Music Review: Mom (Hindi)

Composer(s): A. R. Rahman
Listen to the songs online here: Saavn

A. R. Rahman's recent outings have had more than their fair share of electronic influences, but nowhere is the aesthetic more apparent than in Mom. Yet when it opens with O Sona Tere Liye, it's almost absent. Instead it's all pianos and subtle guitar riffs, feeling like a chill breeze blowing your way, so ambient and serene you can't help but listen to it over and over again. I also couldn't help wondering how pretty the song would have been if it was just sung by Shashaa Tirupati, who outclasses Rahman with her whispery rendition. She also aces the mesmerising Chal Kahin Door, an utterly transportive melody made even more beautiful by the unstructured free-flowing tune and the instruments (flutes, guitars, strings and wind chimes) Rahman chooses to adorn it with. It's as if the composer and Ms. Tirupati are inviting you to a far off place, an abode of bliss where untold happiness awaits.

Kooke Kawn is considerably pedestrian when compared to the rest of what Rahman puts on show, the blend of electronic and bhangra elements at best discordant, even if Sukhwinder Singh's spritely vocals are hard to find fault with. Freaking Life rides on a pulsating electropop background, working fabulously as an electric teen rebel anthem characterised by catchy percussion and vivacious singing from Rianjali, Rajkumari and Suzanne D'Mello. Raakh Baakhi, the a cappella'esque Muafi Mushkil and Be Nazaara are united by their psychedelic soundscapes, yet each one of them is so astoundingly hypnotic and intriguing, it borders on surreal. Sudeep Jaipurwala-sung Be Nazaara in particular calls to mind Manmohini Morey for the Hindustani classical tune's trance-like makeover. A. R. Rahman unleashes his truly experimental side in what's one of the most unconventional soundtracks this year.