Beat Street

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Junglee Music, CD,
Rs. 150

I t's a full-throated seething war cry, the soundtrack of RGV's “Rann”. As you start listening, it becomes obvious that the songs are woven into the story. Be warned: there's not much “music” happening.

For a change, you need to concentrate on the lyrics; many ‘shudhdh' words, unheard of in Bollywood, make an appearance. The lyrics (by Vayu, Sarim Momin, Sandip Singh and Prashant Pandey) aren't exactly poetry, but they sound sincere, in places, at least.

“Rann” is the story of TV newsroom wars. The title track ‘Rann Hai' is the war call, declaring that it's an all out war of the news houses, with channels battling for audience attention. The track was much in the news last year for using the national anthem first, then Vande Mataram after the censor board objected to the first version. Now both don't find figure in it, thankfully.

It's ironical as it talks of the power of news, as well as how ultimately it's all one big tamasha, including the audience.

As such, the theme is the same through almost all songs; each runs into the other. They talk of the age of “masala” news where it's presented with enough “tadka”. The complete breakdown of “usool” or convictions of the individuals in the TRP-driven news system, the sensationalisation or “sansani” of news are all targets of the film's ire.

The openers ‘Sikkon ki bhook' and ‘Remote ko baahar phek' have the all too familiar sounds from our living rooms — channel signature tunes, “breaking news” announcements, actual sound-bites from famous news anchors, and the constant flicking of channels.

The songs also pander to what the audience want to hear — that we all suffer so many ills in our country.

The sarcastic ‘Mera Bharat mahaan' that starts with a ‘Jai India' chant, goes on to talk of how “..sou mein se saale nabbe be-imaan”, and how politicians say ‘Gandhi,

Gandhi' on January 26 and August 15, and the rest of the year act like Godse. And, of course there's “Rann”'s cheeky scorn for the now-famous ‘Jai ho', peppered through the song. In the same vein is the track ‘Besharam', sceptical of how our country won't ever change.

There's also the parody ‘Remote ko baahar phek', an appeal from news channels not to switch over to others and take away their TRPs.

If you've followed Indian politics you know where the song ‘Gali gali mein shor hai, saare neta chor hai' came from. This techno-rap number comes complete with blipped out cuss words!

You'll find plenty of angst, cynicism, pessimism, and mockery in the songs. You'll also find much rhetoric and cliché.

But, in totality these elements work together to at least say something, rather than jump into Bollywood dance music genre.





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