Couples Retreat – Music Review

couples retreatI didn’t quite like the vocals in Sajna (which I believe is done by Vince Vaughn, he is supposed to have recorded a song for the movie), mainly due to the corny lyrics, but Rahman’s mesmerizing arrangement is more than enough to have you hooked to the track. The big surprise comes in the next track. How often do you get to hear Tamil song playing in a Hollywood soundtrack? Well here is one for you, Rahman crooning a chirpy Kuru Kuru set to a mildly folksy orchestration. A really addictive track this one, as I am discovering at this precise moment (thanks to a close friend for deciphering the lyrics). Jason and Cynthia Suite on the other hand begins on a more solemn note, Rahman employing all his orchestral splendour to a gradual buildup over three minutes before springing a surprise mode change to a more folksy segment led by the flute for the next two minutes. Nana which comes next, has a lot of tribal sounding words interspersed with rap in a carnivalesque track. I couldn’t discern Blaaze’s voice among the rappers. And I think the kid’s voice belongs to Rahman’s son Alim who had reportedly recorded a song in this movie.
In spite of a slight resemblance to Jaage Hai‘s orchestral sequence in its grand opening, Tour of the Villas is an absolute treat, an instrumental and more elaborately orchestrated version of Sajna. Strangely enough for a minute-long segment in between the song goes into a karaoke mode without a leading tune, just the backing instruments playing on. Of course that takes no credit off this short and sweet track. Meeting Marcel, the next track, is a spiritual song, albeit arranged in a sinister manner. While the first half with a folk tinge is dominated by the flute, the latter half taking on a darker tone belongs to the violins. Itinerary is typical background track material rather than something intended for a CD. It is made up of a sequence of different tunes which wouldn’t make much sense unless listened to while watching the movie. Undress sounds very Indian and very nicely so, thanks to the extensive use of ghatam, no negative connotation intended mind you. Lasting just over 1.5 minutes, this track would have been a perfect fit in a movie like Lagaan or Swades. It will be interesting to see how the picturisation of this happens (my interest has nothing to do with the title I assure you!).
Sharks is another mindblowing track albeit a totally classical-oriented one (Puriya Dhanasri/Panthuvarali the raga is I guess). With the violins playing at a frantic pace to an equally frenzied percussion, this song took me back to Rahman’s classic Hai Rama for a moment. Luau refers to a Hawaiian feast. And John O’Brien’s sole score for the movie is quite evocative of the party mood with its very native arrangement. Salvadore is superb fusion, Kailash Kher’s well executed Hindustani tarana (similar to thillana in Carnatic) mixed brilliantly with a Latin/Middle Eastern instrumentation. Intervention is another track marked by its orchestral opulence, and the combo with Rahman’s soulful humming is quite deadly! The result, another totally riveting track.
Similar to Itinerary, The Waterfall also features a collation of varied tunes which would be better viewed than listened to. Rahman produces an elegant reprise to Jason and Cynthia Suite with Jason and Cynthia Piano Theme, cutting down on the orchestral elements and making it more easy on the ear. Things are rounded off with another bouncy track, Animal Spirits, which starts off as a spruced up version of Jason and Cynthia theme but then moves on along a different line for about two minutes where things take a turn, with a revisit to the opening sequence of Tour of the Villas.
After a long hiatus post winning the Oscars suddenly there is a deluge of Rahman songs. While Blue was more commercialised and Passage at a more esoteric one, Couples Retreat combines a bit of both. Honestly I didn’t expect a Rahman soundtrack to displace Passage from the position of his best soundtrack this year, so soon! And now the million dollar question is, will the movie turn out to be worth such a brilliant effort. Hope it does. You can listen to the soundtrack here.
Music Aloud’s rating – 8.5/10
Recommended tracks – Kuru Kuru, Salvadore, Intervention, Tour of the villas, Undress

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newack says:

Help me pls. I can’t find the name of orchestral background music in Couples Retread movie in scene 1:36:17, when pairs are kissing together on dancefloor. Help me please.

avinash says:

i m really loss of words after hearing the songs….jst one thing arr rocks in his style grt piece of music awesome nd mindblowing tracks……

anil says:

ar.rahman is ar.rahman ….. he is the only person who deserves
couples retreat tracks are awesome………………………sajnaaaaaaaaa rocks

sagar says:

i have listened animal spirits more than a thousand times.. literally… awesome track…
also, undress, waterfall, kuru kuru, are my favorites….
rest all are also wonderful tracks…
AR Rahman is a legendary composer and singer….
and a great article.. cheers..

mohan says:

kurkuru song rocks.smashing ARR

rahul says:

Salvadore has been sung by Kailash kher and Vijay prakash… its vijay prakash of manmohini ( yuvraaj ) who’s singing the hindustani bits.. kailash is doing just the spanish gypsy parts…

The voice in Sajna Re is that of PJ Morton and not Vince Vaughn..

Kurukuru is DEFINITELY AR RAHMAN… sheesh…

Rahman Statistic Keeper says:

OMG u Guys…….That is 100% Rahman’s voice in KURU KURU and there is no such person as Afro Nisha. And FYI, the lyrics was written by Rahman himself as mentioned in his latest interview

sam says:

great job ar rahman. u rockk…

Juan says:

The song when the credits come up is sajna

teehee says:

anyone know the song at the very end when the credits are playing?

VIP says:

I just checked and saw it to be working.

ssdeep says:

that site isnt working??

Sriram says:

Really I liked the album very much. Rahman’s uniqueness can be watched in each track. I personally liked Kuru kuru, Intervention, animal spirits and itinenary

BlaZe says:

Kuru Kuru has been sung by Afro Nisha who has a striking resemblence to the gr8 ARR!!Refer indiaglitz ….

rahman's gr8 fan says:


sathiya says:

a.r.rahman sir u made me the whole india very happy,especially me for introducing tamil to the hollywood..grt job sir.i usually used to think wen i hear english rap in tamil songs,y cant be a tamil song in english movie? but u made it..thanks a lot sir… and kuru kuru song is sung by the one nad only god arr…

Stephen Marshall says:

I liked salvadore the best, after animal spirits. Excellent composition. Keep rocking AR Rahman!

VIP says:

Oh didnt know that. I was of the impression that Afro Nisha was supposed to be some alternate title to the song, seeing that none of the other songs have been credited so. Moreover the voice is very much similar to Rahman’s own voice. Anyways will check on this again.

Raghav says:

Kuru kuru has been sung by Afro Nisha,, not Rahman..

vinoo says:

excellent write up..but i love ..i just love the voice of sajan song..still dunno who is it…lemme wait n check!!!!! keep up the good work..thanks ARRji for creating such a wonderful composition called Sajna and kuru kuru…..

sreek says:

nice review.very nice !

Arvind says:

Amazing write up..VIPs!!! I am actually confused with the voice of “Sajna”.. thought it was Ash King of “Dil Gira Dafatan” fame…! anyways..Vince Vaughn’s rendition though could have been better, the instrumental arrangement by Rahman walks away with the honours..! I can visualize the sea breeze along with mild waves when his violin strings towards the fag end of the song..! Its just amazing experience…
“Kurukuru Kan” (Afro Nisha) is an absolute wonder and shocker for me..! Never expected a tamil song in this flick.! Rahman’s spunky and razor sharp notes appeal to the listener to a mountaineering effect. His whistles are equally amazing.! I can’t wait to see the celluloid effect it brings on screen. Rahman’s sheer brilliance can’t get more transparent than this..! I believe Afro Nisha’s the girl he is referring to..[:P]As u put it, its an instant addiction for any kind of music lover..!
Strings find rich flavors in “Jason & Cynthia Suite” at the beginning. Its just left to be experienced rather than expressed. A mild flute puts all anxieties to rest towards the end..
I absolutely adore his mastery in taking a tinge of his previous works and give it a new life..! “Jaage Hain Dher Tak..” initial orchestra gets rejuvenated in “Tour Of the Villas”. While “Nana…” is funky upbeat and reminisces us of a Afro tribal group folksy song. Rest all of them are equally haunting and instill a kind of freshness .

Hands down to Rahman !. Even Brein’s work is commendable in “Luau..”! My spirits lighten up listening to these songs much more than the purely commercial “Blue” types…

Thanx for ur brilliant write up Vipin..! Keep it up

Amjath says:

Very Good Review

Reallly Rahman Rocked …..