Contributed by Avinash Ramchandani
In today's Hindi music industry creativity is lacking. Nadeem-Shravan, Anand Milind and Anu Malik lack it the most. A.R. Rahman proves that he doesn't belong in this category, as he comes around again in Mani Ratnam's Bombay. Although having the same style as his previous accomplishment, Roja, the songs are distinctly different. Three of the songs have parts that sound like "Rukmani Rukmani", from Roja. But the rest of these songs completely change.
The stand outs in this album are "Ek Ho Gaye Hum Aur Tum" sung by Remo Fernandes, a hit in India, and "Tu Hi Re" beautifully rendered by Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurty. The first of these sounded like it could sound like "Rukmani" later in the song, but it turned into rap/middle eastern music with tabla in the background. Fernandes is great, he has no trouble in singing this fun song. The latter of the two songs, "Tu Hi Re", is completely the opposite. Hariharan renders the song beautifully and Kavita aids him with the normal nasal but greatly improved voice. This song is slightly similar to Roja's "Yeh Hassen Vadiyan" but, again, distinctly different.
"Kehna Hi Kya", sung by Chitra, has a confusing Qawali beat that A.R. Rahman uses creatively, the music has the familiar dholka (from "Rukmani"), used as this beat. Chitra is her normal self, with extra voice-control, but she is not as great as her Roja hits. "Kucchi Kucchi Rakkamma" and "Kuch Bhi Na Socho" are sung by Udit Naryan, Kavita Krishnamurty, G.V. Prakash, and Shardha, and Pallavi, Anupama, Shuba, Noell, and Srinivas, respectively. You might think that the songs are a copy of "Rukmani Rukmani" at the beginning, but the first of the two changes to the sort of slow way, and the second adds a phrase to the chorus. In "Kucchi Kucchi Rakkamma", Udit sings with ease, Kavita sings with a convincing style, but the other two (children) are a little annoying, although I expect that some people may feel that they are "cute". The chorus is very similar (almost the same) for "Kuch Bhi Na Socho", with the children, so I had the same reaction to them as "Kucchi Kucchi Rakkamma". The music and beat in this song are better than "Kucchi Kucchi Rakkamma" but the singers didn't impress me as much. The theme of Bombay, which is excellently done by A.R. Rahman, is just music. The music consisted of a flute, (wow what a flute!), bells, a constant 'ting' in the background, and Kitaro-type sound effects. (Kitaro is a composer who creates relaxation music) Also there is a slow orchestra in the latter part of this song, making a nice relaxing finish to the music.
Overall, the songs are slightly Roja type, but not at all copies of Roja. Bombay promises a hope for A.R. Rahman to reach the "numero uno" position in the music industry, which is now occupied by Anu Malik, who is now declining quickly.
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