Friday, June 6, 2008

And so my ipod says...

My second post wasn't going to be about the music I am listening to currently - but here we are anyway... And this is not going to be a music review - just some thoughts induced by my current repeated-ipod-playing-till-the-play-button-is-worn-out phase...

there are a lot of words out there about ARR's two new releases - JTYJN and Ada... here are a few more... As far as the former goes, ARR managed to drag yours (initially reluctant) truly over to the side where Pappu can't dance but we all sing along anyway... And I love the nod to his earlier jazz venture in Iruvar - jazz is definitely a forte for you sir... the title track instantly transports me over to a lazy sunday afternoon that could be spent mozing around at the local Starbucks with this track playing over the shpeeker, mocha frappucino in hand... aah that's the life...

if only my ears had any verbal abilities, they would thank ARR for Kabhi Kabhi Aditi and the sombre-yet-engaging Jaane tu mera/meri kyaa hai...

But more than these tracks, Meherbaan from Ada has enraptured me... there is something about that song that takes me from feeling like I'm walking along a beach at sunset to watching a slow, gorgeous sunrise to strumming a rock ballad atop a cliff somewhere...you know - wind in your hair-black leather jacket-rockstar jeans - shades and a stunning lead guitar included...

this man is pure genius I tell you... This song's got me hook, line and sinker....

And so far I have only been talking about the instrumentation and the arrangements...

As a very knowledgeable friend and I were discussing (you know who you are) - the lyrics are a thing of class and perfection and as he put it, in chaste Urdu! Although it took me a while to hunt down the correct meaning/translation (thanks to time wasted on a couple of @#$@#$ translations of the song), by the time I got there, the song had me around its little finger anyway...

I love the way ARR says 'henna' in the song - his enunciation of the words themselves are a clear indication of the underlying intimacy...

Afore said friend and I were discussing Ada at length and as I was telling him, compared to ARRs previous body of work, this is quite unstructured and free form ... Ok so this album is supposed to be experimental, so I will give it the exact amount of latitude it deserves.. but still...

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for change and all that jazz (so you noticed the pun huh? ya that's intended *wink* ) - but I am a stickler when it comes to music - clean notes, skillful execution and masterful arrangements...take me to a place where the harmony makes me melt like butter...

Except for Meherbaan (and its oh-so-awesome instrumental version) - Ada has not managed to capture my already wandering attention...

I read somewhere that Ada has taken 6 yrs to complete (is that true chotu?) - and while it may have started out as ARR perhaps testing waters beyond familiar shores (any resemblance to the saagar & kinaara in Meherbaan is purely coincidental *cheesy grin*) , I doubt the album will be remembered as a breakout act in the current music landscape...

ARR is great at setting up well defined boundaries in his songs and then doing wonders within - but in Ada, it is the other way around - it is so free-form that it would take more than two-relatively-raw-voices to execute the tracks in a way that justifies the creative boundaries being tested...which has now got me thinking who would have sung these tracks better *scratches chin thoughtfully*

The two versions of Ishq Ada (M&F) are contrasted in themselves and left me feeling like my ears had been dealt with some serious injustice... While the arrangements in the song are quite engaging, the same cannot be said for the vocals - I'm all praise for the attempt at the execution, but it just falls short.. I'm sorry...

Maybe if the complexity had been put into the instrumentation instead of the vocals, we'd have had a whole new ballgame...Maybe, just maaybe ...

So what do you think of Ada? Does ARR break free and soar? Or, do you feel the way I do about Ada, tickled but not satisfied by the attempt?

Till the next post (whenever that is)...

Tu hai nazar, main nazaara...
Tu hai saagar, main kinaara...
Tu hai zabaan, main hoon bayaan...
Tu hai nihaan, main hoon ayaan...

1 comment:

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Deepa: Great post, and I agree completely with your comments (especially about Tu Bole Main Boloon being fitting for a lazy afternoon at Starbucks and all). Rather honored to be on your blog roll, thank you! Just wanted to invite you to check out and critique this translation.

A. R. Rahman is indeed a genius. The top three soundtracks of the year are by him, and he's not done! Of course, I'm hoping Ghajini's music will be the best of 2008!

Cheers.