Raanjhanaa – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack)

Raanjhanaa_posterYou can listen to the soundtrack here.

The initial dissatisfaction with Tum Tak due its strong heard-before-ness has slowly turned into liking over the week, though the hundred appearances of the title phrase still annoys me. The prime contributor to the change of mind has been the singing by Javed Ali, Kirti Sagathia and Pooja AV (debutant? apparently not, thanks to Vini for pointing out); and the sitar in the last one minute or so. In the title song the case is pretty much reversed – A R Rahman’s arrangement is full of life here, featuring some lovely strings. The vocalists Jaswinder Singh and Shiraz Uppal are found lacking though.  But for those synth elements, Banarasiya is the song that most conforms to the folk-classical tradition associated with region where the movie is set; the arrangement making good use of the regular classical instruments and even surprise inclusions like the kanjira. Shreya Ghoshal is fabulous, and she is backed up well by the uncredited female vocalist Meenal Jain and Anweshaa (thanks to @gradwolf for this info). What could have been the best of the soundtrack, both in terms of following that classical theme, and even otherwise, is Ay Sakhi. And for most part of the song they manage it successfully too, a proficient set of singers (Madhusree, Chinmayi, Vaishali, Aanchal Sethi) delivering the beautifully nuanced song to perfection.  Where it goes awry is at the out-of-the-blue occurrences of “tyu tyu” and “pe pe pe”. Love the arrangement otherwise, particularly the wide range of percussion (once again some interesting choices like ghatam and thavil).

Rabbi Shergill makes all attempts to make even Tu Mun Shudi sound like yet another Rabbi song, but thankfully ARR’s arrangement prevails – loved that infusion of shehnai sounds into the techno-based arrangement! Really wish there was an alternate version sung by someone else. The composer gets behind the mic to deliver the jazz-flavored Aise Na Dekho in style, though evoking memories of JTYJN’s title song in the process. The orchestration has enough endearing elements (the accordion and the whistles!) to make this one a top favorite. Rashid Ali and Neeti Mohan get the very hummable Nazar Laaye and do an expectedly commendable job of it. The arrangement is once again with a hangover, but the breeziness makes up for that. Land Of Shiva is, as the title would have you assume, a taandav sort of piece heavy on percussion, chants et al. But just over a minute in length, the song is over even as you are beginning to get into the groove. Wonder if it is Ranjit Barot or Sivamani, or someone else. And that leaves Piya Milenge. Sukhwinder Singh and KMMC Sufi Ensemble. The song I kept for last because of ARR’s track record with sufi. And how the man lives up to the anticipation! Sukhwinder and KMMC ensemble match each other in awesomeness of their rendition of Irshad Kamil’s well-worded lines. ARR tops it up by wonderfully layering the qawwali-flavored arrangement over the synth base with some deft touches on the way (note that violin accompaniment bit at 3:57). Total addiction!

Raanjhanaa. A mixed bag from ARR that is more urbane than folk-classical.

Music Aloud Rating: 8/10

Top Recos: Piya Milenge, Aise Na Dekho, Land of Shiva, Ay Sakhi

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Music Buff says:


Vipin says:

@Music Buff: Thanks. And that is a good idea, kind of like passion for cinema used to be. Just that I am a bit pressed on time at present, to look at a bigger site like you said. But shall definitely consider it.

@Vini: Thanks for that correction, have done the needful. And good to know you concur with my view. 🙂

vini says:

Not a debutante. She’s a popular south Indian singer whose won a couple of contests apparently 🙂
But dude Vipin, i totally agree with your review here. Raanjhana is NOT among Rahman’s greatest works. Infact, far from it. It is well below the genius of Rockstar and Lagaan (as some people are comparing the genre to). Even then, there I’d no doubt that the album is good, just not AMAZING as some reviewers and other people are touting it to be.

Music Buff says:

Thanks for responding.. You seem honest.. But when some people (not you) bash a music director without reason and a bunch of haters commenting below like there is no tomorrow.. This pains me a lot.. This takes place in many music review sites.. Why not make a bigger website with a board of may be of 4-5 members who are fans of different music directors and a member writes a review that gets the approval of majority of the board..( I think would be nice) Music fans like me need passionate music reviewers

Sakshar says:

I discovered in Tum tak songs, its bhajan beats for romantic song, and to compliment the story, the song has north indian bhajan beats in the first part then south indian bhajan beats with mrdangam and shehnai and then south indian beats played on north indian instruments manjira, tabla, sitaar. waag AR saab

Vipin says:

🙂 To be honest I have seen more opinions for the soundtrack than against. I had made sure to stay away from all opinions about the soundtrack till I was done reviewing. So yes, it is my personal take. But you are entitled to your own opinion too, I have nothing against that.


Music Buff says:

The review is ur personal take and I have nothing against it.. Have been seeing ur twitter conversations.. U seem to be too much influenced by ur friends on twitter.. I don’t think Raanjhanaa as a mixed bag.. Its a great work.. Well. keep reviewing..