Yes, this is delayed. It has been over a month since the soundtrack of Rockstar released. I’ve had a lot of time to listen to all the songs carefully and you know, “let them grow” on me. The album released after a long harrowing wait, and I could barely contain my excitement as one promo after the other emerged. And to find out there were 14 songs in total!
It is definitely one of Rahman’s more memorable albums in recent times. Initially I found it redundant to listen to Mohit Chauhan sing every other song, but I am actually liking it now.
Rockstar begins with the wonderful Phir Se Ud Chala. The song picks up pace in the second half and takes a totally different turn. Mohit Chauhan has sung it with the reckless abandon that is required. Ths song makes me think of nature and freedom. Perfect way to start the soundtrack and your day. I don’t know why I don’t like Jo bhi main much. It’s just a good chill out song. Is it the electric guitar in the background at 2:36? Whatever it is, I love it. Then comes the song I was hooked to from the promos – the wonderfully sung Katiya karoon. As expected from an Imtiaz Ali film, there is a Punjabi type song in Rockstar too. Katiya Karoon is such a fun girly song.
Rahman adds another song to his long list of Sufi tracks. Sure, Kun Faaya Kun doesn’t match up to Arziyan, but it’s still almost 8 minutes of bliss. The first one minute is pure divine – the harmonium + Rahman + Javed Ali. And the other highlight is the portion from 4:58 till the end, where the intruments fade into the background and Chauhan’s voice rises above everything. And then the guitar kicks in at 5:45. whoa. Having never been a fan of Javed Ali, I thought he sounded amazing in this song.
Sheher mein is the most addictive track of the album. It is almost a throwback to the 90s. Mohit Chauhan’s laidback style of singing totally works. I believed it was sung by Karthik only after listening to it repeatedly for a week. The next song Haawa Haawa is just incredibly catchy. The chorus, accordion, and mainly the guitar make the song hard to skip. Both Sheher mein and Haawa Haawa should be fun to watch on screen.
Aur Ho is a favourite. I love pretty much everything about it – Alma Ferovic’s vocals and the flute that add an edgy and eerie tone, the song’s constant restlessness. It is easily one of Chauhan’s best.
Naadaan Parindey was the first song that appealed to me when I heard Rockstar for the first time. The chorus got me hooked instantly. It is almost six and a half minutes long but the time just flies. I can’t believe how fresh Rahman’s voice sounds here! After much racking of brain, I finally know what the intro of the song reminds me of – Khoon Chala.
Tum Ko and Tum Ho have the same tune but, I, being the genius, didn’t find out until much later. They are vastly different versions though. Remember the two versions of Ishq Ada from Ada? except for the basic tune, everything else was different. We see Kavita Krishnamurthy singing for Rahman after a 6 year break (Main Vari Vari in 2005.) I prefer her version to Chauhan’s slightly dull Tum Ho. The sarangi and tabla in Tum Ko make the track stand out. It is also great to hear Kavita again.
Everyone must know Sadda Haq by now. I don’t get why it’s receiving so much flak. Although it’s a little repetitive, I love it!
Tango for Taj and The Dichotomy of Fate are the two instrumentals. While piano, accordion, violins and claps dominate the former, and the shehnai and the guitar dominate latter. Rahman used shehnai successfully in the instrumental version of Yeh jo des hai tera years ago, and does it again in The Dichotomy of Fate. The instruments come together beautifully in the track.
Rockstar is a rich layered album. The songs convey two emotions – love and freedom. I may sound like a fangirl, but considering the current form of SEL, Vishal-Shekhar et al, I doubt anyone else would have been able to do a better job than Rahman. He’s broken free and has covered a variety of genres. As the case has always been, Rahman performs the best when he’s given enough freedom to explore and experiment. Rockstar is certainly isn’t his best, but I am quite happy with it and looking forward to more.