A. R. Rahman Blue Review

Released 2009.  

BBC Review

A fantastic follow up to Slumdog Millionare.

Steve Chatha 2009

The Mozart of Madras has upgraded to Global Music God after the roaring success of Slumdog Millionaire, all ears eagerly awaiting Oscar winner A.R. Rahman’s next soundtrack.
 
Blue is an out-and-out commercial flick – a point to be kept in mind when listening to the soundtrack. Rahman seems to be having fun here, but nowhere does he compromise on quality.

The album kicks off with the Marmite track of the year, Chiggy Wiggy. Vocalist Kylie Minogue’s seductive style infused with Sonu Nigam’s bhangra works, but not instantly. But, given spins enough, the track will surely prove a big hit with fans of the pop princess.

The subsequent stylistic transition is abrupt, but sets the tone for the incredible fusion of jazz and classical Indian with tribal chants in Aaj Dil Ghustakh Hai. Sukhwinder Singh and Shreya Ghoshal excel here, almost outdoing one another in their vocal brilliance.

Fiqrana’s unpredictability bounces from soft rock to Qawwali, altering styles just as you try to categorise it. It’s an interesting track, yet it doesn’t quite take off.

007 and Destiny’s Child drop by to make their presences felt on Rehnuma and Yaar Mila Tha respectively – the music is original, of course, yet the inspiration is hard to ignore.

Yaar Mila Tha soon gives way to an Arabic beat with playful lyrics sung by Madhushree and Udit Narayan. The latter last appeared on the What’s Your Rashee? soundtrack, and it’s a pleasure to hear him again. Rehnuma, meanwhile, is a bona-fide killer track. Easily one of Rahman’s most impressive compositions, it has a James Bond-goes-jazz feel to it, with scintillating vocals by Shreya Ghoshal. Sadly, though, the talents of Nigam seem to fade into the background.

The title track is a powerful number, with Blaaze trading rapping for singing, performing alongside Raqeeb Alam, Sonu Kakkar and Jaspreet Singh. It’s an unconventional track which would sit easily on an Asian Underground album and another of Rahman’s fantastic theme songs.

Let’s just hope that the film matches up to this brilliant musical treat from Rahman, a fantastic follow up to Slumdog Millionare.

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