An astoundingly fresh, urban and spiritual soundtrack, AR Rahman's Delhi 6 captures a large range of genres in which the Oscar winner's talent as a composer excels, making it a compulsory introduction to his fabulous body of work for Western listeners and a wonderful addition to any Eastern listener's music collection.
"Masakali" is undoubtedly the soundtrack's perfect opening song, as Prasoon Joshi's playful lyrics prove once more that he is indeed a consummate master in the art of using language as a musical instrument (clearly revealed in Ghajini's "Behka"). The song's haunting Congo drum pattern, the use of a fleeting accordeon and particularly Mohit Chouhan's relaxed and almost mischievous singing style make "Masakali" an album's gem that will hypnotize many a listener.
Following such a light and ear-pleasing opening, Kailash Kher's and Javed Ali's brilliantly executed duet in "Arziyan" introduces the soundtrack's partially devotional tone. Its Sufi brio is later balanced with the peaceful hinduist "Aarti", further leading to the album's final spiritual note in "Noor", in which Amitabh Bachchan gives a short spoken performance, praising God's all-enveloping presence.
A pleasant surprise awaits Indian classical music lovers in the mesmerizing rendition of a candid and charming "Bhor Baye", featuring young Shreya Ghoshal along with music legend Ustad Bale Ghulam Ali Khan.
Delhi 6 also offers a funky urban atmosphere that surrounds the album's remaining songs, starting with the sensual title track ("Delhi 6") which mixes Hindi and French in a rap that will not fail to please the young crowds. AR Rahman then proceeds to grace the romantic "Rehna Tu" with his warm voice. The result is a sultry pop song that can compete with the best of its genre around the world, just to leave all competition behind as it finishes with a simple but splendid continuum melody. Prasoon Joshi's lyrics continue to shine through "Hey Kaala Bandar" which is slightly reminiscent of Rang de Basanti's "Paathshala". One of the soundtrack's most intriguing songs in my humble opinion is "Dil Gira Dafatan", which strongly relies on Ash King's crisp and sweet voice, achieving an airy and universal feel. Last but not least, the album's funky repertoire closes with "Genda Phool", a catchy tune with rustic vocals delivered by Rekha Bharadwaj.
All in all, Delhi 6 is similar to an eclectic polished diamond whose beauty is to be enjoyed by all. Delhiites must indeed be proud to have inspired such a dazzling array of talent-filled songs and performances.