A.R. Rahman

Zubeidaa: Story of a Princess

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The king of Indian filmi scores strikes again! A.R. Rahman has become famous for his balance of East and West, but with Zubeidaa he raises the bar. With more melodies than you can shake a stick at, he creates a lush series of songs that remain ineffably Indian at their core, but which are also fleshed out by Western studio techniques (drum loops, samples, synthesizers) and instruments (guitars). And the eight cuts which comprise the album might be the most memorable of a remarkable career. From "Dheeme Dheeme" to the glorious "So Gaye Hain," there are thick soundscapes for the vocalists, who perform excellently on the material. Although it's fair to say there's no such animal as a bad Rahman composition, this truly takes a quantum leap in its studied blend of sounds and ideas, where Western harmonies in the orchestra are happily juxtaposed with Indian vocals melodies and rhythms for what becomes a sound of real global appeal. If that were the sum total of the disc, it would be ample, but a second CD offers the Hits of A.R. Rahman, seven separate film themes performed live -- many of the tracks also appear on the Live CD issued at the same time by Sony. While so many of the filmi composers are simply cheesy, messily and incongruously Cuisinarting ideas together, Rahman stands head and shoulders above the crowd.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:08
2
7:09
3
5:44
4
5:39
5
5:50
6
7:51
7
3:24
blue highlight denotes track pick