Planet Bollywood
Yuvvraaj
 
Producer: Subhash Ghai
Director: Subhash Ghai
Starring: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Zayed Khan, Boman Irani, Aushima Sawhney
Music: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: A.R.Rahman, Benny Dayal, Sonu Nigaam, Alka Yagnik, Shreya Ghoshal, Javed Ali, Roopkumar Rathod,Vijay Prakash , Srinivas, Karthik, Timmy, Sunaida, Vivienne Pocha, Tina, Naresh
Audio On: T-Series    Number of Songs: 9
Album Released on: 15 October 2008
Reviewed by: Atta Khan  - Rating: 8.5 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Review by Aakash Gandhi - Rating: 8.5 / 10
 
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Opinion Poll: What is your favorite song from A.R. Rahman´s YUVRAAJ?

Salman Khan - “When Rahman and Subhashji come together, they give you the best music. The music of Yuvvraaj is outstanding. Its very soulful, peaceful and carries a sweetness of its own with powerful lyrical value.”

IT’S OFFICIAL! By some astonishing miracle, 2008 WILL be a memorable year for music. Yes indeed! But that miracle has come solely by way of Allah Rakha Rahman (ARR). Because without the outstanding music of Jodhaa Akbar, Ada…A Way of Life and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, the year is arguably one of the worst in recent times littered with mediocrity and devoid of what we all know and love to be the ‘essence’ of music, it’s soul and passion. This is largely due to the complacency of other music directors who have lost their focus but let’s not dwell on them. Because this is the era of Rahman and this is the year of a maestro who has truly been a ‘godsend’ (no pun intended) for all music lovers.

And thankfully there has been little delay with his latest, Subhash Ghai’s much anticipated Yuvvraaj , a musical about family bonds, love and the arrogance and overconfidence of contemporary youth (sold under the banner “everyone want’s to be a rock star!”), in particular three siblings (Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and Zayed Khan) and a lead cellist (Katrina Kaif). So just as with Taal, Rahman’s music is expected to feature in a big way, says the director:

Subhash Ghai- “Like Taal, Yuvvraaj is based on music. I've told Rahman, Yuvvraaj belongs to two people, Rahman and Subhash Ghai, in that order. All the main characters are musicians in Yuvvraaj."

Any comparisons to Taal are consequently inevitable but unfortunate as that is a true classic and a perfect score in so many ways but if anyone can do it, it’s the legend himself! So having set the scene dear listener, it is time to head towards the soundtrack and as long as you are prepared to stick by it, another journey into musical heaven beckons….

A journey starting with Symphony No.5 (Beethoven) is setting some precedence for the OST. The first track Main Hoon Yuvvraaj does exactly that (performed by Chennai String Orchestra) and provides a short introduction to the movie with vocals by none other than Salman Khan himself. In this he reveals a number of interesting cues but one thing is for sure….he is a 'bad guy' and he is Yuvvraaj out to prove he can be a superstar with his singing!

And his first attempt at stardom comes immediately with the next track, the quite wonderfully composed Tu Meri Dost Hain. The music, starting on a simple note, is eerily soft yet ever so alluring eventually developing into a blissful tune that will undoubtedly mesmerize you upon repeated listening. But why are you surprised? These are the hallmarks of classic Rahman! In particular the melodious cello play just takes the track to another level and the accompanying symphony effects are fabulous as are the dovetailing beats…everything links together so harmoniously, I am simply at a lost for words to describe the beauty of this composition. Special mention also to Gulzar saab for his gifted lyrics that add so much meaning to the song. Furthermore it appears that Rahman’s singing dynasty has added another sensation in the form of Benny Dayal (who also sang in Jaane Tu..) who sings in stunning fashin alongside the maestro himself. But it’s Shreya Ghoshal’s entry midway through that is a masterstroke and just the icing on the cake. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Rahman’s earlier release this year from Jodhaa Akbar i.e. the amazing Khwaja Mere Khwaja, this would be my pick for the most outstanding track of 2008. Genius!

A.R.Rahman- “Subhash Ghai is very different from other directors. He has really worked hard on the visuals. They look really colorful and really romantic. It’s almost treated in a musical way where it’s more realistic than just background music.”

Ok it’s now time for some party as the spotlight moves onto Zayed Khan and so beckons the next track Shano Shano. Let’s be honest from the outset, this is the weakest track of Yuvvraaj by some distance. However it’s not a total disaster when you take it in the context of the movie. Yes the music sounds like something out of a 1980s disco floor but if Zayed wants to groove to some chaotic music, as a composer, that is what you have to deliver! At the very least Rahman provides variety with some interesting musical instruments (it’s not all synth) and the use of multiple singers including Sonu Nigaam, Srinivas, Karthik, Timmy, Sunaida, Vivienne Pocha, Tina. Lyrics are about as good as they get for such a track. This is passable but the soundtrack offers so much more so let’s move on. Incidentally Shano Shano Remix by Krishna Chetan contains more vocals by Ember that are reminiscent of a ‘bad boy’ Yuvvraaj and hence the song is quite fitting for the movie. Nice alternative but nothing more.

After that minor blip, the soundtrack diverts itself onto the SOUL of Yuvvraaj with the utterly spellbinding Tu Muskura. The cello marks a sensational return and solo cellist V.R. Sekar and Elidh Martin (K M M C Faculty) do Rahman proud with some fine performances. Their cello play is underpinned by a percussion that hypnotises you soothingly from the start and keeps you firmly in a trance until the very end. As if that wasn’t enough, the allure of a previous melody (belonging to Tu Meri Dost Hain) sweeps past you briefly as Rahman magically weaves it into the song via the deft strings of Seenu's Mandolin play.

And yet, we have not even discussed the true catalyst of the song. So many have written her off but Rahman as we know, is loyal to his singing dynasty. And so marks the return of an old favourite: Alka Yagnik. Well in my opinion (based on her singing here) it will be a travesty if she is not nominated for the best female playback singer (award) for a performance that is as mesmerizing as the musical backdrop that she sings against. She is simply a transformed singer here, sometimes unrecognizable and from recollection, her last performance of such magnitude was Rang Hai (Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities) which confirms the mastery of ARR over his singers. Javed Ali did a great job in Jashn-e-Bahaara but plays second fiddle here to the bewitching vocals of Alka. Gulzar’s lyrics grab your inner soul and churn out what is left of your emotions… WOW! This is definitely one step closer to musical heaven….you could quite literally waste away hours, even days listening to this soul stirring masterpiece!

Gulzar- “When I saw the songs of Yuvvraaj on screen, I sent a message to Rahman saying that they were magnificent, and this is a very honest opinion of his songs and picturisation. Great showman puts up a great show! I think the performances of Subhash’s Yuvvraaj will go a long way in carrying this film ahead. It touches your heart.”


After such an emotionally draining roller coaster that was Tu Muskura one feels the need for a break and a diversion. Rahman duly obliges with Mastam Mastam, a delightfully uplifting track that also ranks as the most innovative of the soundtrack and also one of the best of 2008. The music is simple yet oozes witchcraft (the dhol and cello in tandem, play mind games on you like you have never heard before!), playful but at times melancholy, witty but with an underlying message. The interaction between the singers, Sonu Nigaam (outstanding as ever), Alka Yagnik, Naresh & Benny, is another highlight as are the incredibly unique and diverse lyrics, hats off to you Gulzar saab! Where Mastam Mastam lacks in instant attraction or a catchy melody, it more than makes up for after repeated listening and becomes an extremely enjoyable outing. Just be ready to click your fingers to one of Rahman’s most underrated song of 2008.

Shridhar (Sound Engineer – Yuvvraaj) - “I think its gonna rock, well, its gonna orchestrate… It’s going to reach a lot of people… and touch their minds and souls…”

The soulful journey of Yuvvraaj ends with Zindagi in which the composer continues to amaze in more ways than one. Depending on your preferences and mood swings, you could potentially enjoy this more than Tu Muskura. First up expect to be blown away by the Woodwinds play by P M K Naveen Kumar. If you recover from that, there is the enticing piano and strings of the Chennai String Orchestra. Rahman’s fusion of these incredible sounds is the best remedy for a stressful mind! The distinct vocals are instantly recognizable but this is not Hariharan listeners, this is Srinivas, another long time favourite of Rahman who also sang in the brilliant Yeh Jo Zindagi Hai (Earth 1947). In fact with such awesome vocals, one wonders why we have not heard more from him. Gulzar outdoes himself once again and for his complete collection in Yuvvraaj, runs away with the best lyrics of the year award. Zindagi is another must listen.

The penultimate track Dil Ka Rishta is a diversion of a completely different kind that takes you by complete surprise! Initially you don’t realize as a beautiful piano introduction is cut short by a cello play but your senses are instantly awestruck by the powerful nature of the drums and the full-blown orchestration that follows immediately after that. Welcome to the PASSION of Yuvvraaj and another unique twist to the soundtrack! This one has it all; a catchy tune, peppy beats, symphony orchestra, English verses (by Blazze) and some killer vocals by Sonu Nigaam, Roopkumar Rathod and ARR himself. Rahman puts this potpourri of ingredients to amazing use and delivers another winner even thought strictly speaking, the song is clearly situational and is attached to the relationship of the three brothers in the movie. Fascinating yet irresistibly Rahman!

Manmohini Morey ends the OST with a short classical piece that Rahman enhances with the use of synth to suit the taste of modern listeners. Vijay Prakash provides the vocals against Gulzar’s verses. Undoubtedly a commendable effort with addictive nuances, the track is too short to make any lasting impression. However do listen out for the chilling return of the cello fromTu Muskura around the 1:50 mark…clearly the maestro couldn’t resist one last rendezvous!

So where does Yuvvraaj OST sit in the hallmarks of all time great Rahman soundtracks? It will probably be years before we can answer that, will it stand the test of time? Without question. However what is clear is that it is not flawless in its execution like say a Taal OST which was perfect from A-Z. However we cannot underestimate the impact the soundtrack will have on the movie, the potential is colossal whatever the fate of the movie at the box office.

Comparisons with his other releases in 2008 are also unnecessary and futile. Each one stood it’s own tests respectively and more than satisfied audiences, fans and producers/directors alike. With the odd exception, everything else (outside of Rahman’s court) this year is so far behind for quality it’s embarrassing. So instead, let us simply rejoice this moment, your moment, the minutes, the hours, the days and the year 2008 when our finest music composer (at least of this era) gifted us an unprecedented array of compositions that became for us, Musical Nirvana in several guises…Yuvvraaj sits proudly towards the top for having outstanding music.

And in case you are wondering, the magic continues shortly with the soundtrack to Ghajini (Remake) …long live the legend. Long live A.R.Rahman.

Subhash Ghai (to Rahman): “Now that most of the popular Hindi film songs are only about disco and Punjabi folk music, does it makes sense to make a musical like Yuvvraaj?” Rahman's response: “Why not? If you get out of your comfort zone…go for experiments and innovations….new music will happen!”

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