Rockstar OST – Album review

3 Nov


Rockstar is actually quite an amazing album with a few standout songs. Just don’t go expecting a rock album and you won’t be disappointed.

It is unanimously accepted that ‘Bombay’ was Rahman’s best work. That film had music that was not heard of before in Bollywood and went on sell over 12 million records. Over the years he has established him as the best musician out of India in recent times and he has strengthened that by winning the Oscars(though the soundtrack was not that great) and composing great music for films like Saathiya, Rang De Basanti, Guru, Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na and Jodhaa Akbar. So where does the Rockstar soundtrack stand in comparison to these?

We all get different images when we think of the term ‘Rockstar’ and the songs that would fit this term. The term is more to do with the attitude and the lifestyle rather than rock music per se. Cause apparently Sanjay Dutt is termed as a rockstar though he really can’t play any music in real life. So probably when A.R Rahman was sitting down to compose the music for Rockstar he wanted to make music to personify the life of a musician over a decade. He probably wanted each song to depict some part of his(Jordan) life and mental state. And he has done that quite well.

The album opens with Phir Se Ud Chala’ which picks up slowly but  comes into its own with Mohit Chauhan rattling off the verses. There’s this constant lute(?) playing in the background which adds a nice texture to the song. A decent start to the album.

Kun Faaya Kun

Jo Bhi Main

Jo Bhi Main‘ is my favourite track on the CD. It starts off with a simple guitar melody and the crowd echoing Ranbir’s(Mohit’s) words. It is a simple straight up romantic ballad but Rahman makes sure there is just a bit of guitars thrown in to not make it too soft.

‘Katiya Karun’ is as unlike a Rahman song can be and probably something the album could have done without but maybe it adds to the film. This is Punjabi song sung by Harshdeep Kaur with typical Punjabi beats. You expect it to reach a crescendo which it never does because it goes down a notch in between. I don’t like the song, but that ‘Tinga Linga Linga’ part is irritatingly catchy

‘Kun Faaya Kun’ is one of the songs where Rahman lends his voice along with Javed Ali and Mohit Chauhan. It is a Sufi song on the lines of ‘Khwaaja’ from Jodhaa Akbar but with more of tabla. At 8 mins, it is the longest one on the album. A good choice to hear on a calm silent morning.

‘Sheher Mein’ is a totally fun song that depicts a song being recorded. The ‘producer’ has amazing dialogues in between the song – “Lyrics toh dhoom macha dega UP Bihar mein” and ‘Ahaha kya ringtone banega’. ‘Hawaa Hawaa’ has a flamenco beat to it and instantly reminds you of the Darling song in 7 Khoon Maaf. You can imagine Ranbir getting stuck in some problem while listening to this song. You are truly astonished as to how Mohit Chauhan can sing in so many different layers when you hear this song. ‘Aur Ho’ is definitely the breakup track of the film. Haunting and slow, Mohit raises his voice to epic proportions when required.

A still from the early part of the movie

 

Every album has that one epic song. And it’s no surprise that AR Rahman lends his voice to this one. ‘Nadaan Parindey’ is an orchestral song that reaches a crescendo with a multitude of instruments kicking in. Hearing it live reminded me of its grandeur.

‘Tum Ko’ is sung by Kavita Subamaniam it seems like a companion to the song Tum Ho. Her deep voice resonates in your headphones long after the song is over. But I felt they should have cut this song short and leave that haunting in your head. Sometimes there is a tendency to overplay the instrumentation.

‘Sadda Haq’ is definitely the anthem. It is not a pure rock song. But that’s the thing with anthemic songs. Hard hitting lyrics, choppy guitars and certain sections that give you goosebumps. This song has it all. Plus a certain grunge feel to it. A.R Rahman has created a song for the youth for many years to come. This one is going to stand the test of time.

That now famous look

I quite like how they put Sadda Haq right in between the album. The album then takes a mellow turn with‘ Tum Ho’. Another one of those epic songs I keep harping about. This is the best song for Mohit Chauhan’s voice. It has that ambient feel to it that makes it one of those songs that you can’t imagine being recorded in a studio. Not a good song to hear after a breakup. Because this one really hits you where it will hurt. And at the same time it is totally an amazing song if you are in love and happy. But that makes the song great doesn’t it?

‘Tum Ho’ does feel like the end of the album. The last three songs are there but just to add a different flavour to the album I guess. ‘Tango for Taj’ is a song for which the piano serves as the backbone right from the intro to the middle section where the piano is played on one key continuously. As the name suggests, a Tango would be the best expression for this purely instrumental song. ‘The Dichotomy of Fame’ has a unique jugalbandi of shehnai and the rest of the intruments, most of which I don’t even know. Another instrumental piece.

The album ends with ‘The Meeting Place’ which is a minute and 13 seconds of Ranbin a.k.a Jordan speaking a couple of lines with a little bit of music.

I will be honest. I expected the album to be crap after hearing people vent about it. But if you ignore the term Rockstar and just listen to the album, it will not be anything less than good. Imitiaz Ali has done a good thing by keeping Mohit Chauhan as Ranbir’s voice for 9 songs in the album. It makes the songs that much more believable coming from a single voice.

So where does Rockstar stand in comparison to Bombay? It is as good if not better. Don’t press Shift + Del on this album yet. Give it a listen a couple of times. The songs do grow on you. And you can finally picture what the makers are trying to say here.

p.s. Hope the movie is good enough too!

Disclaimer: All photographs are property of Rockstar. Even the one below

Nargis Fakhri

 

♫ PSP 12′ (Zero)

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Kunal Pawar has booked his tickets for the Weekender festival and is making plans. He is worried about Chelsea’s form but believes they will beat Liverpool. His best friend is giving yet another exam and prays for him. In the meanwhile he is begging people to hook him up with all seasons of Entourage. You can mail him at kunal.pawar@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter


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9 Responses to “Rockstar OST – Album review”

  1. Sosha November 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    I have purposely not heard songs from Rockstar, least they spoil Rehman for me. But seeing that Mohit Chauhan has sung most of the album and you’re saying Rehman’s as good as he gets, will go listen to it.

    • Kunal November 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Hope I have not hyped it too much. My friends told me it’s not great, but if you listen to each song on it’s own…then they are good. Some are average though.

      Tell me what you think once you get done with the album.

  2. Sosha November 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    I’ve heard mixed responses to the album, which made me extra wary. Plus, since the last two years, it seems to me that Rehman needs a vacation from all the work. His work hasn’t been as it used to be.

    Amit Trivedi is my new Rehman, in the sense that all his music so far is terrific. Heard Aa rela hai apun from Chillar Party?

    • Kunal November 8, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      I missed out on Trivedi’s best work apparently. Haven’t heard the entire album of Dev D nor Udaan. Just Wake Up Sid and Aisha and I liked couple of songs from each.

      But yes, he is quite the rage nowadays.

      • Sosha November 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

        Whoa! You haven’t heard Dev.D? Go get the songs NOW!

        Wake Up Sid is bakwaas. Anyway, only background score is by Trivedi, songs are by someone else. Aisha is average. Aamir and Dev.D are terrific. No One Killed Jessica and Chillar Party are good. I haven’t heard Udaan.

        Have you heard Gulaal?

      • Kunal November 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

        Not Dev D nor Gulaal, never really cared for Bollywood music except the odd songs

  3. Sosha November 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    I know a lot of people tend to do that, but pl do listen to Dev.D. Filter Bollywood numbers by Sukhwinder Singh and Swanand Kirkire. They’re the better ones.

    I can lend the Gulaal CD, if you’re interested.

    • Kunal November 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

      Yup would love to hear Gulaal. And thanks for the recommendations, will check them out.

      Swanand Kirkire I heard on Dewarists for the first time, then realized I had heard his song from “Hazaaron Khwahishe Aisi’. What a voice!

      • Sosha November 8, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

        Yeah. He’s sung for a few films, but majorly, he’s a lyricist. Khoya Khoya Chand is another one where he’s sung well.

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