“Beat! beat! drums! Blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows - through doors - burst like a ruthless force.” These powerful lines by Walt Whitman are just not enough to describe the music of Raavan. The songs have tunes and rhythm by A R Rahman and soulful words by Gulzar. Stitching it all together is the master craftsman Mani Ratnam, the film’s director. So, is the killer troika handing us a musical bazooka again?
Brace up for a musical explosion with the first song of the album, Beera, as congo beats welcome you to the world of the antagonist Beera (Abhishek Bachchan), the mighty and mysterious one who’s described as having ten heads and hundred names. The track, in the honour of Raavan, is the most intriguing composition of the lot, sung by the talented Vijay Prakash, Mustafa Kutoane, while additional vocals that add drama to the track are by Keerthi Sagathia. The song also enthralls you with its fusion of Indian and afro music.
Behne De continues the haunting, captivating mood of ‘Raavan’. But when the song starts, it clearly reminds one of the famous Jaane Tu Meri Kya Hai number from the movie Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. The situational track is somber and serious, and the feelings expressed as poignant as painful.
Gulzar’s poetic genius again shines through in this song. Thok De Killi, Bhagad Billi, sung by Sukhwinder Singh, does impress you with its loud, quasi rustic and quasi tribal music, but is not a hit in the offing.
There is something inexplicable about the track Ranjha Ranjha belted out efficiently by Rekha Bhradwaj and Javed Ali. As the song settles in your heart, you are drenched in the richness of Rahman’s music. Now that is indescribable.
The thunderous mood gets a balmy touch with the traditional, melodious track Khili Re crooned by the first-timer Reena Bhardawaj. With this track Rahman has tried to mix contemporary music with retro, quite reminiscent of the 80s romantic songs. Indeed, the song gladdens our heart with its melody.
Can you ever forget Kuchi Kuchi Rakma from ‘Bombay’ or Rukmini Kya Hua from ‘Roja’? The gang of Rahman-Ratnam again delivers a song on similar lines. Kata Kata with distinct Rajasthani folk rendered by the sensational trio Ila Arun, Sapna Awasthi and Kunal Ganjawala has a celebratory tune. No doubt the song is picturised on a marriage.
Bewildered, we are now ‘Raavan’-struck. The bazooka has claimed its victim. Simply phenomenal, out of the ordinary, and at times bizarre, the musical score of the film doesn’t fall short of the expectations. Agreed, some songs are less hummable, but it’s not easy to break the spell created by the film’s music. It lingers on for hours and days after.