Released internationally on April 24, 2010 under India’s T-Series label, the Raavan soundtrack features six original tracks produced by two of Bollywood’s biggest names in music composer A.R. Rahman and lyricist Gulzar. The soundtrack features 14 artists and is a solid balance of powerfully rich instrumentals and beautifully soft melodies. Indeed, the Raavan soundtrack features a perfect blend of Arabic-influenced tunes and hardcore Indian beats. Among the playback singers, vocalists, and musicians featured on the soundtrack are Vijay Prakash, Mustafa, Kirti Sagathia, Kathik, Mohammed Irfan, Sukhwinder Singh, Am Nico, Rekha Bhardwaj, Javed Ali, Anuradha Sriram, Ila Arun, Sapna Awashti, Kunal Ganjawala, and Reena Bhardwaj. Since the film is being released in two versions — one for Hindi film fans and another for Tamil audiences — there are also two soundtracks; the Tamil version is entitled Raavanan. One extra track performed live by A.R. Rahman on the day of the album’s release, “Jaara Ud Jaare,” is not featured on the album. In reviewing the Bollywood version, not only is the Raavan soundtrack influenced by several respectable genres (such as Sufi music, Arabic beats, and Hindi pop), but it avoids being drawn out, as each track does exactly what it needs to do in the time allotted.
The Mani Ratnam film itself is released under the Reliance BIG Cinemas banner in association with Madras Talkies and stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tamil star Vikram, and Govinda; Manisha Koirala and Bipasha Basu make limited appearances.
Raavan is perhaps one of the best albums of 2010 due to its top-shelf talent, whose harmonic vocals blend perfectly with amazingly mastered tracks that will take listeners through some awe-inspiring peaks and valleys – all without being exhaustive or over-the-top. Accordingly, Buzzine Bollywood recommends the Raavan soundtrack, which is now available in stores.
Overall Grade: B+
Artist(s): Vijay Prakash, Mustafa, Kirti Sagathia
“Beera Beera” takes a few moments to get into, but the build-up during the first 40 seconds warms you up to a pleasant melody with soft, heartfelt vocals. The addition of the flute and other village-like sounds are a tad awkward, but overall, “Beera Beera” is smooth. What holds this track back is its lack of peaks and valleys.
Artist(s): Karthik, Mohammed Irfan
An entertaining melody with modern bass-lines intertwining with old-school Arabic tunes, Karthik and Mohammed Irfan deliver powerfully belted vocals and smooth lyrics in this mesmerizing song that will capture your attention from the first beat and intently hold onto it until the track is over.
“Thok De Killi”
Artist(s): Sukhwinder Singh, Am Nico
The first 90 seconds of “Thok De Killi” is about as energetic as any Hindi film song can be, with one’s adrenaline pumping almost immediately. Some momentum is lost between the 1:30 point and the 2:00 point, but the track picks back up with its positively powerful bass-lines and equally masterful lyrics. The final three minutes pick right back up, though, and the track never lets up until its final beat. No doubt “Thok De Killi” has younger audiences in mind.
Artist(s): Rekha Bhardwaj, Javed Ali, Anuradha Sriram
Raavan’s soundtrack slows down with “Ranjha Ranjha,” which features solid performances by Rekha Bhardwaj and Javed Ali on vocals in this Sufi-inspired number. Both the mellow and vibe of “Ranjha Ranjha” is equally soft and powerful, tuned perfectly enough to put listeners in a trance through its melodic beats and harmonic vocals. This track is a good listen for audiences young and old.
Artist(s): Reena Bhardwaj
Another slow track, “Khilla Re” is the soundtrack’s only solo performance, allowing Reena Bhardwaj to fully display her range and ability to hold a track. To be sure, her soft vocals are pleasant to listen to, along with her ability to sync up her voice with the pleasant melody. A well-crooned and romantic number, Reena does not disappoint.
Artist(s): Ila Arun, Sapna Awashti, Kunal Ganjawala
In what is perhaps the weakest track, “Kata Kata” tries a bit too hard to be folksy. Unfortunately, this track lacks charm and character. Fans will have a hard time warming up to this number, due to its inability to discover an identity or achieve any consistency.
“Jaara Ud Jaare” (additional track)
Performed by A.R. Rahman at soundtrack launch
Not officially released on the Raavan soundtrack, Rahman performed this track live during the official album release. Unfortunately, “Jaara Ud Jaare” would have been the best track on the album, had it actually made it onto the album. A beautiful piece, the music is deliberate, the vocals are powerful and mesmerizing, and the overall mood of the track is as romantic as it is inspiring and emotional. By comparison, “Jaara Ud Jaare” is reminiscent of Bally Sagoo’s remix of “Chura Liya.” Accordingly, it’s very hard not to fall in love with this song.