Of late, there was a misimpression in certain quarters that A.R. Rahman was becoming repetitive and loosing his touch. For all those who thought that he was suffering from burnout, Rahman comes roaring back with his music for Aamir Khan Productions' maiden film, 'Lagaan', and sets all doubts to rest.
The music is so haunting that after hearing it you feel that he is at his creative best. What is most impressive about the music, released by Sony, is that Rahman has used a minimum of synthetic sounds to suit the needs of the narrative. Javed Akhtar's Awadhi lyrics add to the charm of the score.
The opening track, 'Ghanan Ghanan', features Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Sukhwinder Singh, Shaan, Shankar Mahadevan and Kishori Gowarikar, and the rendition is superb. This lively track has a very rustic feel to it and it just grows on you. 'Mitwa Sun Mitwa' is another track that impresses with its rustic charm. The singers here are Sukhwinder, Srinivas, Alka and Udit.
'Radha Kaise Na Jale' features Asha Bhosle, Udit and Vaishali. The irrepressible Asha gets into the mood straightaway and Udit and Vaishali support her well. This track just proves Rahman's versatility as a composer. 'Lagaan---Once Upon A Time' by Anuradha Sriram follows, and is reminiscent of Rahman's earlier work. It is nevertheless very impressive.
'O Re Chori' is also interesting. Rendered by Udit, Alka and Vasundhara Das, it is the last of the trio who impresses the most. She proves that her 'Mudhalvan' number 'Shakalaka Baby' was no fluke and she has another winner in this track, which is an English-Hindi one. Vasundhara is very impressive with the English lyrics. The beauty of this track lies in the simplicity of its tune and overall presentation.
'Chale Chalo', which is rendered by Srinivas and A.R.Rahman, carries the flavor of patriotism and is as effective as Rahman's 'Vande Mataram'. The next track is an intrumental, 'Waltz for a Romance'. The orchestration, which is one of the hallmarks of Rahman's music, is simply marvelous. The last track, 'O Paalanhaare', by the divine Lata Mangeshkar and the ever reliable Udit Narayan, is sung in praise of Lord Krishna. The flow of the music here makes you forget everything else.
'Lagaan's music is definitely different from what Rahman has produced earlier and will prove an asset to the film. The best thing about the album is that all the elements: words, composition and song, fuse beautifully. As a result you just won't tire of listening to it.