Ilaiya Raja is the pride of India. His sense of melody and orchestration has no parallels. In fact he is the bench mark for music composition in films, not merely in South India, but even in Bollywood. He is back in Hindi Films with Ram Gopal Verma's 'Shiva' after a long gap. It's good to hear classic singers like Yesudas spreading their magic in Hindi. As an album, 'Shiva' is not your run-of-the-mill film music album. Ramu's films anyways have a limited scope for songs, so, it goes without saying that one expects situational songs like 'Police Police' (Average), 'Josh Mein' (Fabulous) and 'Shapath' (Inspirational). But Ilaiya Raja shows the mastery over his craft with soft romantic numbers like 'Dheemi Dheemi' (Brilliant), 'Kaise Kahen' (Fantastic) and his Orchestration brilliance in 'Saara Yeh Alam' (A Treat). 'Shiva' is an album is meant for the connoisseurs of music. It's for people who understand music, the finer nuances and relish quality fare. So, if you fit the bill, go buy it today.
'Police Police' starts off with a situational chorus line, followed by percussion enunciated by mouth (Although it's done through a rhythm machine in this case). A bit of electric guitar and a conversational chit-chat takes place between singers Shweta Pandit and Ninad Kamat discussing the merits and demerits of police force with the familiar police siren playing in the background. It reminds you of 'Kallu Mama' of 'Satya' with its sense of repartee and déjà vu. Interesting saxophone fillers and high-on-bass, this song is best left to be judged once you see the movie. But if you want it straight, 'Police Police' lacks the gripping prowess of 'Kallu Mama'.
'Dheemi Dheemi' is the best song of the album, especially because of Shreya Ghoshal's mint-fresh vocals and trademark masterly orchestration of Ilaiya Raja. The Strings fillers shadow the sauntering voice of Ghoshal as she admits the presence of that-someone-special in the life of a nubile nymphet. Acoustic guitar rhythm gingerly pushes the song forward in a subtle-n-simple manner without undue ornamentation. Violin sections are finely done. Over all, the music arrangements are fantastic. A song you will love to hear again and again.
In 'Kaise Kahen' one listens to the talented Sadhana Sargam after a long while. And, her charmingly melodious voice is a welcome change from the raunchy singing style of many of the newcomers. Roop Kumar Rathod is an able foil to Sargam. He sings in his honey-tinged voice with a flavour of romance seldom heard. Once again the master in Ilaiya Raja works out a wonderful melody that's high on subtlety. The Harmonica solo without the backdrop of any rhythm and a finely written Bass line makes for engaging listening. 'Kaise Kahen' is a caressing number that you'd love to listen to with slow lights and lots of nostalgia.
'Josh Mein' greets you with a waltz beat peppered with marching rhythm. To add to the surprise quotient, Yesudas sings in his delicious voice. Although, the troughs and curves in Yesudas' voice are brilliant, 'Josh Mein' is also a situational number which can best be appreciated with the visuals. The heavy duty rhythm programming can be a bit jarring at times, though the lyrics by Nitin Raikwar invoking the public to wake up against the malfunctioning corrupt system are inspirational. Guitar piece in the middle coupled with the excited strings collaborates with the rhythm transition very well. A song, that will pick up once the movie releases.
'Saara Yeh Alam' reveals why Ilaiya Raja is called an unconquerable genius. He capitalizes on his mastery over orchestration in this number from the word go. It starts off with a grand strings op