Wednesday November 3, 2010

127 Hours (Music review) – Original Motion Picture soundtrack by A R Rahman and others

Posted by Karthik

Rahman’s three openers, The Canyon, Liberation Begins and Touch Of The Sun are situational, but what follows is sheer magic! Liberation In A Dream goes beyond its predecessor, while its successor, Liberation soars brilliantly; the kaleidoscope of sounds is enchanting. The splendid Acid Darbari is marred only by occasionally synthetically repetitive vocals, while R.I.P makes tantalizing use of Harshdeep Kaur’s vocals, with a mesmerizing finale! Rahman’s collaboration with Dido, If I Rise, offers a poignant listen and together with The Gleehive Children’s Choir, the soundscape Rahman creates is enthralling! Out of the other tracks, Bill Withers’ spritely 1977 hit, Lovely Day, Esther Phillips’ 1965 English cover of Edith Piaf’s Hymne Γ  l’amour, If You Love Me and Plastic Bertrand’s 1977 punk hit Ca Plane Pour Moi round off the oldies marvellously. Among the more eclectic songs, Sigur Ros’ Festival gets down to their trademark sound as it progresses, while Free Blood’s Never Hear Surf Music Again is middling. Russian pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy’s version of Chopin’s Nocturne No. 2 in E Flat ends the soundtrack on a serene note. This is no Slumdog Millionaire, but it’s heartening to see Rahman and Boyle take their association a step ahead, beyond filmy, song-like templates.

Keywords: A R Rahman, A.R.Rahman, Danny Boyle, Dido, 127 Hours, 127 Hours OST, 127 Hours soundtrack review, 127 Hours music review, Acid Darbari, Slumdog Millionaire



  • Soundscape is the right word.. Its a painting put in sound!

  • tejas

    Is this one of the first reviews of the album? Do I get a free cd of these songs for breaking that news? πŸ˜›

    • milliblog

      Nope…there are reviews already in blogs from outside India!

      • tejas

        Ok just give me the cd as diwali bonus..:) !!

  • People would start mauling Karthik for his English in 5…..4…..3….. πŸ˜›

    • tejas

      Completely agree!!

      This sentence –
      “This is no Slumdog Millionaire, but it’s heartening to see Rahman and Boyle take their association a step ahead, beyond filmy, song-like templates.”
      looks so contradictory at first read that people are going to take that as a negative for this album.

      • LOL! Some would also say that he has a South Indian bias, adding that he is a fool having no understanding of music. πŸ˜›

  • kkayz

    ARR once again,takes a risky non-conformist approach aided by Boyle and succeeds marvellously in 127 hrs.Strong themes,unusual instrument choices and seamless integration of various components like samples,sound design,orchestra choir,voices,acoustics for a cogent musical narrative and most importantly it retains a unique voice-thats the highlight for me.Is it just me or did u notice the faint whiff of leone – morricone milestone colloborations.May be it was intentional,a subtle nod coz the Western is about survival too..
    Surprised u didn;t like FreeBlood’s never hear surf music again,listened to it the in the trailer and had been hooked to it ever since.kick ass song:-)

    • milliblog

      Do like it – but compared to the other tracks, it seems middling. Have heard it back in 2009 as a single – good one, in general.

  • rithwickM

    Awesome album. Seems like an honest album from Rahman after several years.
    The only sore point is Rahman singing “If I rise …”

    • TipuUV

      “Seems like an honest album from Rahman after several years” I feel Rahman is the only honest mainstream composer in India at present… too bad you dont feel that way with his previous albums!

      Havnt heard “127 hours” tho… heard ‘If I Rise’ in Youtube…. Liked it, but is it really a song.. coz i wasnt able to decipher anything other than “If I Rise…”, and i kinda liked the Rahman entry… its definitely quirky, but not a sore point as you mentioned!

      • rithwickM

        Let us not argue about whether Rahman is honest or not. Of course, most of MDs are honest in their own way. I’m sorry for the wrong usage of the word there.
        What I meant was, movies like Blue, Puli, Endhiran (Rahman’s Worst background score ever), to some extent Ravanan – In all the movies ARR has to deal with many things. Nativity problems (language and culture), fans expectations etc etc.
        In JHS and VTV, expect for a few I didn’t like much other than partial indianizing of
        different musical genres.

        but here in this soundtrack, ARR went crazy. He has more freedom and more importantly Danny Boyle. In this aspect, this sound track is the return of crazy ARR of the 1990’s – genuine experimenting with sounds and instruments.
        I stick to the point that this is how ARR should be. Not like how he has worked in his recent albums – nothing much other than fan boy appreciations and emotional support πŸ˜‰ ;).

        Go ARR go.

        • TipuUV

          I meant Rahman’s honesty towards music is something unparalleled… he is the only one who tries to create new genres and tries to elevate the senses of a listener, which frankly no one else does. Maybe it isnt so easily interpretable as before, but thats the price of evolution πŸ˜›

          I kind of love what Rahman has been doing since the Oscars…. its evolved in a very international way. This year the anti-Rahmanism has over powered the fanboyism fuelled by some really bad scripts, thats all. My personal wish is he does more such stuff, and since he may be composing more outside India I think i am kinda in for a treat πŸ˜‰

          PS: I find it wierd that people go overboard bashing Endhiran. You really loved the music of Baba,Padayappa and Shivaji but hated Endhiran? If you hated all Rahman-Rajni movies i can understand, but otherwise i feel Endhiran to be musically superior to the rest!

          • TipuUV

            Although i dint like Puli, Raavan (except ‘Naan Varuvene’) much, I liked Blue, Endhiran. VTV and JHS are pure bliss except for a couple of tracks.

          • rithwickM

            “Maybe it isnt so easily interpretable as before, but thats the price of evolution :”

            Haha.. that was too corny. Interpretations?
            May be you are trying to make yourself love songs from a particular composer or may be you have genuinely liked it. I don’t know. The same with IR fans too (who in my opinion is churning out ultra bad stuff for almost every other film ( barring a few, of course ) except for his fans, who interpret the music in their own way and criticize others for not ‘evolving’. I mean If I want to make forcibly love a particular song, I can do that by wondering about different instruments used in the time line of the song or by analyzing the intricacies of raagas etc. (OK, not much, but that’s ok for normal analysis I think).
            In that sense, most songs, if i analyse too much I tend to like almost each and every song and almost every singer. For example, Yuvan in Bana kathadi or Saroja Ammal in Nandalala – both were repulsive during my first listens.

            Oh Well.. In the end, Music is subjective and blah, blah, blah. So there will not
            be any end to musical tastes arguments. Only Time will show us justice. And I believe ARR of 90’s would score better than recent ARR even in 2050’s and 2100’s.

          • TipuUV

            You misunderstood me. I meant to say ARR’s music has evolved for composing to an international audience thereby reducing the nativity factor and hence increasing the attention time required than before. It wasnt a personal comment πŸ™‚

  • Karthik is taking the mauling seriously? πŸ™‚

    I found only 2 words πŸ˜‰ [according to my standards].
    eclectic, middling. Learn a word with milliblog :). Just kidding, Peace & respect.

    • I also owe a significant part of my recently developed English skills to Karthik. I can’t recollect two of his reviews that were similar in any manner. He gets the message across without being banal as well as too hi-fi.

      BTW, right now very few are discussing how the music of 127 Hours is. We are talking about either’s Karthik’s articulation skills or Rahman’s qualities as a human.

  • I love ‘Liberation’ more deeply. While Listening i feel some power,it is kinda Motivational.

  • Amazing soundtrack by ARR and as you mentioned the RIP finale is mindblowing:D

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