Planet Bollywood
Rang Rasiya
Producer: Anand Mahendroo, Deepa Sahi
Director: Ketan Mehta
Starring: Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Ferena Wazeir, Darshan Jariwala and Paresh Rawal
Music: Sandesh Shandilya
Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir
Singers: Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Roop Kumar Rathod, Keerthi Sagathia, Kailash Kher, Anwar Khan and Rajeshwari Pathak
Audio On: Zee Music Company    Number of Songs: 6
Album Released on: 26 September 2014
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Rang Rasiya was supposed to release way back in 2008 and was screened at some film festivals, back in the day. Unfortunately, the film ran into trouble with the Censor Board with regard to certain scenes in the film. The fact that the film did not have any saleable names added to its woes. Finally, after the film getting a clearance from the Censors and its leading man Randeep Hooda delivering a string of successful films, the film and its music sees a release for itself. One does not expect the moon from the soundtrack of a film which has been languishing in the cans for more than half a decade as one believes that the music created almost six years ago would sound dated. The good news is that composer Sandesh Shandilya, in a recent interview, stated that the songs do not sound dated even after all these years and a bit of mixing and touch up has been done to the songs to make them sound fresh.

Being a period film, one expects the album to have strong influences of Indian classical/ semi classical music in it. It must be noted that Sandesh had scored some good music for ‘Agni Varsha’, a period film, more than a decade ago. Manoj Muntashir has written all the songs and interestingly, ‘Rang Rasiya’ was supposed to be his first film as a lyricist. After writing songs for films like ‘Do Dooni Chaar’, ‘Love U…Mr Kalaakar!’ over the past couple of years, he finally hit the bull’s eye by writing the song ‘Galliyan’ from the film ‘Ek Villain’ that went on to become very popular.

The phrase Rang Rasiya is sung by Sunidhi Chauhan in a loop for almost a minute and a half. Sandesh demonstrates his expertise as a composer by playing with these two words for the same duration and weaving a tune around them. As the song moves forward, it only gets better what with Manoj Muntashir’s wonderfully written words, in chaste Hindi, complementing Sandesh’s music perfectly, making it difficult for the listeners to decide as to whether the music is better or the lyrics. Sunidhi Chauhan shines in every song that she sings. Sadly, the versatile singer does not get many opportunities to sing semi classical numbers in films. After hearing songs like these, one wonders why. She renders the complex notes with the right expression. Keerthi Sagathia lends a folksy touch to the song with his rustic vocals.

Roop Kumar Rathod joins Sunidhi Chauhan in Kahe Sataye, the second song in the album. The song, like the title track, is steeped in Indian semi classical music with a more intense feel and richer orchestration. Sandesh has tried to make the song sound a little contemporary which is evident in the faintly heard piano notes and some electronically generated sounds. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are filled with passion. The end result is simply fantastic! The song, despite all its intricacies and use of complex Hindi words, will appeal to a lot of listeners.

The album hits a roadblock with O Kamini. This Sonu Nigam sung number, carrying a pensive mood throughout, sounds dated. The tune fails to leave a mark. Sonu Nigam tries his best to elevate the song with his vocal prowess but the composition, itself, is so uninspiring, that the song turns out to be very average. Manoj Muntashir’s thoughtful lyrics convey the pain of the protagonist very effectively.

The album gets back on track with Anhad Naad, a very spirited number having a certain devotional quality to it. ‘Anhad Naad’ refers to the internal sound within a being that calls for spiritual awakening. The song talks about the search of the protagonist for the same. Sandesh’s music and Manoj’s lyrics bestow a wanderlust feel to the song. The song mesmerizes you with its spirited yet divine feel and makes you want to break into a spiritual dance. Kailash Kher makes for a perfect choice for the song and he sings the song with gusto. The Rajasthani folk portions are sung beautifully by Anwar Khan.

Unlike the other tracks in the album which, despite being dominated by semi classical music, came across as malleable Sun Balam strictly adheres to the ambience of the Indian semi classical form of music. Rajeshwari Pathak is flawless in her rendition of the number. The song holds more appeal for the connoisseurs of Indian classical music than listeners of Hindi film music. Having said that, it’s a brilliant composition that would grow upon you after a couple of hearings.

The album comes to an end with Rang Rasiya (Remix), which as the title suggests, is the remixed version of the title track. It is a tricky job to remix a song which is based on Indian semi-classical music. However, the remixed version springs a pleasant surprise by turning out to be a carefully arranged and remixed number that, apart from its heavy electronic sound, boasts of some Indian instruments, such as the sarangi, which were not used in the original version.

With three incredible numbers that, if promoted well, could get very popular , one brilliantly composed song that holds niche appeal and one average track, Rang Rasiya turns out to be one of the better albums one has heard this year. It also makes you wonder as to why Sandesh Shandilya’s music is not heard more often in films. Manoj Muntashir proves his real worth as a lyricist with his album. Give this album a listen and you won’t be disappointed.

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