his own amazing rendition.

Lalkar is the only misfit in the album. A husky and low- pitched Aamir Khan rendering a poetic sonnet in a music album will appeal only to the actor's die-hard fans.

Will it grow?

As the cliche goes, Rahman's music is like old wine, it just gets better with each h(y)ear. Rang De Basanti is no instant nirvana, but if you're look for musical salvation, keep hitting the rewind button.

The music director's last three period flicks, Kisna, Mangal Pandey and Netaji Subhash Bose: The Forgotten Hero, failed to make much of an impact, primarily because of the movies' poor box office performances.

Rang De Basanti's music has its flaws, and is definitely not the maestro's best. But what Rahman needs most now is a hit film, so that his music is heard. Because only then will it get a chance to grow on you!

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 19:46 IST