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Jodhaa Akbar music review

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Good but not great - The Jodhaa Akbar Music Review

By Aparajita Ghosh
Rating: 2.5/5

Composing for a period film in present times is no easy task. One has to walk the tight rope and balance the musical moods of the era bygone with the present taste of music buffs, which, unfortunately, is heavily inclined towards anything techno and rap.

AR Rahman walks the thin line. His compositions in 'Jodhaa Akbar' have a mere glimpse of what would have been the musical culture in Mughal times. And it also attempts to cater to the present popular tastes. This way, the music album of 'Jodhaa Akbar' ends up neither here nor there. The compositions are good, but they are not great.

Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah is a powerful song hailing the Mughal emperor Akbar. The number, sung by Mohammed Aslam and Bonnie Chakraborty, is heavy on beats and has a pleasing orchestra in the background. Rahman shows his musical wizardry with sounds that create images of rattling swords and chains. Also unmistakable in the song is the theme melody of 'Lagaan' that plays a number of times.

Jashn-e-Bahara could have been a much better song had Rahman chosen a better singer than Javed Ali, who surely sings the right notes with skill, but doesn't have much emotive appeal in his bland vocals. Still, the song, set on an Arabic tempo, carries Rahman's subtle magic. The tender notes of rubaab, mandolin and santoor form the backdrop of this soft romantic track, set to poetic lyrics by Javed Akhtar.

However, the Jashn-e-Bahara instrumental version on flute is a delight to the ears.

AR Rahman is back to what he does best in Khwaja Mere Khwaja, a sufi qawwali with a dash of techno touch. The song, an ode to Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer, has Rahman himself wielding the microphone and jarring the senses of a listener with his emotive and evocative vocals. Though the song relies liberally on tabla and harmonium, the techno flavour ruins the purity of this devotional track.

The instrumental version of this song takes you by surprise. How Rahman keeps the same melody but changes its timing and structure just slightly to suit the Oboe and accompanying orchestra shows his command as a composer.

In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein is a lilting track about the gradual passing of intimate moments. Sonu Nigam and Madhushree's impressive singing adds to this slow-paced song a mellowness that is broken by raucous chorus. Javed Akhtar's words paint the imagery of two lovers sharing their most special moments together. It is a song that makes an impression only after repeated hearing.

Mann Mohanna is a devotional track addressed to lord Krishna. Supported by tabla and heavy orchestration, this song, sung by Bela Shinde, is a plea to the lord from a despondent woman.

All in all, the songs of Jodhaa Akbar are below the usual standard of a genius like AR Rahman.

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