A R Rahmans's three songs, 'Khalbali' and 'Lukha Chipi' from 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Chan Chan' from 'Water' have been shortlisted amongst top 56 songs of Oscars this year. It's a big honour for the man and the country. This reclusive genius who works at his own terms and conditions (he records at night and everyone complies) has been weaving musical gems for more than fifteen years now. It's obvious to ask, if he is the best music composer we have'
Having started off with Mani Rathnam's mellifluous 'Roja', Rahman set a new trend in terms of electronic sound and new age music arrangements. He has always laid a lot of importance on high class production values, choice of the most melodious singers (he has given break to many new voices) and has consistently raised his own bar. His prowess in South film industry is unparalleled. But his music score in Hindi films like 'Bombay', 'Rangeela', 'Dil Se', 'Lagaan', 'Yuva', Saathiya' and 'Rang De Basanti' carries a timeless value. It can withstand the test of time. For each time you listen to a 'Tu Hi Re', 'Chaiyaa Chaiyaa', 'Rangeela Re', Mitwa', 'Humdum Suniyo Re', 'Khuda Hafiz', 'Paathshaala' or 'Rubaru' you feel as if you've heard it for the first time. The freshness quotient in his music carries a tinge of mint.
His last release 'Guru' is a mixed bag. But even then, a few of the songs like 'Tere Bin', 'Barso Re' and 'Jaage Hain' are miles ahead of any of the other music compositions in the recent times. A fantastic singer (as is evident in his rendition of 'Vande Mataram') Rahman never went overboard in promoting himself as a singer the way a few upstart music composers have done in the recent past. Rahman's live performances are always sold out and he is the highest paid star while performing abroad (matching the biggest superstars). The biggest compliment comes his way when any and every music composer in Bollywood tries to copy him (recent example being Anu Malik in his music arrangements of 'Jaaneman' soundtrack).
Finally, A Rahman is definitely the finest music composer in Bollywood at the moment. And here record sales are not the criterion for saying that. Even Altaf Raja can sell a crore copies of 'Tum To There Pardesi'. The criterion is the union of commercial viability and unmistakable virtuosity as a genius. 'Rang De Basanti' is one of the recent examples from his repertoire where he blends brilliance of music with exceptional artistic sensibilities. 'Rubaru', 'Khalbali', 'Lukha Chipi', 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Paathshaala' entertain and ignite a passion-for-change at the same time.
MusicMazaa wishes A R Rahman all the best in his endeavour to bring more laurels to the country. Hope he brings an Oscar home'