One of the costliest Bollywood movies to come out, Blue is notable as this could well be the last AR Rahman album on the Indian movie scene for sometime as he gets really busy with Hollywood projects (Check out the new ARR score for Couples Retreat). The movie has also been gaining hajaar publicity with Kylie Minogue singing a song, underwater adventure news, the tiff between Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt and the of course Lara Dutta’s costumes or rather the lack of them.
The album opens with the much hyped Kylie Minogue song “Chiggy Wiggy” (the kind of lyrics junta come up with and people call me arbit). Its an interesting song to say the least. It starts of like a western song with the Indian-ness coming through the typical ARR beats. Kylie’s voice is new but there is a feeling that something is missing, which vanishes the moment Sonu Nigam’s voice literally bursts through. After that the song is literally awesome with Sonu in full form belting it out with great gusto mixing high pitch portions with normal sounding portions. (With all apologies to non-Tam junta, the combo is literally like having aavakai ooruga with thayir saadam)
Rahman never ceases to surprise with his choice of instruments and Aaj dil Gustaakh is no exception. Featuring one of ARR’s favorite, Sukhwinder Singh and Shreya Ghoshal, its one of those songs where the piano and chords literally run wild. Listening to the song, one can literally imagine the fingers running wild over the keyboard creating the music. Its kind of free flowing and theres an almost jazzy effect produced. Sukhwinder Singh is his usual irrepressible self. I think he can just wake up and sing these kind of songs straight out of sleep. Shreya Ghoshal is awesome and her voice is like a hot fudge on chocolate icecream. It simply smoothly flows.
Vijay Prakash remains a very under utilized talent and it takes someone like ARR to remind us why with Fiqraana. Its a song that is a cross between Kaala Bandar (Delhi 6) and Dil ka Rishtaa (Yuvvraaj). Its a fairly peppy number and Vijay Prakash’s voice conveys a sense of strength to the song. Shreya Ghoshal is the female voice and complements his voice brilliantly. In fact, while this song is out and out a Vijay Prakash song, Shreya Ghoshal’s voice enhances the effect.
Bhoola Tujhe is the best song of the album. Theres a quiet reflective quality to the music and in fact, it takes more than a minute for the vocals to start and you are not disappointed. Rashid Ali starts off on a brilliant note and never falters. His voice does perfect justice to the song and the music is very subtle. Theres a phase where the music almost flows in waves, increasing crescendo over each iteration. The lyrics are exquisite and best part is ARR lets the singer carry the song. Easily one of the best songs I have had the fortune to listen to. It takes great difficulty to stop gushing about Rashid Ali’s voice and there is a sense of regret once the song ends. The feeling is quite akin to finishing the full meals at Krishna Kafe. You would want to go on and on but one has to stop.
Next is the theme song. A psychedelic mix of guitars and bass drums, it is fairly ok types. In fact, it is one of the weakest theme songs from ARR in recent times.
Rehnuma should have been the theme song for the movie. There is an almost James Bond feel to the song and the usual firm of Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal handle the song with great aplomb. In fact, Shreya Ghoshal is the real star of the song pitching her voice perfectly and adding good depth to the song. Theres this portion in this song where Sonu Nigam goes around in his high pitch and Shreya Ghoshal provides a nice contrast going with the music.
Udit Narayan returns after ages for the song Yaar Mila Tha which is a nice folksy song. Madhushree is the female voice on the song. While it is indeed nice to hear Udit, the song itself isnt too special which is a tad disappointing. There are a couple of typical ARR touches in the song, like sounds of horns honking in between words but still its a fairly routine number.
There is a certain expectation with ARR albums considering his last, Delhi 6 was brilliant. While Blue is good, there is a certain spark missing. There seems to be not too much experimentation that ARR always brings with his album. Might be due to a time crunch but there are aspects that kind of seem hurried. But then even a fairly average ARR album stands heads and shoulders over other composers. May be we tend to simply expect more from ARR!!!
PS: To be fair to ARR, while the music aspect might lag a bit, it remains one of those albums in which he has got the best out of his singers. Shreya Ghoshal is simply brilliant while Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder Singh sing with the kind of enjoyment that I have not heard from them in recent times while Vijay Prakash continues to impress majestically
PPS: Continuing with the food theme, Blue is a little bit like going to the Angeethi, having good food but not having the paan. There is a sense that you have had good food but you do have a feeling that you have missed out on something good. You are satiated but not overly so.