music review : Rockstar (2011)

The Oscar-winning composer returns with an above average soundtrack and has pledged to make listeners of all genres happy.

From the rushes of the much-awaited flick Rockstar one cannot ignore the intensity the frames are throwing at us. Imtiaz Ali talks sense, but for good Bollywood there is always a need for good music. And to handle the duties of making the backbone of Rockstar strong he gets on board the busiest Indian music composer. We all know him as A. R. Rahman. Rahman has been panned quite a lot of times after his first Oscar win for not having lived up to the expectations. If you expected yourself to shit properly every time you visit the loo then loose motions would not have existed. Give Rahman a break, for he is now being chased by Hollywood film-makers too and all this has come to this Indian only after he gave you and me more than just music for years.

The soundtrack for Rockstar belongs to two gentlemen – the undeniable A. R. Rahman and singer Mohit Chauhan. Here, it had to be tricky for the film-makers to narrow down someone for the protagonist’s voice and Chauhan gets to kick enough ass on this album where he fits the bill. Rahman’s sincerity shows in most parts because there is a soul carried by the songs. The respective character’s aura can be felt around you.

Phir Se Ud Chala and Jo Bhi Main (both sung by Mohit Chauhan) are breezy tracks that merit several plays. They aren’t one dimensional tracks. While Phir Se Ud Chala has electronic sections accompanying the soothing parts that maks sure blood flows to your head and relaxes it, Jo Bhi Main has a grungy appeal with heavy guitar rhythm. One of my favorite track is Katiya Karun sung by Sufi singer Harshdeep Kaur. It is interesting particularly because it encloses everything the female lead feels. The naughtiness, want, love and desires she is holding within her are let loose here. It has more than what reaches your ears.

Qawwali is like one of Rahman’s many fortes, and including one in Rockstar isn’t surprising at all. Can’t really say anything much about this track Kun Faya Kun as qawwalis have a richness that is incomparable to anything else that classifies to be called music. Sheher Mein is a situational track and wasn’t required on the compact disc. Then we are taken to a very funfair kind of setup through Hawaa Hawaa where all the artists sound high. There are two instrumentals  Tango For Taj and The Dichotomy of Fame. The former is a jingle that doesn’t go waste while the latter sends across the message.

On the downside we don’t have any compositions that would make you go weak in the heart. Tum Ho and Tum Ko come close but they lack the depth that I was looking for. But off the two the male version has an upper hand. Rahman also sings another track that is Nadaan Parinde, which again should be a chart buster and is another one of my best picks from the album.

What is being touted as the next Bollywood anthem, Sadda Haq is a very ordinary track with guitar arrangements that have been tried before. It is baffling to learn that some Australian artist Orianthi (who gained recognition for being Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist for his This Is It concert series) was brought on board to play such simple chords. Irshad Kamil pens lyrics that you can sing along to, with several of them chasing issues the Rockstar wants to convey to his audiences.

Rockstar is a musical and there seems to be lesser potholes in the music department. The music on Rockstar doesn’t suck at all but it doesn’t rule either. All in all a very pleasant piece of work by Rahman. But given his vast diversity of work, one can always say he could have done better and Rahman has earned that right.

Rating : 3.5/5

About Itihas Shetty

Is a verbomaniac. And a human being. And that's where the problem begins. View all posts by Itihas Shetty

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