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Ekk Deewana Tha
News Updating Staff

When "Dosa" (South) meets "Samosa" (North)...something nicer and spicier is predictable to happen! Ironically speaking, in year 2011, the first three big box-office hits (BODYGUARD, READY and SINGHAM), were all official South-remakes that made cash register ringing all the way. EKK DEEWANA THA, an insightfully romantic flick about love relationships, falls in this cadre, as it is official remake of Tamil super-hit VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA (meaning - Will you cross the skies and come), which was later remake in its Telugu version as YE MAAYA CHESAVA with a different cast and climax. On musical front, prolific director Gautham Menon maintains the sanctity of the subject and confers the musical department again to the maestro A.R Rahman. Like ROJA, HINDUSTANI, HUM SE HAIN MUQABALA etc, this album too has similar sounding composition from the original version with couple of added new songs in it. Past experiences and results clearly indicates a win-win situation for the album, but can this be one great album that will set audio sales soaring high with its quality displays. Can EKK DEEWANA THA be the perfect romantic album for youngsters in year 2012? Let's get straight into its musical facts...

To suit the mood and taste of Bollywood listeners, Rahman plays safe and tries to invigorate a sort of quintessentially Bollywood 90's stylized romantic composition in the opening track "Kya Hai Mohabbat". It's genteel and soothing in textures and comes more like a narrative monologue from the lead protagonist, exuding out shades of "Mohabbat" (love). Rahman's caressing tones are expressive and connect descriptively with changing shades and moods of the track. It's a decent start (if not great) to the album where a listener is well-aware of the feel and gist of the flick.

Next to arrive is quizzically trendy sounding "Dost Hai (Girl I loved you)", a hysterically and compassionately crazy version of "Kannukul Kannai" (VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA {Tamil}) by Naresh Iyer, with added shades and style of racy hip-hop emceeing and crazy sound antics, somewhat similar to "Liquid dance" (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE). Jaspreet Jasz and Arya crazy emceeing are the resounding highlights, giving it a true uber-cool urbane feel and giving many thriving moments of excitement for big screen histrionics. It has typical Rahman's style of slick composing that are tailor made for situational needs, a perfect track for B-boying dancing on streets. In terms of performance and composition, it's different from original version as now Rahman experiments with loads of hip-hop emceeing rather than preferring on vocals, moreover a visual delight for new-age generation. Go for it!!!

A Different Beat! Moving across from urban beat structure of hip-hop to enchanting sounds of Kerala shores is an all-together a blend of experience, a unique feel of romanticism that is gripping as well as narrative sounding in "Aaromale" (appearing as "Aaromale {VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA})". It's the genius of Alphonse Joseph, a renowned Malayalam musical prodigy that enlightens senses and makes the word "Mohabbat" even clearer with his resonating rendering of "Aaromale" (meaning my beloved) in varying tones. As far mood and tempos are concerned, it's a "viraah" (song of separation or delusion) song where the lover cries for his beloved he loves the most and hopes for a delightful communion, in typical folksy tones. Rahman's composition pulsate the mood with intimidating strings that captures senses in the prelude and later it's the vocal throws of Alphonse that carries the song with the required dexterity. For Bollywood listeners, it will be all-together "a different beat and breed" type of song that can be classified as "folksy rock" ballad, sung meticulously and should be working as a prominent background score in the flick. Impressive!!!

Hosanna...finally! From the enchanting sea-shore mentholated chorals to the buzzing electronic digitalization in arrangements, the mesmerizing phases of jubilant romanticism takes its toll on senses in mellifluously composed "Hosanna" (appearing as "Hosanna" {VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA}). The soul-stirring relaxing ambience in delectably soft orchestral flows domineers as so are ebullient voices, which together makes soulful impact on ears. Leon D'Souza minty breezy youthful tones are soulful bliss that concocts adorably with Suzanne D'Mello's subtly toned humming. Javed Akhtar's easy-on-ears lyrics justifies the feel of "Hosanna" (meaning 'glory' in Christian chorals) while Blaaze's "yuppie" wordings adds madness to the musical textures. As far as hysterical romantic impulse is concerned, it rejuvenates back the feel of "Saathiya" (SAATHIYA) with loads of technical improvisations in both arrangements and orchestrations. Leon's boyish voice is truly a solace for ears, a worthy attribute by Rahman through this soundtrack that will surely be enjoying a longer shelf-life in months to come. Soulful!!!

Mushy romantic groves maintains its top-slot, as now the love-chemistry starts blazing through subtle overtures and whims in sentimentally rendered "Phoolon Jaisi Ladki" (appearing as "Omana Penne" {VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA}). Once again, Rahman maintains the sanctity of the original composition and mesmerizes mood with magical spells of soft romantic hues that are blend of lovable voices and comforting musical decorum. Clinton Cerejo's soothing baritones in lower octaves are really enchantment for ears that exudes the charms of beloved in simple poetic phrases. It has delight of Malayalam lyrics of Kalyani Menon as well as her somber back-up chorals, adding feminine and ethnical shades of Kerala culture. Rahman's meticulously worked composition is beautiful amalgam of traditional and upbeat modern instrumentals that works positively in creating emotional shades in the chemistry. Adorable!!!

Soft, subtle and characteristically feminine in emotional shades and expressions, one of finest of Rahman' in this genre (Tamil (romantic)) makes an impressive presentation of words and rendition in "Sharminda Hoon" (appearing as "Mannipaaya" {VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA}). It was hailed as one of finest by Shreya Ghoshal in its Tamil version as now Rahman changes his priority to Madhushree's sweetly toned voice in this Hindi version. The soundtrack has gloomy melodramatic shades of despair and separation but still comes with remarkable melodic flair of both vocals and lyrics. Javed Akhtar's poetic expressions are finest this time ("Main ik lehar hoon jo, Samay ki nadi se, Bas tumse milne kinaare thi aayi...") as it emotes out the depressed mindset of both lovers, where customary Allama Iqbal's poetry ("Sitaaron se aage jahaan aur bhi hai, Abhi ishq ke imtehan aur bhi hai... aur bhi hai") in latter interludes, gives it a true archetypical Bollywood finishing. Rahman's deep-toned somber voice adds distressed shades of desolation and makes a brilliant communion of expressions as the soundtrack progresses to be one of finest by Rahman in this album. Melancholic!!!

Frothy and flamboyant in mood, the romantic impulse is suddenly triggered to higher gears in vibrant sounding "Sunlo Zara" (appearing as "Anbil Anvan" {VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA}). Energized to perfection for a cheerful backdrop and beautiful locales, this Rahman soundtrack lifts the moods completely in joyous vocals and pulsating orchestrations that enthrall senses. Rashid Ali's feather-touched voice serenades out romantic hues and makes tender vibes with Shreya Ghoshal's light-hearted singing. Optimistic to core, tonality and voices are now in cherubic mood to entertain, a lively-paced situational score that is expected to add loads of visual spectacle in its offerings. Cheerful!!!

Title track of VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYA (Tamil) gets a typical Bollywood's "shayarana" make-over in "Zohra-Jabeen", a blend of Urdu and Hindi lyrical toil that extols the dreamland of lover in most multicolored expression. Javed Ali's "unplugged" version has singing shades of "Jashn-e-Bahara" (JODHA AKBAR) in light-hearted stringed instrumentals, thematically oriented track that is likely to accentuate silent love chemistry of the lead pair. Javed Akhtar's lucid poetic verses are descriptive ("Zeena zeena taaron se utar ke, Jahan hai mere dil ki zameen aa jaao...") and seeps well into the contours of this nimble-touched orchestrations. Rahman excels again in ushering out the desired mushy sentiments, a worthy attribute by Javed Ali to the album. Lovable!!!

To strike the senses of a typical Bollywood viewer, the classical "Hindustani sangeet" version of soul-enchanting "Aaromale" comes in poignant singing shades of Shreya Ghoshal in "Broken promises". It comes out as expressively rendered and outstretched "alaap", epitomizing out the feel of "Aaromale" (my beloved) in most vociferously pristine way. For all niche listeners, it's a sheer listening classical listening delight, as Shreya's breath-control, vocal throws and modulations are at par with the changing pace of the track, overall a great classical fusion number for the challenging phases of the film. Classical!!!

"Moments in Kerala", the first of impressive instrumental is delectably pitched violin work by Prabhakar, an impressive musical piece exuding pathos and hope for the lead protagonists.

"Jesse Land", a subtle instrumental version of "Hosanna" in supple sounding Megha's voice is another enchanting instrumental work. It's a well etched background score work, epitomizing out the romantic feel and mindset of lead female protagonist.

Finally, the last to arrive is infectiously loud "Jesse driving me Crazy", a rip-roaring hard-rock number, signifying the passionate feel about "Jesse", a typical "yuppie" friendly background score commodity. Sanjeev Thomas along with Timmy screeches their lung to emote out the obsessive feel with strong support of hi-tech sound antics and engineering supports.

EKK DEEWANA THA is one of the finest A. R Rahman's works that delivers "deewangi" of music in all possible expressions that is conveyed through this eternal love saga. As anticipated and predicted, the album lives up to its big expectations and delivers bagful of quality entertainment. As far as commercial prospects are concerned, "Hosanna" is expected to be big chartbuster while melodious spells of "Sharminda Hoon", "Phoolon Jaisi Ladki", "Aaromale", "Sunlo Zara" and "Zohra-Jabeen" are expected to grow in weeks to come. Despite the fact that the album is blended high with South Indian musical ethnicity in its backdrop, it has potential entertainment as well as melodious quotient to strike chords with Bollywood listeners.

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