- Composed by A.R. Rahman
- Relativity Records 500131 / 2009 / 44:55
I never trust a film whose title is missing an apostrophe; and it looks like many people share my view, if Couples Retreat‘s box office performance is any indication. It’s the rather surprising choice to be A.R. Rahman’s first-ever Hollywood film, coming on the heels of his well-deserved Oscar win.Rahman’s music is – much like Slumdog Millionaire – a bit of a hodgepodge of everything but the kitchen sink. The album opens with a couple of songs – romantic Bollywood stylings in “Sajna” and then a hint of hip-hop in “Kurukuru Kan”. Then comes the first piece of score – an unabashedly, gloriously over-the-top love theme which starts on guitars before the full orchestra swells. I doubt any Hollywood-based composer would even try that sort of thing any more – and Rahman pulls it off very well.
Rahman’s score certainly wears its heart on its sleeve. An Indian influence does creep in occasionally (though is more keenly felt in the songs); but the music is mainly orchestral, veering between the sweeping romance already mentioned, some tuneful suspense music and even some dramatic action material, with choppy strings and brass. There’s nothing overtly comedic (well, maybe the Hawaiian hula music!), but he wouldn’t have got away with music like this in any other genre. The album is hugely enjoyable – memorable tunes, great songs – I hope it’s the first of many ventures from Bollywood’s king into Hollywood. *** 1/2