Saturday, November 18, 2006

Music Review: Guru vs Kabul Express

This weekend saw two high profile music releases, Guru and Kabul Express. Guru is the much awaited Mani Rathnam directed, music by A R Rahman and starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and more. Kabul Express has a good star cast and is directed by Kabir Khan, recently associated as the cinematographer of The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl. The music for Kabul Express is by Raghav Sachar, the very talented Indipop entrant.

Spent the better part of Saturday listening to these two soundtracks and the decision on which is a better one became clear towards the end of the day. The music of the Guru, in Rahmans own words, "a Gujarati sound, goes on to Turkish, then very north Indian friendly kind of music and also some opera stuff". One of my cousins is a big fan of A R Rahman and Mani Rathnam and Guru symbolises the highpoint of his movie experience for the year. He has been having me hear promos and small bits of music from Guru for the last few months and I too was pulled into this inevitable hype that seems to be passe for every Mani Rathnam movie! With A R Rahman, you always have to listen to his songs a few times before they hit you, but I must say that Guru doesn't seem to have the songs to do that. "Tere Bina" by Rahman and Chinmayee is the most captivating in terms of music and Rahman continues his recent trend of keeping the best song to himself. "Barso Re" has Shreya Ghosal doing a great job and "Ay Hairathe" is the most soulful song of the lot and sounding a comeback of sorts for Hariharan. The rest seem more like musical fillers, but movie relevance will be known in a couple of weeks.

Kabul Express promised a lot less because of the music being from a newcomer. True to his indipop experiences earlier, Raghav has given a definite pop touch to the songs in the movie. There are 2 songs to contend with, one is "Kabul Fiza" sung by Raghav himself and 3 versions of "Banjar" sung by Shubha Mudgal, Sunidhi Chauhan and K K respectively. Both these songs in all its forms are very foot-tapping. The tunes have a definite newness about them and the peppy music adds to the energy of the songs.

Maybe its to do with all the hype surrounding Guru, but the music has definitely not lived up to the hoopla. On the other hand, Kabul Express is surprisingly pleasing. Though this is no comparison between A R Rahman and Raghav Sachar, it does go to show that all the time spent outside by the ever busy Rahman may be helping him in many ways, but doesn't seem to inspire his music enough! All in all a disappointing release from the maestro while another young gun is in the reckoning for stardom.

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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

ur review sucks man.

ARR rocks.. GURU rules.. understand that

Anonymous said...

check ur ears. they definitely have a problem.

GURU is a sure-shot winner

Ajay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ajay said...

Thanks for dropping by "anonymous"! What you felt about my review was unfortunately what I felt about the music of Guru, it sucked! :-)

Just by you telling me that the "Guru rules" and "Guru is a sure-shot winner" doesn't make it one, at least not for me. The sheer hype will have it on top of the charts for the first few weeks and then reality will dawn.

If you can tell me what is factually good about the music of Guru, I will lend you my broken ears!

Anonymous said...

why don't you also publish this review on IndiaFM.com at
http://www.indiafm.com/movies/usermusicreviews/12838/index.html

Ajay said...

I wouldn't mind putting it up at indiaFM, but that place needs a registration to write a review. Now, I wouldn't mind the registration, but they have things like address and phone numbers as mandatory fields. So, I encourage and give anyone and everyone complete copyleft to go ahead and put it up there or anywhere, I just have the amp/enthu right now. ;-)

Ajay said...

typo in the earlier comment - "I just DON'T have the amp/enthu right now."

ashok said...

A.R.Rahman Is a classic every time he tries to make new sounds and he did it in guru...guru simply rocks..u should ve hear the songs many times......

Ajay said...

Ashok: Time is something that Rahmans music demands and I would like to think that the music of Guru will also grow on me. I will definitely update yall if this ever happens.

IMHO Rahman needs to stop giving new music and start giving good music. The retention factor of *new* music is far less than good music.

Anonymous said...

oh my god..wat a bad review..grow up dude..first have a good hear for music..then start writing reviews...u suck..so does your review..

Anonymous said...

Dear Ajay
From ur review I can see that u belong to the genre who like to listen a song in 3 different remixes like we have in Kabul Express "banjar hai" 3 versions "kabul fiza" 3 times and 2 more songs .I also heard kabul express man can be just point any variety in music, u say Guru is average and priced high where as Kabul express priced at 149/- and with mere fill up in terms of music is good... mate this is the best joke I heard.Dude pls carryon with ur taste as there r many MD's to cater ur taste... rahman's music is for class and requires some good ears to appreciate them.

Anonymous said...

i dnt blame u ajay.. to understand a music like guru.. u need to understand what classics are.. m sorry that people like u exist... but well we can't expect everything to be good in this world right!

Coming back to guru... guru is too much for you to digest... it is at such a high class that u cannot understand.

better luck mate... hope mr reshammiya releases his new album soon, so that you can enjoy! may be u suit his class! : )

Varun

Anonymous said...

i dont know why they put u review in the rahman fan site...

not worth.. can make out trying to pull down a GIANT who u think is a goliath..

didnt even want to comment.....
but felt sad for rahman fans to be givin d link for a mediocre review.

Ajay said...

Brave Anonymous No-1: You never shut off reviews. That is why its called a review and not dictum!

Ajay said...

Rahmanic: With a name like that, don't get me wrong if I don't expect you to be the objective *type*! :-).

I for one don't like remixes, so you got my *type* wrong. I love Rahman music and still do, longing for the "Duet" days to be back. But Guru is a far cry from that. I have never talked off price anywhere.. where did you get that from?? Guru is NOT Rahmans class, don't bring him down dude, Roja is, Bombay is, Alaipayuthay is, Duet is, Dil se is, Even Bose and Rang de Basanti are, Guru is not!

Ajay said...

Anonymous No-2{Varun}:

Thanks for visiting. I don't know of what classics and class you are talking about. I have been enjoying almost every album of Rahman and unfortunately, Guru is not one I am enjoying. :-(

ARR did not become ARR because he was catering to the ears of the supposed intellectuals rather to also the musically challenged(yours truly included). I have talked to few of my friends, had them listen to the songs too and they too had the same feeling that I have written in the blog entry. Just because I don't like the music of Guru automatically makes me a Reshammiya fan?? Now thatz hilarious!! :-))

Ajay said...

Brave Anonymous-3: Let me assure you that I did not put up my review in any ARR fan site. I should be really dumb to put up my review in an ARR fan site! :-). Even I am looking for the chap who put it up there!! :-)).

Anonymous said...

u r senseless creature with totally uncooth sense. y do u live in this world? better hang yourself. that's the best option.

Ajay said...

Brave Anonymous 4: Sorry pal, hanging myself doesn't seem like a very acceptable *option* to me. Wonder why! :-)

Jahanzeb said...

I think Ajay is right. The Guru music is good but certainly not path breaking. In my opinion the best song is Jaage hain, followed by Tere bina, Maya maya and Barso na. However only Jaage hain is up to the class of A.R.Rahman. I am a huge fan of A.R.Rahman since the days of Roja. However it is sad to say that he has changed his sound. There is no that disticnt sound which made him different and caused everyone going crazy. Long lost those days of Roja, Bombay and even Taal and Dil Se.. For last many years, apart from Meenaxi and Saathiya he could not deliver his class. Rang De Basanti was very good but not up to his class. For many years I am just waiting one album from him of the class of Dil See.. or Bombay, but would it even happen again? I think he should go back to the south and work there because he is loosing his sound working in bollywood. Slowly his music is sounding more and more like other common bollywood music directors. For example, the Barso na song is good but it feels like a song by Vishal Shekhar, SEL or Anu Malik etc. Moreover I think we need him more than those international projects need him. He is too busy to give us music of his class, the music he is famous for.

Ajay said...

Thanks for visiting jahanzeb. Finally, a comment with a different hue. :-)