Click here for the movie review -> Tamasha Movie Review
I wont’s spend too much time on the intro, but let’s just say that this album was something I’d been looking forward to ever since I saw the trailer. Imtiaz Ali and Rahman gave a knock-out album in Rockstar and I was too eager to find out what delights Tamasha hid in its quiver. So onto the songs without any further ado then –
Another Masakali in the making, this is one of those instantly likable tunes from Rahman. It starts off with a motif that I like to call the ‘Theme of Tamasha’, which also forms the base for the chorus. While Mohit Chauhan has a blast at the vocals, it’s Rahman who transports you to the Mediterranean with thoroughly imaginative orchestration. There’s the usual suspects like the harmonica and accordion, lending a distinct European spice to the song. But he also intersperses it with very Indian string work and the fusion just sings.
When I heard it for the first time, I did not get the structure outright. But with each listen, I’d discover something new. Like how I realized just now that the tune takes a beautiful detour in the second stanza, quite different from the first. It makes the song feel very organic, like how it’d be if someone were to actually sing a song in real life.
Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai
Never been a fan of Mika. It’s just not my style of music, but I think this Punjabi folk will impress quite a few.
I always hit the skip button when this song comes up.
Tum Saath Ho
A beautiful melody, what Rahman is best at. With lilting piano and violins in the background and Alka Yagnik’s soulful vocals, this song quickly transports you to a blissful state. Arijit Singh’s entrance adds an other dimension, his voice gliding over the long drawn-out chorus portions in an oh-so-beautiful way. And the flute just rounds up everything nicely.
Just so much detailing in this, I’m gonna have to listen to it a hundred times to process everything.
Wat Wat Wat
What a funky number! Only Rahman can put a modern twist on Punjabi beat and make it sound innovative. Arijit Singh sounds like he’s having a lot of fun rendering this song. His voice goes so well with the tune and the infectious beat. Rahman, of course, goes the extra mile and throws in Shenhai and electric guitar to make the song completely his. Almost bordering on trance, this is a song that will slowly creep into all of your parties.
It starts off with a nostalgia inducing flute melody. And then BAM! You are hit with orchestral violins and Sukhvinder Singh’s captivating voice. From then on, it takes amazing segues and twists and turns with a generous serving of dire sounding violins, mridangam, more flute and a lot of other instruments that I couldn’t even recognize. When you listen to this, you can tell that this is a score to a play and each fragmented part belongs to an act or scene in it. At some points, there’s an urgency to the music like something crucial is going to happen and then it mellows down for a while (at which point I think singer Haricharan hits you with his sweet lines, ably accompanied by Haripriya). The flute melody from the beginning also appears as a chorus and cements that tune in your head for eternity.
I have no words for this song, but I’ll try. When I realized that Rahman layers what basically is a Sufi-like tune with acoustic guitar and then throws in some accordion as well, it made me wonder if there is any limit to the magic this man can achieve. It’s hard to pin down a genre to this song. It’s not even as simple as I made it to be, everything comes together so harmoniously that it feels so natural. One moment you’re in India; the next second, you could also be in Corsica. And when Lucky Ali goes ‘Safarnaamaaaaa’, my heart goes out and flies around like a butterfly.
Then there is that interlude. A quintessential Rahman interlude it is too, but that simple electric guitar (I think) plucking interspersed with that acoustic chord progression is nothing short of heavenly.
Parade De La Bastille
Rahman continues his ethnicity defying music here as well. It starts with a Sufi humming but what happens next is out of this world! With a name like ‘Parade de la Bastille’, you really feel like you’re parading on a Spanish street with colorful decorations and processions. I could sense some Celtic influence as well, and it is a complete riot. The Theme of Tamasha makes a delightful appearance here, and then the pace quickens and suddenly you are shaking your legs to the rhythm. And when I close my eyes, I somehow picture the dance from Disney’s Tangled. You know, the kingdom celebration dance.
Tu Koi Aur Hai
The best, of course, is reserved for last.
Imagine having your favourite three-course meal and feeling completely satiated and full right after. Listening to this song is just like that. Rahman himself croons this heartfelt and sad tune, beginning on a soulful note and reaching mesmerizing highs. But this is just the starter, mind you. The main-course beings the moment things start to become more complex. With a meditative opera’ish midway and then juxtaposing Alma Ferovic’s airy vocals over Rahman’s own, things take a dramatic turn for the best. With his trademark Gospel chants and pumping violins, the main course then comes to an end abruptly.
But then comes the beautiful segue to Safarnama theme, and this is the delightful dessert that completes the meal. Listening to this, you can tell that Rahman can truly give Hollywood composers a run for their money. Just the expansiveness and depth of it, sounds so colossal. But you can also feel the pain and heartbreak behind the music, which just tells his brilliance.
Verdict: At a time when songs are treated like ‘products’, Rahman treats them like pieces of art and this undoubtedly is what sets him apart from the rest. He gives, and gives some more to make it the best version of the song that it could be. Tamasha continues the tradition and delivers a standout album which takes you out on uncharted territories while keeping you grounded at the same time.