Music Review: Slumdog Millionaire


Nothing can prepare you for the sound of Slumdog Millionaire. The album mirrors the magical journey of Jamal, a slum dweller who goes on to win a million rupees on Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Track by track analysis of Slumdog Millionaire music

The very first track of soundtrack O Saya sets the mood for this kaleidoscopic voyage. Rahman accompanied by M.I.A., the London-based rapper of Sri Lankan descent, croons to the beats of moving train.

After creating soundscapes that conveyed the horrors of riots for Bombay and 1947-Earth, Rahman successfully manages to avoid revisiting the similar mood and charts a different course to convey violence in riots.

For some time now Rahman’s been experimenting more with sounds rather than the basic melody itself. The canvas of Slumdog Millionaire gives him the ultimate playground to tinker around and Rahman switches gears very smoothly.

The smash hit Choli ke Peeche finds itself rehashed as Ringa Ringa. Raquib Alam merrily makes up for Anand Bakshi’s absence by penning a number that evokes the memories of the original.

Slumdog can be best described as a confluence of many music styles similar to the cultural cauldron that India has been identified for many years now. The very essence of Slumdog comes across in Liquid Dance, an eclectic mix of classic Carnatic, Arabic mood aided by the thump of a hip-hop groove.

Mausum and Escape carries on the same mood until Paper Planes hits you. You see M.I.A.’s prowess in her Grammy-nominated song. This alternative hip-hop dance song has M.I.A. talking about, “regular people with shitty jobs who look threatening but aren’t so,” the very people the film talks about.

Millionaire and Dreams on Fire might not get you hitting the repeat button in hurry but these are classic Rahman – they will grow on you. If vintage Rahman is what you crave then look no further than Latika’s Theme.

Jai Ho song in Slumdog Millionaire

The softest track on the whole soundtrack is an outstanding mood piece.

Saving the best for the last, the album’s final piece Jai Ho is the highpoint of the score. Originally composed for Subhash Ghai’s Yuvvraaj, Danny Boyle lapped it up when Ghai decided to choose another track.

Sukhwinder Singh renders Jai Ho with so much gusto that it’d be impossible not to be won over. Penned by poet par excellence Gulzar, the song in the true sense is a typical Hindi film song married to some crazy Spanish words coming together to celebrate life.

It’s not surprising that Rahman let go off a lot of offers to concentrate on the score of Slumdog Millionaire.

The west has been witness to Rahman’s genius thanks to Bombay Dreams apart from his Hollywood films that regularly feature his music. However, with the great success that Slumdog Millionaire has achieved it is sure to catapult him into a different league.

Just listen to Gangsta Blues and you’ll know!


Source by Gautam Chintamani