Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guru...Guru...Guru...Ho Ja Shuru!

Yep, it's been a while. Things have been REALLY crazy for a bit. The dust is still settling, but with the Guru music release I just had to post something. I just got my copy of the CD this Monday, so I think the ARR magic is still working it's charm on me. Right off, listening to ARR sing has been evoking a feeling of "coming home", so to speak. So I'm biased with this album, cos atleast 3 songs have ARR singing(WOO HOO!!!). I was really excited when I saw the cover and the number of songs he'd lent his voice to. I normally listen to ARR albums on Raaga when they release, but this time I wanted to listen to the "good" quality version and nothing less. And, initially I wasn't too happy with the songs. Now, lordy(!) I'm addicted! As usual, I'm getting something new on every hearing. Alright now, I'm going to dive in!!

Jaage Hain - my fav so far. This song is like the ULTIMATE! Simple, beautiful singing by Chitra, an amazing precursor to the orchestra and the Madras Chorale Group. The first time I heard ARR at almost a whisper, I was like w.t.h??? And then I heard the crescendo, and his higher pitched rendition, in TRUE ARR style. I can see him throwing his head back and giving it his all!!!! This part made me break out in goosebumps, and still does. The initial orchestra-chorus section, right after Chitra is done singing, reminded me a lot of the Bombay Theme. This is something you'd expect in a Western movie, and listening to it is sheer bliss. No doubt, Maniratnam will do a good job when picturising this song. He's always done an awesome job, which makes me want to see this movie as soon as it releases. This one I fell in love with on the very first listen. SO much soul in this song!

Barso Re : love this song. Sung with spunk, the versatility of the singer : Shreya Ghoshal shines through. Loved her rendition in Munbe Vaa too. When I listened to it initially, I wasn't too taken with it. I didn't hear the usual layers that ARR normally adds, it took me a while to get the layers, even when I was looking for them. This song is definitely a headphone piece, if you're looking to get all the little treats that ARR threw in. Makes me want to get up and dance. My body sways with the song naturally. This would probably fall into ARR's Rang De genre. Lots of verve in the song along with innocence. The loop reminds me of Ale Ale's underlying one as well as a part of Oh! Re Chori. The initial flute shadowing is just so beautiful. The Navin-ARR combo rocks! Especially after so long.

Tera Bina : Sufiyana comes to mind immediately, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan included. I know ARR is very much into this, so he musta had a ball making this one. I sure enjoyed this one, probably cos I love listening to ARR's voice. He keeps getting better. I still remember his shy, tentative singing for Mangta Hai Kya. His accent does need some teensy-weensy tweaking. Slower in tempo, lots to listen to, very likable, very hummable. Stays on my mind. Is it just Chinmayee singing? Is there someone else? Sounds like a more base, strong voice and a lighter, higher pitched voice. Didn't really like the heavier voice.

Ek Lo Ek Muft: like it....but HATE Bappi Lahiri's voice, and his total rendition. I find the lyrics funny, the song sounds like a fun song, like the music, but wish ARR had used someone else for the singing. The joyen..joyen..joyen reminded me of the way Ila Arun sang for Paas Aaja Baalam Re in Mr Romeo, when she sings the he-he-he-he part. Chitra (Shivaraman?)'s voice fits in rather well. The whole Gujju style for the underlying arrangement was enjoyable. Not much by way of an ARR number tho. Still wondering why ARR chose (the iffy) Bappi Lahiri.

Mayya Mayya: Just when I got over the Khalbali addiction, ARR dishes out another Arabian-style number. What ARR himself called Turkish. The lyrics booklet that comes with the CD also had pictures of Mallika Sherawat in her element. So I'm already picturising the video in my head. Lots going on in this song. Sounds like Maryem Toller couldn't quite get the hang of the language, and well who can blame her. On the first listen, this song sounds plain chaotic. LOTS AND LOTS of layers. Still finding new stuff every time I listen to it. There's supposedly the rip-off from Buddha Bar, still wondering if it's just a commercially available loop, or if it was an actual rip-off. I'm slowly, yet surely getting addicted to this one cos it's just plain catchy. This is probably a good headphone number too, there's some switching sides and stuff. Maryem Toller is an awesome singer, that's a given, I guess, or ARR wouldn't have gone out of his way to have her sing. Is it Chinmayee or Keerthi who's shadowing the singer with the ehe..ehe..ehe?? The male singer hasn't been identified in the CD, an oversight? I still don't get what he's saying, something in Arabic obviously! The song sounds very authentic, unlike other stuff that the Indian movie industry normally dishes out. Addictive stuff that.

Ay Hairathe : The beginning is very much like Poo Kodiyin Punnagai from Iruvar. I think that's something a lot of Tamilians have already pointed out. Simple song, very ghazalish. I've never been able to listen to ghazals, that's probably the only kind of music I don't have the patience at all for. But then this is ARR, he mixes it up with some old-sounding music. It sounds oldish to me probably because of the accordion. Interesting lyrics. And there's the fact that ARR's voice is makes the song perfect for me. Lately its been hard to listen to Alka Yagnik. Her voice just plain irritates me. There was that effect, but otherwise a beautiful song.

Baazi Laga: Catchy, oldy song. Nothing to write home about. Reminded me of Humraahi Jab Ho... from Pukar. Situational? Only -ve? Udit Narayan. Somehow, again his voice grates on my nerves. Probably the only song in the album that I'm not all that into. One part I did like is the way the chorus shadows Udit Narayan.

On the whole, a nice piece. Jaage Hain is going down in my book as a classic. Hope it gets the global audience that Dil Se is now getting. I've already had 3 ppl tell me that they don't like Guru's music. They stole my CD and pooh-poohed it!! It's just the growing effect. Most ppl just don't have the patience that Rahmaniacs have. They kind of close themselves off from sheer beauty. Oh well! Their loss.