Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Music Review

Cast : Anil Kapoor, Irfaan Khan, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Dev Patel, Imran Hasnee
Directed by : Danny Boyle
Producer : Christian Colson
Music Director : A R Rehman
Release Date : 2009

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is one epitome of international success that needs no big introduction. This Danny Boyle's "rags to riches" (adapted from Vikas Swarup novel "Q&A") saga is significant in all measures and respects for Bollywood musical fraternity. After highly acclaimed ELIZABETH -THE GOLDEN AGE, maestro A.R Rahman's finesse of conglomerating out various moods, sounds and genres for international project makes its presence felt worldwide. It connects to global audiences too with M.I.A (real name Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam), UK based pop singer making her way out with her UK No.1 track ("Paper Planes") in this album. Will SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE be surpassing all maestros' last previous international works? Does the global musical feel encapsulated in the album will have enough captivating potency to lure Indian listeners? Let's be considerate listeners to find the musical secrets behind those enthralling scenes that make it phenomenon international news...!
A.R Rahman's is at fiery best in serenading out the rustic feel of street-side hullabaloo with effervescently racy and pulsating instrumental flows in the introductory track "O...Saaya". It conglomerates M.I.A with Rahman for the first time where bombastically thumped drumming and thriving percussions takes the aerial route in lifting up spirits. This outrageously loud number works like edgy but pulsating background score that script out the hustle-bustle of Mumbai city with a sentimental choir in Rahman's fluid vocals. M.I.A slender vociferous has bouncy inputs that gives it an international outlook. "O...Saaya" can be well one among those soundtracks that speaks volumes about Rahman's prowess as musician than composer. Just play loud and feel its racy gush...!"Riots", a thumping and daunting instrumental number brings out different beats and sounds that collage together to emote out an intimidating thrive of gory happenings. This brief instrumental has North African style drumming with electronic tunes that sets an everlasting impression of events.
East Meets West! The subtlety of Eastern musical flair meets the solemnity of Western feel with rigorously plucked "Sitar" amalgamating up animatedly with rhythm loops, aggressive percussions and guitar riffs in "fusion" feel track "Mausam and Escape". It's one gem of instrumental works that elates out the classical feel of "Sitar" in brightest possible ways. The track initiates out with serene notes in the prelude and then pompously races up to aggressive "Sitar" plays that get accompanied with thunderous westernized percussions and rigorous guitar works. "Mausam and Escape" is "fusion" music at its best and can well be served as textbook piece for all enthused musicians who crave for something creatively classical in their work. Outstanding "Jugal-Bandi"!!!M.I.A most chartbusting and album's most cherished moments comes with international super-hit track "Paper Planes" that makes its away in its original version. This alternative hip-hop number comes out with peculiar political lyricism and can well be workout as consequential background score in the bon-voyage of protagonist as he finds his way out in a journey. It gets a thematically melodramatic outlook with gunshots, trigger lock and cash register clinging sounds getting mixed in the sluggish-tempo music and upfront lyrical works. Despite some controversies, this upbeat track made itself as UK No.1 track and now is the centre-spread of this much acclaimed cross-over flick. "Paper Planes (DFA Remix)" is heavily loaded with trance feel electronic beat patterns with stylish "turntablism" (hip-hop DJ) making a cool maneuvers in making it a rollicking "club" remix number. Outrageously zippy!!!
After international talk-a-thon, the mood swivels to early 90's stylized Bollywood genre where Laxmikant-Pyarelal's much talked "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" (KHALNAYAK (1993)) gets revamped with similar folksy thrust in "Ringa Ringa". A.R Rehman confessed it to be "inspirational" and used the same vocals of Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun with Raquib Alam's chirpy wordings to emote out a typical raunchy Bollywood appeal for international audiences. The final product is enticing, engrossing and tantalizing enough to deliver out the desired blaze into the narration of the flick.The soul of Indian classical vocals gets melodic eruption with racy orchestral flows in consequentially played instrumental number "Liquid Dance". It has fiery and passionate vocals from purists like Madhumita and Palakkad Sriram that get fiercely interwoven in wildly punched percussive elements to create a ferocious feel for the compelling situations and moments of the flick.
"Latika Theme", a rhythm divine "alaap" in sultry tones with rhythmic flows comes out as fresh whiff of air where experimental moves excels to its acme. Suzanne D'Mello hums it gracefully with somber tonality of mild orchestral works. It's simply amazing in its totality as sounds and humming works expressively in gesticulating out solemn emotions. A brilliant background score by all standards that not only glorify out the finesse of vocalist but also honor the craftsmanship of musicians.Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's most vivacious floor dancing track "Aaj Ki Raat" (DON) gets a thriving boost as it gets added in the credits with added electronic beat fillers. It's a cool entry to make think hotter and spicier for international audiences and surely be adding thrust in story-telling.
"Millionaire", a sportive and spontaneous sounding instrumental number works like an aggressive commercial musical piece propagating out the much talked "quiz" show with all its electronic beat flamboyance. The racy splurge with feminine echoes streams out a desire for "rags to riches" dreams with funky trance musical stuff that gels well with the spirit of the theme.
Afro-American stylized "Gangsta hip-hop" with pulsating zing of "blues" and funky electronica gushes out with Blaaze taking out the proceeding in "Gangsta Blues". Rahman camouflages trendy hip-hop rhythms with sportive feel of reggae that has been hallmark of all hot-selling US best-sellers hip-hop tracks. It gist out the outrageous attitudes of "bad boys" on street and is likely to be one hot sizzling track for your audio systems.
Aha, there is?a melody too! Suzanne D'Mello is having a ball and this time it comes big all the way in "soul" genre of musical binge in intrinsically western love ballad "Dreams on Fire". A.R Rahman shows out his international class, similar to melodic flair heard in ELIZABETH -THE GOLDEN AGE. The subtleness of feminine emotions gets wings of slender vocals that get interwoven with textures of mesmerizing music and heart-warming lyrics. It gracefully revisits Celine Dion's soulful "It's All Coming Back to me" with influential Rahman's melodic finesse. Unlike "Latika Theme", this comes out as sentimental vocal mouth-piece in solemn orchestral flows, serenading out a passionate flare of acquiring dreams. Enchanting!!!
After being served with blend of international musical cuisines, the finale comes out in contemporary triumphant notes with racing orchestrations emoting out volumes about joy of winning in enthusiastically pumped "Jai Ho". Gulzar's meticulously poetic wordings are sporadic enough to emanate the joyous moments with Rahman's bombastic orchestral flows (loud drumming, enthused percussions) taking listeners by storm. Sukhwinder Singh's vociferous baritones are at its rollicking best as they modulate out the victorious zest. Tanvi Shah and Mahalaxmi Iyer's slender voices join the victory march in tandem and proves to affable support in narrating out the exultant feel.
A.R Rahman's SLUMDOG MILLIONARIE blossoms out to be multi-colored fiesta of melodic excellence where international genres, moods, sounds, vocals and instrumentals collage together prosperously to showcase out the multidimensional facades of the genius. It's one grand international endeavor that embarks the grandiloquence of esteemed Bollywood composer in triumphant way. A thriving promotion is now the need of the hour and all those Rahmaniacs will be having millions of reasons to smile as this one is all set to rule music-lovers hearts worldwide.