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This oscar winning album showcased A.R.Rahman on the international level, something that was due for a long time. Rahman's previous international work includes the stage version of Lord of the Rings and Bombay Dreams.
'O Saya' is pulsating and full of energy. MIA and Rahman teams up for this track which was very well placed in the film. The percussion is brilliant,MIA's vocals are spunky and Rahman's raw voice makes it a brilliant composition. Watch out for Rahman's mixing skills here!
'Riots'-a 2minute instrumental piece is filled with drums and looks set to be played against a chase scene. Up next is my favorite instrumental piece from the film.'Mausam & Escape' is a fantastic fusion of indian classical and western percussions-a piece that takes a lot of twists and turns with the sitar playing in the background. Just listen to this and you would know what I'm talking about.Sheer brilliance!!
MIA's 'Paper Planes' work well in such an album- a fast paced song which was released earlier as well. The remixed version is equally good and adds much to the OST since it is fast paced and carries a lot of careless attitude.
'Ringa Ringa' is Rahman's tribute to a 90's bollywood classic and makes for an interesting listen. Bollywood music lovers will like it while the western audience will be pleased to get a glimpse of indian music.
"Liquid Dance' is another interesting instrumental piece with very little vocals which gets repetitive after some point.'Latika's theme' has world music influences and is quiet and soothing while "Millionaire" is a fast paced piece which sounds perfect for a thriller/suspense.
'Aaj Ki Raat' is originally composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and featured in Don(2006) which is also used in this film. The song makes for a decent listen and has a certain lounge/party feel to it.
While 'Gangsta Blues' feels like an adrenaline rush,'Dreams on Fire' carries a lot of similarity to latika's theme and is rather soothing.
The album ends with a bang! 'Jai Ho'- the oscar winning song has been a phenomenon all over the world. The tune is extremely catchy and the phrase Jai Ho acts like a wild fire! Sukhwinder Singh,one of india's finest singers shows his mettle as he takes us through a song with different layers. Rahman chooses himself to give the backing vocals and it is his rendition which takes the song into an all time high! The female vocal is also very effective here. Gulzar's lyrics are well written but I wish the western audiences could have heard more of his diverse lyrics. He is one poet whom the world should know.
Rahman strikes gold with this album but lets face the truth-Rahman had 5 other indian albums this year and Slumdog's OST is probably his weakest! This says a lot about the volume of work he is doing-no wonder Rahman is termed as the Mozart of Chennai!
To lovers of music,I would recommend you to look closer into Rahman's work(atleast his recent work if not earlier ones),because here is a musician who is the probably the finest we have with us!!
Slumdog Millionaire was a great film (although didn't deserve the Oscar gushing), aided in large part due to its soundtrack, perhaps the most prominent part of the film that was worthy of its Oscar gold. This is a very memorable album that melds Eastern sensibilities with more Western electronic influences, which in many ways represents the film's creation with an Eastern plot and Eastern actors helmed by a Western director in Danny Boyle.
The first track, "O... Saya", occurs in the film as the flashback with the kids running from a policeman happens. It is very lively and keeps the pulse racing throughout this chase scene.
Probably my favourite track on the album is the third one, called "Mausam & Escape", which plays when Latika is kidnapped in the film's second act. It is incredibly intense and really heightens the viewer's emotional response, although the version here is a bit extended and doesn't play out the same way as it does in the film. Nevertheless it is great.
MIA's "Paper Planes" is also very memorable during the flashback when the kids steal food from the first class compartment of the train, and although a conventional choice for an "Oscar-grade" film, it works very well, even if I don't care for the "DFA Remix" that follows it.
"Ringa Ringa" stands out because it is probably the most straight Bollywood-esque track on the album, and although a bit jarring for a lot of Westerners, it is admittedly very catchy.
"Latika's Theme" is one of the best tracks, and used at the climax of the film when Jamal and Latika finally meet up once again. It is quite an emotional track and brings back memories of the climax even though I've not seen the film in a while. "Dreams On Fire" is a similar version of this but with lyrics.
"Jai Ho" is the closing track which was also the credits song for the film. It also won the Oscar for Best Original Song, and is incredibly catchy.
Overall this is a cracking album even if there is some filler.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 O... Saya - M.I.A., A.R. Rahman
2 Riots - A.R. Rahman
3 Mausam & Escape - A.R. Rahman
4 Paper Planes - M.I.A.
5 Paper Planes [DFA Remix] - M.I.A.
6 Ringa Ringa - Ila Arun, A.R. Rahman, Alka Yagnik
7 Liquid Dance - Madhumitha, Palakkad Sriram, A.R. Rahman, Palakkad Sriram
8 Latika's Theme - A.R. Rahman, Suzanne Grazanna
9 Aaj Ki Raat - Alisha Chinai, Alisha Chinoy, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Sonu Nigam
10 Millionaire - Madhumitha, A.R. Rahman
11 Gangsta Blues - Blaaze, Blaaze, A.R. Rahman, Tanvi Shah, Tanvi Shah
12 Dreams on Fire - A.R. Rahman, Suzanne Grazanna
13 Jai Ho - Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash, A.R. Rahman, Tanvi Shah, Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari, Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari, Tanvi Shah