I waited for the album to spread thru’ my veins so the review doesn’t get slapdash. What a way to start the year for Rahman ! First the golden globes, then the Oscar nominations and now, Delhi 6 !
I did check out the soaring reviews the album has already received across critics and fans alike. I couldn’t really put it on the same plate of Rang De Basanti or slumdog millionaire which happen to be the only two other compilations Dilli 6 is compared with. Curiosity aside for the second Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra-Rahman combo, Dilli 6 did not sweep me off my musical feet completely but it did make them swing along the tunes. I certainly do not consider this Rahman’s best.; but nothing less of a great mix that tempts you for a replay which by the ways is the only way (I mean the replay part) to get used to Rahman’s music.
The songs are listed in order of my personal preference.
1. Rehna Tu : Jazzy, funky, playful and light. I wouldn’t know how to call this track exactly but this is one that gently pats your senses in the middle of the night. Rahman’s music transforms into something else when listened to during the depth of nights and this song really took me to the mid nineties and I felt like getting rewinded to his magical kya kare from Rangeela. Rahman’s voice soothes the mild percussion as Tanvi & Benny Dayal support him from the chorus. A song to get lost into, thinking of the mystical wonders his music has always created.
2.Dilli 6: Starts on a stylish anecdote on Delhi. It doesn’t rock you from the word go, not even through the first half of the song. But the song picks up pace as the guitar mixes slowly but strongly into the rap. Yeh Dilli hai mere yaar…bas ishq mohabbat pyar…,to me it felt like defining Delhi with the word that describes its life the best. Delhi captured completely in its true essence. A sure-to-be anthem amongst Dilli janta.
3.Masakkali: None of Delhi 6 songs has a tremor. As I saw the first song of the album titled Masakkali, I was waiting for some heavy guitar and drums to hit the speakers.But the song surprised me with some soft keyboard setting the stage for a very light romantic number sung in the slipshod voice of Mohit Chauhan that easily takes control of the song. Am glad Rahman used Mohit Chauhan.
4:Gandha Phool: I can’t remember the last time I listened to a traditional north Indian folk in Hindi cinema, perhaps one like Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan.But Rahman doesn’t restrict the tune to plain folk. The slow beat shows fusion at its best but the true flavor of the song is easily taken away by the soft whistling with the bird humming along with the chorus towards the end. A must-listen if you crave for the beauty in Rahman’s Fusion experiments.
5.Arziyan: Right from the word go, this song will capture you in all its spirit and will leave you swaying and singing along in a chanting-like feeling. If you liked, Kwaja mere Kwaja from Jodha Akbar, you are sure to love Arziyan. Javed Ali and Khailash Kher set your mind on a cosmic state, kissing your eyes with a drop of tear as you feel music, with this song has almost attained nirvana.
6.Dil Gira Dafatan: Again, a song to be captured in its true essence at nights. I don’t exactly know but it coincided perfectly that I listened to Dilli 6 again and again over my lazy nights. It’s a song that makes you just close your eyes and listen to the mystical mix of percussions. Ash king; I don’t know him but more than his voice, this is a celebration of the instruments that dance in the backdrop. A song that puts you in a meditative trance.
7.Kaala Bandhar: The beat that follows the initial humming almost took me to Yuhi Challa from Swades. But wait, it’s a rap, yea, a dance number but with soft beats. The singers’ (Naresh Iyer,Sreenivas & Karthik) voices blend neatly that at some points, you are not really sure who is singing what. May be Rahman has gone past his days of rocking the floors with some heavy guitars and drums for peppy songs. Despite the racy pitch the song carries, it still is soothing to the ears and foot tapping at the same time.
8.Tumre Bhavan Mein: To complete an album that has folk to rock to rap to classical to romantic light, this one just fills the gap. A prayer, that remains unadulterated with pure rendition of vocals. Not a commercial number, but a soul filler for music or Rahman lovers.
9.Bhor Baye: Am not a lover of Ghazals or Hindustani classical but the song powerfully brings out the talent in Shreya Ghoshal along with Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. I would stay away from reviewing this as it would be not a good deal to comment on genre I have not listened to or shown interest in.
I was wondering what better heights could Rahman scale up to after his first ten years of music that remade itself. By early 2000’s, I felt he probably was relaxing at the passenger seat or was getting exhausted of his own magic. Rang De Basanti put him in a different light, welcoming him to a whole new era of Rahman-redefined ! And now, he has gone higher with tunes that scoop you up to an ecstatic state but don’t block your ears with any loudness. It’s like growing a few ages up. Hanging around this new horizon of music would keep me happy for a long time, but may I ask, what better heights can Rahman go to ? :-)