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Sunday, September 03, 2006


ModMusic: Kal Ho Naa Ho

A few years ago, the amazing critic Michael Dequina encouraged me to try some Bollywood films on DVD, and I became a quick and enthusiastic fan. These Indian musical epics (most last well past 3 hours) are gorgeous to look at, incredibly constructed, and so tied to cinematic convention that even their melodramatic cliches bring a smile to my face.

The music of Bollywood composers, especially that of the legendary A.R. Rahman, is often stunning (if almost always overproduced). For classic Rahman selections, you can't beat the title track to the 2003 hit dramedy Kal Ho Naa Ho. As performed by the Tom Cruise of India, Shah Rukh Khan, the melancholic dreaminess is really exquisite; in the New York City-set film, the theme is used in haunting, surprising ways. I'm also including a more uptempo number, "Chaiyya Chaiyya", from the less interesting film Dil Se (although Broadway kids may remember a ramped-up version that appeared in the musical Bombay Dreams).

Download: Kal Ho Naa Ho and Chaiyya Chaiyya
Then Buy: Original Sountrack, Kal Ho Naa Ho and Original Soundtrack, Dil Se
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