Album Title
A. R. Rahman
Artist Icon Raavan (2010)
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Album Description
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Raavan is the soundtrack composed by A. R. Rahman, who accompnied for the music and background score for the 2010 Hindi film of the same name, directed by Mani Ratnam. It was released on 7 May 2010, by the label T-Series. The soundtrack features six songs, with four additional tracks included in the film were released later; the lyrics being penned by Gulzar. The same soundtrack was used for the Tamil version of the film, titled Raavanan as well as the Telugu dubbed version, titled Villain.

The soundtrack is especially noted for the use of rich instruments, Indian as well as Middle Eastern. Several new singers are introduced through this film. Rahman as usual, brought some experimental tracks like "Beera Beera" and "Thok De Killi". There is a folk song "Kata Kata", a kind of Sufi song "Ranjha Ranjha" as well as melodies like "Behene De" and "Khilli Re" in the soundtrack. The choreography of the songs by Ganesh Acharya, Brinda, Shobhana and Astad Deboo is also considered the highlight of the songs.

The album kicks off with "Beera Beera", that was premiered on the official teaser of the film. It was sung by Vijay Prakash and it begins with an African chant that was sung by Mustafa Kutoane. It describes the lead character played by Abhishek Bachchan. This track was picturised on the introduction scene of Bachchan. The African chant explains the wild character of him. The song continues throughout the opening credits.

"Behene De", sung by Karthik and Mohammed Irfan was regarded as the highlight of the album by many reviewers. The song, which takes many fascinating turns mid way, was the first completely picturised song in the film. Its shot on the beauties of Athirapally waterfalls in Kerala and features Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. The song is widely regarded as the biggest song in Karthik's musical career. He recorded the song in 2009 October from Rahman's Chennai studio and has performed it live in many programmes.

The next track "Thok De Killi" is sung by one of Rahman's most trusted singers Sukhwinder Singh and is a fast and peppy number. Guitar is the major instrument used and it ends in a frenzy and uses Arabic esque phrases here and there. The song is picturised as a war dance by Abhishek Bachchan and his gang (consisting of Ravi Kishan, Ajay Gehi etc.). Aishwarya Rai is also featured in the music video, as watching Beera dance from a distance.

"Ranjha Ranjha" is a kind of Sufi song, with a little folk instrumentation and is sung by Javed Ali and Rekha Bhardwaj, who is noted for the rendering of another folk song "Genda Phool" from Delhi-6 by Rahman. The lyrics of the opening lines of the song is adapted from Sufi Saint and Poet Baba Bulleh Shah's "Ranjha Ranjha Kardi". Though this song doesn't feature in the movie, another version of the song that is sung by Ila Arun and Richa Sharma was featured in the film. The song is used in the background of the movie only.

"Khili Re" is a romantic song and is sung by Reena Bhardwaj, who was replaced by Shreya Ghoshal in the Tamil version. Its instrumentation is based on flute and sitar. Picturised on Aishwarya Rai and Vikram from Kolkata, the alap portion of this song features a classical dance performance by Aishwarya Rai. The song was choreographed by well known actress and dancer Shobhana.

"Kata Kata" is a situational song that is rich in percussions and was shot as a wedding song. The song was based on traditional Indian music and Middle Eastern music, and had oud and shehnai are used in the interludes. This song was shot with 1000 dancers in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh. "A huge set was created in Orchha to shoot this song which took four days to wrap up and has been choreographed by Ganesh Acharya," says a Unit hand. This song may seem a little similar in picturisation and mood to "Rukmani Rukmani" (from Roja), both being wedding songs involving a group of singers, but if "Rukmani Rukmani" was a mischievous set-up for the nuptial night, this one's sung like a warning, but with equal amount of revelry and fanfare. "Kata Kata" is reportedly the most lavish song that Mani Ratnam has ever shot in his career.

The only full song out of the four additional tracks "Jaare Ud Jaare" was performed by Rahman. According to Rahman, "The song was a very last minute addition. I saw the movie and felt like adding a song to a particular situation in the film. The lyrics of the song were ready for a while however I had to yet compose the tune. Meanwhile we had already planned our music release for the 7th of May so we didn't want to delay or postpone that because of one song. The song may be later added to the album; however it would feature in the film." It was composed and recorded by Rahman in his Mumbai studio within a few hours. The song starts in the movie during the acclaimed climax scene of the movie and continues throughout the end-credits.
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User Album Review
The soundtrack for the movie has received positive reviews, with most reviewers hailing the album to be one of Rahman's best recent works. The Hindu said, "Raavan is further proof that A.R. Rahman always saves some of his best stuff for old friend Mani Ratnam. There's no escaping Raavan. Or Rahman. They will get you." According to The Times of India, Raavan is an interesting audio track, although Rahman's earlier associations with Mani Ratnam remain unforgettable. A review on Bollywood Hungama said, "There are number of gems in the album, most notably being "Ranjha Ranjha", "Beera Beera" and "Thok De Killi". Go for it, this one is not to be missed as it has Rahman coming up with one of his best soundtracks in recent times." A review by the Hindustan Times said, The trio (Rahman, Gulzar and Mani) has brought out a lethal combination presenting a soundtrack that is fresh, high on energy and in tune with the soul of the movie. According to Rediff's Sukanya Verma, "A. R. Rahman stays true to the element of Ratnam's vision as there's never any attempt to show off or introduce unnecessary elements. The outcome is exquisite. Or should I say expected." A review by NDTV said, "The album is a musical treat and impresses thoroughly. When Rahman teams up with Gulzar and Mani Ratnam, the result is pure magic."

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