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Music Review : My Name Is Khan

 My Name Is Khan
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Karan Johar
 Niranjan Iyengar
 Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Parvin Dabbas, Jimmy Shergill and Zarina Wahab.

By Abid, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend

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view MY NAME IS KHAN videos

The canvass is huge. Two of India's premier production houses, Dharma Productions led by the enigmatic director Karan Johar, and Red Chillies owned by India's first truly global superstar Shah Rukh Khan, have collaborated with entertainment giants, Fox Star Studios and Fox Searchlight Pictures, to bring a truly international quality product in the form of MY NAME IS KHAN. The handling of the music department has been entrusted to Karan's favourite, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and with the kind of music that the trio has produced for Karan; the choice is not surprising at all. Right from KAL HO NA HO and KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNA to the recent WAKE UP SID, it's their work that speaks for itself. They have always managed a rare blend of class and mass and their compositions, apart from being big hits, are always interwoven with the subject. So, the stage is set for another melodiously soulful outing and it's with humongous expectations that we explore, rather look forward to savoring the music album of MY NAME IS KHAN.

As the first string sounds of the 'rubab' along with the soulful vocals of the original queen of folksy numbers, Richa Sharma commence ''Sajdaa'', with the beautiful prelude, ''Rome rome tera naam pukare, Ek huye din rain hamare, Humse hum hi chhin gaye hain, Jabse lage nain teehare'', one is ready to be treated to a gem of number. And as the song unfolds further, the basis of assumption holds true. It would be wrong to classify ''Sajdaa'' as just another 'sufi' based 'qawwali' composition, because it is much more than just that and the reasons are Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who together make ''Sajdaa'' a memorable outing. Rahat, the true inheritor to his legendary uncle, sufi singer, the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, shows his class as his soft, caressing vocals are a delight to the senses and Shankar pitches in with his superb interludes in the form of repeated 'sajdaa'. The orchestrations are delightfully Indian with superb display of 'rubab', 'shehnai' and 'dholak' and thankfully the true spirit prevails throughout and even in these days of techno 'qawwalis/sufi' songs (of which S-E-L are masters!), they have adhered to this strict chosen route without diluting the effect. The result is an amazing composition that reverberates, especially the beautiful rhythmic chorus, and keeps coming back to calm the nerves and enriches the senses. However, the mention of lyricist Niranjan Iyengar is a must as it is he who makes all this possible with some soulful lyrics that are easy on the lips and make the 'sufiana qawwali' even more pleasing as it takes the form of a romantic number that is easily understood and identifiable by all. What must be added here is that the composition is a 'tasawwuf' number, a sort of hymn sung in praise of God where the almighty is akin to the beloved. It is partly romantic too depicting the profound love between the two main protagonists and also situational as can be ascertained from the 'shehnai' piece which is a must during traditional wedding ceremonies. In whatever way critics classify ''Sajdaa'' one thing is certain, this number is one of the best 'sufi' compositions of recent times and all credit to the talented team.

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Just when one thought that S-E-L had fired their best salvo with ''Sajdaa', comes another classy outing ''Noor E Khuda''. It may well be a song of despair with the protagonist seeking divine intervention to help him in times of crisis, but never once does the composition gets too serious or morose, as the tune that S-E-L have chosen is absolutely stunning. The stage is set with Shankar's outcry to the almighty, who is referred to as 'noor-e-khuda' (simply light of God), as he is considered as formless and appears as just a brilliant bright light. And Adnan in his inimitable style is excellent as his expressive and rich vocals convey the cry for help of the lead protagonist and strike right at the heart. Shankar, the support system throughout is perfect but his diction is bad and one can't excuse words like' khuda' and 'khwab' being pronounced wrongly by the seasoned singer. Shreya's classical singing is displayed with amazing beauty and the (new) nightingale provides the perfect foil to Adnan and Shankar. The beautiful background orchestrations are in perfect harmony with the situation of the song and the use of Indian musical instruments, like 'dholak', 'tabla' and 'sitar' is top class, but it is the guitar which has been used to perfection to convey the various moods. The somber mood of the song blends perfectly with the superb light guitar strummings, which forms the backbone of the composition. Niranjan Iyengar is par excellent and his carefully chosen words stay with the listener and are fresh as well as apt. The song comes to a beautiful climax as all the three main artists as well as the chorus join in to make it a song pleading for peace and harmony from God. Just the perfect ending to a perfect song!

At first hear ''Tere Naina'' appears to be just another romantic number that has been added in the album to give it that light touch and encash SRK's overwhelming romantic image. But just like ''Sajdaa' this song too surprises when heard in its entirety. It's a lovable love ditty that changes from romantic to 'qawwali' and to a light 'geet' and the subtle change is done with such dexterity that the listener is too taken in by the beauty of the track to notice. Only light musical instruments like beads, 'sitar', 'tabla' have been used to give the song that soft feel of romance, and the harmonium that forms the essential part of a 'qawwali' number is used with elan. Shafqat Amanat Ali gets his due in Bollywood by singing for a King Khan film and he makes full use of the opportunity by delivering his best. This hummable number too stays in the minds of the listeners and one is invariably and unconsciously singing the song even after switching off the track, such is the spellbinding effect of the simple number. For the first time Niranjan lyrics sound routine and filmy but may be it was the demand of the makers and the situation as well.

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download MY NAME IS KHAN wallpapers

'Sufi qawwali' just cannot get better than this and ''Allah Hi Reham'' is just the number that will send patrons of sufi songs and 'qalandars' in ruptures. Chants of 'Allah hi reham, Maula hi reham' commence the song. Before we elaborate about the musical attributes of the song, here is an insight into the theme and the genre it belongs. The song is a sort of devotional track that deals with the prime aspect of Sufism, 'zhikr' which is remembering God at all times,'' or dhikr (also transliterated as zhikr), which includes chanting the names of God and meditating that emphasizes the seeker's path toward ecstatic unity with God. 'Allah Hi Reham' is a number that is heavily 'sufi' in its nature and its lyrics are totally devotional dealing in 'zhikr' (in Hindi 'jaap') of God. This time therefore the song is totally 'tasawwuf' which we elaborated in ''Sajdaa''(song sung in praise of God who is akin to the beloved) and 'ishq' here means in love with God. ''Kaise ishq se saj gayeen rahein, Jabse dekhin hain teri nigahein, Ya khuda main to tera ho gaya.'' It's the kind of 'qawwali' that can be heard at holy shrines and 'dargahs' by 'majzoobs' and 'fakirs' who frequent them and devote their entire life to God. Music maestro A. R. Rahman has composed some extremely popular and classy numbers in this genre but S-E-L are not far behind as they too come up with a genuine, soulful treat in form of ''Allah Hi Reham.'' Rashid Khan, Rahman's favourite for such numbers, gets the nod and his deep vocals convey the deep sense of belonging of the protagonist to God.

The devotional mood then gets its pure musical high with the album's only instrumental, ''Khan Theme'' produced by Indrajit Sharma-''Tubby''. Unlike other themes which consist of mix and match of different tracks of the album, the ''Khan Theme'' has proper orchestration by the Bombay Film Orchestra, much in the same way music maestro Rahman deals with themes, though the approach and instruments used are very different. The theme depicts the various moods and incidents of MNIK and also reflects the state of mind of the lead actors reacting to different situations. The piece commences with soft piano notes which blend smoothly with violin and one can also decipher traces of cello. The tempo sees a gradual and soft transition from slow to fast, climaxing into a superb crescendo. It is obvious that the theme will be used during the important narratives of the film.


Song that has the potential to become an anthem for national (sorry, international) integration ''Rang De'' is just the perfect song to end the album on a high and bright note. It is a prayer for peace and international unity and talks of hope in these tough times. S-E-L have adopted the genre that is their forte, that is soft rock, and with the way that they have amalgamated rock with classical 'alaaps' by Shankar (who is adept at this) is superb and has S-E-L stamp of class written all over it. The beginning is reminiscent of Oscar winner Rahman's classic number, ''Vande Mataram'' and can be called an inspiration or merely a co-incidence. Suraj Jaggan, who is surely and slowly being recognized as a true rockstar (which he is in reality) in Bollywood, supports Shankar in delivering this noble message. The chorus, especially the part ''Is aandhi mein bhi na chhodenge imaan o yaara, Rang de aman se aasma'' is very inspiring and rhythmic and one is certain that S-E-L will surely be playing this number over and over again at their rock concerts; such is the infectious effect that the song has on listeners. Niranjan's lyrics are very inspiring and it is his words that stay long after the song comes to an end.

Before the summation, we would like to remind our patrons what Karan Johar had said while talking to us recently, ''All this while it was about my own world and sphere with which I was comfortable with but here I was looking at certain perceptions which are a global phenomenon. .This idea also required me to get out of my safety zone.'' So, MNIK is not only quite different from Karan's usual SRK-Kajol projects but even its music is quite 'hat ke' from his usual trademark grand song and dance stuff. The music is of a high quality and class, and still within the requirements of script and situation, composers S-E-L have managed to come up with a superlative album containing superb, melodious compositions. Three tracks that stand out are ''Sajdaa'', ''Noor E Khuda'' and ''Tere Naina''. The album is already creating a buzz and it is no doubt the highlight offering of the year and will get more and more popularity and patronage, as release date approaches and more promos are out. A champagne toasted musical caviar for the connoisseurs of good music and needless to say, a must buy!

Rating - 4/5

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