Music Review: Water

Film: Water

Music: A R Rahman

Rating: 4/5
A R Rahman’s music is distinctive. He has his way of mixing music and organising different layers to result in a splendid composition. The music of Water is yet another superlative example of the new age musical maestro’s mastery over the medium.

In Tune:

Aayo re sakhi, rendered by sukhwinder and Sadhna Sargam, is the opening track of the album and rightfully so. This track has a wonderful blend of percussion instruments and with the vocalists’ voice building up gradually, it makes for a splendid song. Sadhna Sargam, who seemed to have been forgotten as a vocalist, has been brought back into the field and can rightfully reclaim her position among the top of the heap.

Rendering each one in a crystal clear manner, adding character to each word that she sings; Sargam excels in Piya ho, which she sings along with Sukhwinder Singh. This is a great classical number, ideal to perform on. It is soothing and the icing on the cake is the flute, which provides just the right touch.

If you liked the tracks from Raincoat, then you are bound to like Naina Heer. Sadhna Sargam manages to beautifully convey the feeling of solitude on a dhow, as it traverses the calm backwaters; breaking the silence of the water, sending ripples across.

Sham Rang Bhar Do, coupled with a little ‘bhang’ will make your Holi just what it should be. Sung by Richa Sharma, Raqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya, this track has a rustic beat, and yet manages to be contemporary enough through the rendition. This is the best example of Rahman’s layering of the sounds of various instruments.

Vaishnava jana to, the popular Gandhian bhajan, features in this album and has been rendered well by Ajay Charaborthy. There are times when ‘bhajans’ are altered to fit the pace of the entire album, but Rahman has not tried any such gimmicks and it retains its simple beauty.

Bhangari Marori, sung by Sukhwinder Singh, is a track that traces the Radha-Krishna story. One can almost visualise the setting of the song, with the sound of rippling water that flows through the track. A short track, but it manages to create the mood.

The CD includes six bonus tracks, those that might be considered Rahman’s best compositions in recent times. These include Barso re and Ay Hairathe from Guru, Dheeme Dheeme, one of my favourites from Zubeidaa, Tu Bin bataye from Rang De Basanti, Dhuan Dhuan from Meenaxi; and Ghanan  Ghanan from Lagaan.

You ought to buy this soundtrack if you have an ear for classical music and if you are moved by Rahman’s work. If not for anything else, pick it up for the way Rahman weaves the music with the vocals. It’s matchless.

Sanjay Ram

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