Friday, April 10, 2015

Rahman's "Ok Bangaram"


Some of my thoughts and feelings after listening to Rahman's latest offering "OK Bangaram"

The most touching song in "OK bangaram" for me is "maula wa sallim" which apparently is a traditional Sufi song and so not a Rahman's tune. Rahman's young boy AR Ameen sings this song with such devotion and innocence that I can't help uttering - "God bless you beta, may you shine like your father!"

I am big fan of Rahman's classical-based compositions and “Ok Bangaram” has 2 such songs - "edo adagana" and "manase tiyaga". The tunes sound somewhat familiar but nevertheless good. Chitra does a splendid job in "manase tiyaga" though her voice shows some age. One crib I have in this song is that Sirivennela uses the word "trishna" in the pallavi which sounds too strong and disturbs the soft feel of the tune.  Singer "Shasha Tirupathi" (I am hearing her for the first time) does a great job too in "edo adagana" but her pronunciation of "Da" is rather strange and almost sounds wrong.


My next pick is "hey amayika" sung beautifully by Karthik. This song is short in lyrics (only one charanam) but is more than 6 minutes long! Rahman seems to use more repetition in his songs these days, a trend we can notice in some other songs of this album too. 


Next I like the innovatively composed romantic duet  "maayedo ceyyavaa", which is lovely if one can ignore the female singer's mis-pronunciation of "ceyyavaa". 

mental madilo”, which seems be the hit number of the album, comes in 2 versions (male and female) and is peppy. 

I really liked the constant background beat in the song “neetho alaa” which gives this melody song a very different feel. This tune can work both as a sad number or a happy one and the lyrics are ambiguous enough to keep one guessing the mood. 

raara aatagaada” is my least favorite song of the album. The lead tune is quite catchy but this song did not impress me that much, possibly because of the rather irritating telugu rap lyrics!

Overall, a very good album by Rahman. I did not love this album as much as I loved “I” but I can say that Rahman-Mani Ratnam combo’s magic is here in this album!

Speaking of lyrics, one must appreciate Sirivennela for writing simple and sensible lyrics which sound natural with no “dubbing flavor”. Of course, it seems Sirivennela did not actually translate the Tamil lyrics for the most part, so we cannot call these lyrics as “translated”. In any case, these lyrics should delight Rahman’s Telugu fans whose frequent lament is that they cannot listen to Rahman in Telugu due to the lyrics. That said, I am somewhat disappointed because Sirivennela’s magic and mastery is not very evident in this album. I did love some of the expressions used by Sirivennela but I would not count this album as one of Sirivennela’s best works.

1 comment:

Kiranmai Bavirisetti said...

Apt. The album is only music, not lyrics. BTW, your priority list coincides with mine :)