Throughout his years of composing music, which is very
well his entire life, AR Rahman in regular interval
has unleashed some of the best songs ever to grace the
Indian music industry and beyond. But that's the
trouble with consistency, his fans have come to expect
more and more of him and his songs, and in recent
years I personally came to believe and realize that
these expectations were too unrealistic and pointless.
No one can deliver with that sort of consistency. I
was so wrong. AR Rahman is beyond reality. He can
give his fans what they want.
After somewhat lackluster 2001 and 2002, containing
each one spectacular highlight in the forms of Lagaan
and Saathiya, Rahman had a seemingly mediocre 2003
where he had only one slightly above par project,
Tehzeeb. But that was only on the surface, he was
actually expanding and pushing his horizons and
spreading his influence internationally, primarily
with his compositions in Warriors of Heaven and Earth.
Now, in 2004, he has struck back with authority,
starting with a disappointingly mediocre Lakeer and
the exceedingly superb Meenaxi, and now with Yuva.
Yuva was originally meant to be a songless feature.
That would have been quite a loss. The main theme of
the movie is obviously the youth (Yuva means "the
youth") and the music supports this theme very well.
The title track "Dhakka Laga Bukka" does what it's
meant to do. It is the absolute highlight of the
collection of six songs. The song has an industrial
feel to it upheld by the strong percussions, bass
riffs and the mélange vocals of Mehboob, Rahman and
Karthik. DLB is a very chaotic piece and the only
thing holding it together is the combination of the
reliable "Dhakka Laga Bukka" and the percussions and
bass. It does have it's melodious parts though, highly
underplayed though in whistles and a few vocal
interludes. Lyrically DLB is both weak and strong. The
lyrics work well in conjunction with Rahman's music
but have very little literal and aesthetic value.
Next up is "Khuda Hafiz". This is a very interesting
song. It starts out with Sunitha Sarathy's sensuously
mellifluous voice singing meaningless sweet nothings
to you in heartfelt whispers and quickly moves into a
high tempo piece with the illustrious Lucky Ali and
Karthik with Sunitha still hanging on in the
background. the focus shifts to the intro piece with
Sunitha as the beats fade away and then again to
Lucky's Anjaana bit with Sunitha and then back to
Sunitha's piece. But this time Rahman inserts a
somewhat out of place piano piece with Sunitha and
then we move to the closing with Lucky. It's a strange
mix that sounds amazing and yet incomplete. Lucky's
Anjaana piece and Sunitha's Khuda Hafiz don't seem to
mix that well until you actually witness Rahman's
magic in the ending. The lyrics are again lacking as
they fail to bring a solid coalescence to the song.
Overall Khuda Hafiz is an excellent song which could
have used a little more of Sunitha.
Now we come to "Dol Dol". There is only one way to
describe Dol Dol. Weird. Rahman injects trance into
Yuva with this track. Dol Dol sports the vocals of
Blaze and to an extent Shaheen Badar. Shaheen's voice
is in fact used more as an instrumental riff, sparsely
laid out in the repetitive song to remove monotony.
Blaze's pieces are short but forceful. The track
features the standard fast paced beats that are the
hallmark of pop trance. Although Dol Dol is
repetitive, there is enough subtleties in it to make
it an addictive fast paced track. There are the short
string pieces, many synthesized shorts and of course
The last time we saw Adnan Sami with Rahman was in
Saathiya. This time he comes with Alka Yagnik to
deliver a brilliant song in the form of "Baadal".
Baadal is a melodious slow tempo duet with a healthy
mix of Rahman’s synth riffs, strings and a nice
percussion background. Both the vocalists carry the
song very well. Baadal is in fact quite a generic
affair by Rahman’s standards.
“Kabhi Neem Neem” is extremely reminiscent of last
year’s Tehzeeb and Saathiya’s Naina Milake, which was
also sung by Madhushree. It’s a pure folk song that
has become a quite standard feature in Rahman’s
compositions since Lagaan. Madhushree sings
beautifully and with feel in this song, as always.
Folk songs are becoming her niche thanks to Rahman.
KNN is decidedly chock full of Rahman’s unique
selection of percussion, but never overly intrusive.
Last but most definitely not the least is “Fanaa”.
Fanaa is one of Yuva’s more unique tracks, even though
it does belong to the more generic “disco” genre in
the Indian music industry. Rahman himself is the major
vocalist in Fanaa, with Sunitha and Tanvi providing
euphonious interludes and backgrounds. The core of
Fanaa lies in… well, Fanaa. The lyrics call for quite
a few “Fanaas” and rhymes in the song, most of which
are sung by Rahman. These “Fanaas” echo and fade away
in the track, creating a very chaotic yet harmonious
backdrop which only the masterful Rahman could have
created. Rahman’s alaap interlude is wonderfully
realized in a genre where an alaap would seem
extremely out of place.
Clearly Yuva is a winner. This is the one the fans
have been waiting for. Even though it isn’t truly
perfect and lacks a few things which would have made
it a true classic, it still is pure gold. Yuva’s main
weakness lies in it’s lyrics. Mehboob’s are great to
listen to in Rahman’s songs and occasionally are very
good as in Rangeela, but here they are completely and
totally wayward. Granted, they sound great, but they
make very little sense. A few songs work well but the
majority is lacking. Despite that shortcoming and the
lack of a few regulars like Asha Bhonsle, Yuva is a
great work of art. One of Rahman’s truly unique
collections where he tries something new, which work
too. Although initially some of Yuva’s weaker songs
might seem less inviting, I can assure you, have faith
in the master’s abilities. Like every single one of
his songs they too will grow on you as you discover a
new depth to them each time you listen to them.
- Rise of the Phoenix