Asian Music and Dance

The best of AR Rahman

There is no doubt AR Rahman has the technological exuberance and musical execution to match upon hearing this album. 

His authenticity is second to none. Mixing traditional instruments, like sarangis, thumbis, bamboo flutes and temple bells with electronics has become his forte and singles him out from any other music composer involved in popular Indian cinema. He is a master of beats, bringing an edge to the music. This is demonstrated perfectly in the track ‘warriors of peace’ where two minutes into the track he teases the listener with the idea of a drum and bass break and takes it straight back to the cinematic feel he has become a master of, giving us a similar feel a short time later. 

This album confirms Rahman is a world player through his sound, flawlessly mixing sounds from the world and taking you to that place, adding a further dimension and giving life to the scenes where these tracks belong. You are transported straight to Punjab with some playful melodies in the title song of ‘Rang de Basanti’; to Turkey with Arabian beats in ‘Mayya’ from the film ‘Guru’; to a village romance with ‘Radha kaise na jale’ from the film ‘Lagaan’ and to a faraway fairytale through the cinematic orchestras of ‘So Gaye’ from ‘Zubeida’.

That AR Rahman works with only the highest calibre of vocalists and musicians demonstrates he has the highest dignity for the music he produces and gives to the world. It is a shame then that the album does not feature any of his latest mastery of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ for which he won two Oscars. Nevertheless, this album charts Rahman’s journey into a higher realm of music-making, which puts him on the world map, giving Indian cinema the dignity it deserves.



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