AR Rahman has been doing a lot of experimentation in his albums since he has won the Oscars. Rockstar, Raanjhana and the latest Highway were full of experiments. Specially, Highway was an overdose of experiments. The composer made it so heavy that it became uneasy for an ordinary listener to carry the tunes with him. It is also rare for the composer to be seen with two albums back to back within a month gap. Kochadaiiyan, the movie which is in news for a while, has Rajnikanth in an animated role. It is India’s first of its kind. So, obviously Rahman was expected to experiment with its music, but surprisingly he has kept it sweet and simple. Yes, sweet and simple, a very rare combo for him.
(Note: The album Kochadaiiyan is orginally composed and written in Tamil and is being translated for Hindi speaking listeners. The original lyrics is penned by Vairamuthu and Vaalee. The Hindi lyrics has been written by Irshad Kamil, Raqueeb Alam and Mehboob)
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Music: AR Rahman; Music Label: Eros Music
1. Aye Jawaan – Singers: AR Rahman, AR Raihanna; Lyrics: Mehboob
It’s two ARs singing the song together. No, not to be confused with that pop singer Rihanna. Raihanna is Rahman’s sister and mother of the music composer GV Prakash Kumar. Her vocals, particularly in this song, sounds stunning. She has not much role but whatever she got, sounded awesome in that. Often you have heard Rahman singing a soulful track. Here, he has attempted a different kind of track which is not niche` to his vocals. But what an incredible singing he has done! Marvelous! And what level of percussion has been used! It is vivacious. It will sound GRAND in theaters!
2. Dil Chaspiya – Singers: Arijit Singh, Jonita Gandhi; Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Jonita’s vocal sounds too poor to give a good efficient start. As Arijit begins, everything comes into place. It stats with mild Rahman-ish Piano. The outstanding use of Tabla, Mrindangam and Matka create an old Rahman flavor. Mridangam actually resembles to that of Saawariya from Swades. Everybody was waiting for Arijit to sing for Rahman and when he actually did, the song witnessed an undying beauty. Interlude Violins and a systematic chorus increase its worth. It’s a soft romantic track with traditional Indian beauty and something which Rahman hasn’t composed for years.
3. Bol De – Singer: Javed Ali; Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
This song will make every Rahman fan proud. Again incredible percussion! I didn’t like the first line as it is too dramatic to be digested but since it’s for an animated film, apt! Now, the best line is the line crooned by splendid chorus Badlaav zindagi mein soch se hi aayega. What a beautiful catchy line which makes you feel that you are listening to something precious. After listening multiple times, you actually would start crooning it and I bet you would love to do that! Lyrically this song is a gem! It’s a king of inspirational tracks. Specially the lines said in the dialogue form are full of enthusiasm and practicality. I don’t know whether Irshad Kamil just translated the Tamil lyrics or he has added his creation. The orchestra that Rahman used in the dialogues in the heavy trenching voice of Rajnikanth, is phenomenal! In the end, we hear a classical rhythm section played with sincerity. One of the most melodious inspirational tracks! Something to proud of!
4. Vaada Vaada (Female) / Vaada Vaada (Male): Singer: Shashaa Tirupati / Karthik; Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Though it would have sounded superb in the voice of Shreya Ghoshal but Sashaa Tirupati who have sung in few film albums, have crooned it nicely. The first line struck me immediately being resembled with the line Gin paayega unke gun koi kya, itne shabd hi kahaan hain from the old Rahman song Pal Pal Hai Bhaari (Swades). Here, he has used Shehnaayi/Naadaswaram in the typical way along with Thavil in percussion. A mild Manjeera like sound is continuously played resulting it to be a masterpiece arrangement. While both the versions are exactly same, I personally prefer the female one as the melody is more suitable for the female voice. Swades, Lagaan, Taal wala Rahman is back!
5. Mera Gham – Singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Javed Ali; Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
It is the most classically oriented composition of the album. Shreya’s part is more free from instrument and Javed’s part has plenty of percussion which give the song a multi directional approach. Shreya brings this near-to-perfect composition perfectionism and Javed aptly supports her vocals being soothing throughout the track. It starts and ends in a similar way with Shreya’s off-instrumental vocals. The end, in particular is very well given a base with Taanpura and finally ends with a bell. Ting! Height of impressiveness!
6. Thandav – Singer: Chorus; Lyrics: Raqueeb Alam
Heavy use of percussion has been done, giving it an adorable rhythm. Rahman has always been excellent in managing his chorus, be it Ghanan Ghanan or Azeem-O-Shaan Shehenshah. It, I guess, must be an integral part of the background score and it deserves to get a place in the soundtrack as it’s a brilliant effort by the whole Rahman team. Will surely be a rich experience for the movie goer.
7. Rana’s Dream – Instrumental
It is again a part of the background score. It has been played by the London Sessions Orchestra. Flute with different brass instruments blended with the string section so well and they crossover each other beautifully as railway tracks do (a weird comparison though). You are gonna have a great time in theater.
8. Aaya Khwaab Ka Mausam- Singer: Raghav Mathur; Lyrics: Raqueeb Alam
Finally the first single release originally named as Engae Pogudho Vaanam is again a wonderful example for the use of heavy percussion. It was released in October last year and received great response. I would recommend you to listen the Tamil version as the Hindi version sounds very odd and the lyrics seem to be not fitted perfectly. Also, the Tamil Version has SP Balasubrahmanyam which is itself a delight to listen and also makes a huge difference from any other singer’s voice. It sounds like a war song and AR has created it showing his immense understanding of every kind of situation. A not-so-good translation makes it ordinary in Hindi but incredible in Tamil.
Kochadaiiyan is one of those few soundtracks which has the potential to live through generations. It’s a Tamil movie and therefore the songs originally are in Tamil but it’s good that they released the songs in Hindi and Telugu too to reach to wider listeners throughout India. Translating lyrics is one of the toughest job and lyricist always try to avoid this job due to the fear that they might go wrong. Swanand Kirkire made a huge regret for doing the translation of Robot songs. I don’t think Irshad Kamil would ever regret for this work because he has done a commendable job. Songs translated by him have words that beautifully blended with the tune and has not a single moment of oddness in them. AR Rahman, after a very long time, has composed songs like these which have traditional Indian melody and are far away from western music. Rahman kept his fusion mania far away from him, gave tunes which creates deja-vu experience and did things which he is known for.
The Final Verdict: AGREE (Not to be included in Musical Sameekshaa Awards – Originally a Tamil album)
The Verdict Order: DISAGREE < NOT A PROBLEM < OKAY POSSIBLE < AGREE