Rock On

In the last few years I have been very impressed with the movies coming out of Bollywood. My favourites this year have been :

» Johnny Gaddar

» Dharam

» Page 3

» Bheja Fry

» Chuk De India

» Eklavya

» Mithya

and so on. I know some of these movies have been from 2007 and 2006 but what the hell. I saw them this year.

But the one thing I think all these movies lacked was “listenable” music. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The music in some of these movies has been outstanding but none of them had the kind that I would listen to while I was at work or on my commute (which is a kind bellwether of how much I like music from a band i.e. if I play it in the car or not). The music in all these movies without exception has been the kind to put on at parties or in the background at home while I am tinkering about the house so that I don’t have to pay attention to it.

But lately I have been listening to music from the movie Rock On. I have no idea what the movie will be like and frankly I don’t care. But the music from that movie…….wow!!!

Finally, finally some good Hindi/Urdu rock. Something I can listen to while working or while driving around. So far I have been really impressed with the music. Not with the lyrics, though. I mean, could the lyrics on some songs be more juvenile? The best songs have the worst lyrics. Oh well.

There have been commendable attempts at making rock music from India and Pakistan but I have always thought that what lacked was production. The music either sounded like it was being made in a corner tea stall or in a big open air stadium where you had to push the ear phones into your ears to hear a drum beat.

Another problem I had with the rock music from South Asia has been lack of raw power of music. The desi rock music has always been “melodious” which just makes me want to smack my head to the wall. But as evidenced by “Zehreelay” from the album, the music packs a punch.

Even the harmonious numbers have this “looping” that blends really, really well with the music. “Ye Tumhari Meri Baatein” is a prime example of this, kind of reminds me of Yo La Tengo, who use feedback loops and construct songs around the loops.

All in all, I really like this album. Even my 5 year old daughter loves this album although she likes to stick to the opening song “Socha Hai” which kind of leads to our which-song-to-play fights.

UPDATE (16th Sep 2008) : I have been informed that I have been a little overzealous in comparing music from Rock On to Yo La Tengo. I totally agree with that statement. Hindi/Urdu rock is a few light years away from Yo La Tengo. My apologies!!

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