Swades Music for We, the People

Sharukh, Swades and Junta

A R Rahman and Ashutosh are back and their combo is working magic up the charts. Rahman’s music for Ashutosh’s Swades (not the english swades but the hindi swa des) has its moments of brilliance.

If you weren’t aware then, Swades, as defined by Ashutosh Gowariker, is a movie that talks about Mohan Bhargav [Shah Rukh Khan] who realises it’s high time we stop dreaming about greener pastures abroad and giving a blind eye to our responsibilities at home.


The music was released a week back and the reaction to it seems very positive. It was a music that I was expecting for sometime now and was happy to discover that it released much in advance. With Javed Akthar penning the lyrics the music give us a brief outline on the feel of the movie. AR Rahman seems to be the similar Rahman as what we saw in Rangeela or Roja. He manages to keep his music fresh and makes listening to his music a seraphic experience.

Swades consits of 7 numbers and two instrumental numbers, one with flute and the other with the Rahman’s own favorite Shehnai.

Yun Hi Chalaa Chal number rocks high. My top favorite of this album. Starting with Hariharan humming Pama…Phani…Nidha…Thapa, this one has both electric and acoustic guitars stringing around in perfect tandem. Bring back the younger Rahman back in action. Udit leading the singing vocals as Hari Haran humming on high note in the back. That hum of Rumthum Thaanana Rathuthum Thaanana is infectious and would prompt you start humming, instantly.

Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera has ARR himself singing for the rather slow piece. Accompanied with a Shehnai and a single string in the background, this is one is a kind of sober theme song. Brilliant Chorus and ofcourse, the well held in voice of AR Rahman makes this one a worthy listening. This one is going to be THE feel of Swades.

Pal Pal Bhaari has Madhusree, Ashutosh and a Mridangam. A Ramleela told in an authentic music format. Very Desi. You might get the feel of Marghazhi Thingal Allavaa song from Sangamam here. It’s true too.

A continously pleasant drum roll running throughout can’t alone make a melody. So AR Rahman stops this roll for sometime and shifts to a folk beat in the middle of the most melodious Saanwariya, rendered excellantly by Alka Yagnik. She does remind me of Sadhana Sargam at times which could be attributed to Sadhana singing many ARR numbers. A true oasis of a melody.

Aahista Aahista reminds me of a similar melod from ARR before but can’t get which one it is. Probably the most low profiled song in Swades but has a give lot of scope to the rather very fast paced Udit and makes him slow down.

Yeh Tara Woh Tara starts exactly how an ARR song would start, continues exactly the same way and ends just as expected. Some songs get the status of being the first number in the CD. This one has such an aura and is the opening song of the CD. The flute interlude is notable here and ofcourse Master Vignesh(I think it’s the kid who sang the starting bit of Chikku Bukku Railu) vocals brings infront a vivid picture of the song.

Dekho Na should have been clearly out of this album. Not the kind of song for this original movie. Dekho Na is the hindi version of Baba Kichhu Kichu Tha from Rajini’s Baba. Except for very tiny changes, most of tune is ripped off from that song. I shouldn’t be saying ripped off because it was Rahman who scored that song also in Tamil. Rahman could have probably scored a seperate number instead of recycling it.

The music will certainly win appreciation and will be a good preface for the movie. But I only hope Ashutosh doesn’t fall a prey to the expectation trap and get caught in the nationalism funda for his movies. There are too many stories lying beyond nationalism which calls to be made into movies and rare-breed directors like Ashutosh.

17 thoughts on “Swades Music for We, the People

  1. Guru,

    1.You missed out baby pooja in yeh tara woh tara song 🙁

    2.I think Rehman should have straightaway used the baba tune for Swades. In hindi the lyrics are decent, unlike the kichu kichu silly lyrics!!!

    3. In Yeh jo des hai tera at times dont you find traces of hariharan in Rehman’s voice 😕

    4. Why not much mention abt the instrumentals? I felt they were very soothing to hear.

  2. The kid who sang the starting bit of chikku bukku railu is GV Prakash. And if you have the original CD and read the credits, you will see his name under Additional Programming.
    btw, GV Prakash is ARR’s nephew.

  3. Nice review of the Swades soundtrack! Having written one myself a few days back (yes this is definitely a shameless self-promotion in case you had any doubts) it gave me a chance to hear the songs with a perspective different from mine .. although try as hard as I might, I cannot make myself like Alka in Saanwariya 🙁 But the more I listen to Yun hi chala chal and Ye jo des hai tera, the more I am starting to love them !

    Neat blog! Am a regular reader although a first-time commenter..

  4. Yes.. Now i got it… Pal Pal Bhaari does remind one of Maargazhi Thingal.. Bravo Guru !! N hey, though my favorites are Yun Hi and Aahista, doesn’t Yeh Jo Des remind you of Thai Mannae Vanakkum esp in the higher notes ?

  5. O yeah I went to school with that kid GV, 6th and 7th grades i think at Chettinad Vidyashram. Good times. btw i think he also sang in the kuchi kuchi rakkamma song in bombay. In real life his voice was actually kind of the high pitched and breaking up. And yea he used to live in the same house as arr in i forget vadapalani/kodambakkam.

  6. hey, congrats! i love this site, has the latest news in India. thanks. hey, and can you tell me when 7G Rainbow colony is releasing?
    thanks

  7. Hey Mebe, Thanks for the note. Good Blog there too. Keep Blogging !!

    Prabhu, Infact I wanted to write about those instrmentals but did forget at the end.

    Yep Manoj. You were right. I knew that the kid was a nephew of Rahman but thought Vignesh and that GV Prakash were the same. Thanks for the info.

    Jupe, I did strain myself thinking back to back to get that song of sangamam. It was tough but evident.

    Sujay, Any idea what is GV Prakash upto now.

    Thanks Nitin for the note. 7G Rainbow is scheduled to release next week here. It’s long since they planned for the release.

  8. The famous “TEAM” :)) from Lagaan is set out with a different venture this time around. Ashutosh,Rahman & Javed have done it before and I’m pretty sure they have done it again.
    I’ll start with my favourite of the album ‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ brings back the feel of Rahman in his ‘Vande Mataram’. The vocals of Rahman creating the right mood for the track. And I don’t have to say about Javed Saab’s lyrics as poetical and simple it could get.
    The next ‘Yun Hi Chala Chal’ is a foot tapping number which will get you into the groove. Ably assisted by Kiron Kher sounding more like the Late Nusrat saab. It’s a pretty long song though but it never dampens at any moment. The very beginning of the song reminds you of Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’.
    ‘Dekho Na’ as mentioned is the moulded version of Baba’s ‘Baba Kichu Kichu Thaa’. But it sort of sounds better to the ears than the Tamil version.
    ‘Saanwariya’ somehow makes me feel it’s a song from the Maestro Illayaraaja in Tamil. I’m not sure which song but there is a song already very similar to this song in Tamil composed by him.
    ‘Pal Pal Hai Baari’ makes you to compare naturally to ‘Oh! Palanhaare!’ in ‘Lagaan’. I guess Ashutosh is getting superstitious.
    ‘Yeh Tara Woh Tara’ is nicely sung and backed up by the kids Vignesh. It makes you imagine how the song must have been picturised.
    ‘Aahista Aahista’ is a lullaby sung beautifully by Udit but it somehow doesn’t have the magic touch of Rahman. It just doesn’t have the feel all other songs have in this album.
    Overall the album has a full stamp of A.R.Rahman on it and were would it be without Javed Saab’s lyrics. And as we know about Ashutosh’s capability I’m pretty sure we would be in for a visual treat now that we have had heard the music.

  9. As I tipped my finger over the rack of new releases, I stopped my finger over the one which bore the picture of a star actor and names of the film’s director and music director, all internationally famous. The cassette gleamed with the purity and clarity of the sky.

    The First Fact: I rushed home with the light cassette in my pocket and a heavy anxiety in my mind. And within an hour, after I heard the first tune from the album, I came across the first fact: If Shah Rukh Khan, Ashutosh Gowariker, A. R. Rehman are not internationally famous, by the time the film releases three months later, the music album of Swades would surely sink without trace. But the reason for sparing a write or a read on this album is surely not the fame of the three icons; the music of this album deserves to be known of.

    The Music of Swades: The album consists of 9 tracks, including 2 instrumentals. The instruments used are mostly non-Western (I wouldn’t say they are purely Indian). And Udit Narayan’s mellifluous voice dominates the vocals. He comes out with his best effort in ‘yeh taara woh taara’. The title song (‘yeh jo des hai’) rendered by ARR is the pick of the album, especially for its lyrics and music arrangement. But more effort could have been put on the song as, at some instances, the instrument (naadha swaram) and the vocal seem to dash one another, resulting in unclearness. The rest of the songs would get the liking on more listening.

    The Expectation: The audio release, three months ahead of the film release, is sure to generate enough expectation. Having listened to the album, I wouldn’t expect the film to be a block buster. But I feel the film has enough scope for SRK to slap all his critics. I expect many things; but I wonder most about: what is Ashutosh Gowariker’s success plan for a film which doesn’t have a cricket match.

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