Million Dollar Arm (soundtrack)

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Million Dollar Arm (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Million Dollar Arm (album cover).jpg
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released May 13, 2014 (2014-05-13)
Recorded 2013—February 2014
Studio Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios, Chennai
Panchathan Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles
Genre World music
Length 45:28
Language English, Tamil
Label Walt Disney
Producer
A. R. Rahman chronology
Kochadaiiyaan
(2014)
Million Dollar Arm
(2014)
Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
(2014)

Million Dollar Arm: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album of the American biographical sports drama film Million Dollar Arm, directed by Craig Gillespie. A. R. Rahman composed all seven of the original songs as well as the score for the film. Artists Iggy Azalea, KT Tunstall, Wale, Sukhwinder Singh, Raghav Mathur have collaborated with the composer for the soundtrack.[1] Kendrick Lamar also recorded a song that is featured only in the film.[1][2] The soundtrack album was digitally released by Walt Disney Records on May 13, 2014,[3] followed by a CD release on May 19.[4]

Development[edit]

Director Craig Gillespie said that he had been hoping to recruit A. R. Rahman to do the music right from the time the former signed the Disney film to helm the project.[5] In an interview with CBS News, Rahman stated that the film's scale was very attractive to him.[6] He began composing for the film's score in 2013, setting seven queues of score to be featured on the soundtrack album. Eventually, the number of tracks increased as per screenplay length. The recording of the score was completed by February 2014.[7] On working for the film he stated, "For three years, I was avoiding Indian-based subjects in Hollywood as I was anyway doing them in Hindi. The last thing I wanted was to be typecast as a composer who'd only work on English films with an Indian setting. But when this script came along, I thought it was a good time to start again. It helped that the story was also hybrid in nature. Million Dollar Arm is more contemporary. In terms of music, it is more orchestral."[8]

In regards to the soundtrack album, Rahman claimed, "The soundtrack we created together truly captures the beautiful culture and energy behind the film— reminding us all how important it is to be open to new possibilities in life."[9] As the film's music has Indian as well as Western sensibilities, Rahman wanted to strike a balance between the two.[10] The track "Unborn Children" is the song "Thirakkadha Kaatu Kulle" sung by K S Chithra and Unnikrishnan, featured in the 1999 film En Swasa Kaatre scored by Rahman.[8] As a score, it is featured in the opening of the film where two kids were running into an open field. Upon inclusion of such a track, in an interview with The Hindu Rahman said, "Frankly, I really didn't know how it landed there and the makers were researching my Indian music and must've stumbled upon this. When I saw the movie, I was like, 'Wow, where did that come from!' But it felt so good. I didn't feel any need to change it."[8] He added that he never wanted to use the soothing number from the Tamil film but the director and music supervisor loved the tune and they've used it as part of the soundtrack.[10] The track "Nimma Nimma" was recorded for Isles of Wonder, however, here the track is reused with slight changes in musical arrangement. On the collaborations with artists in the soundtrack, Disney listed names for featured collaboration whereas director Craig and composer Rahman made the choices together.[6] On the score and the film plot analogy Rahman quotes, "The songs add to the energy of the scenes and the score in places...We were careful not to telegraph key emotions and gave way to the actors playing characters to lead the emotion."[6] On his collaboration with the rapper Wale, Rahman stated that he was writing a lot of song ideas and the film director was suggesting that they should have a mainstream rapper for certain sequences especially when the all the boys in film go to America. He was quoted saying, "So Wale's name popped up, we sent him the track and he loved it and did the rap and sent it back." Singer Gaayatri Kaundinya has lent alaps to the score.[11] She stated that she started interning with film composer A. R. Rahman at his studio in Los Angeles since 2012 and eventually got involved with the project.[11] She added that it didn't take her long to record everything as she had many demo works with Rahman, earlier.[11] In the album of the score her voice is featured in tracks "Farewell" and "Bobbleheads" but in the score itself she had about six to eight pieces.[11] In the interview with Daily Bruin, she recalled, "Originally we just put it in for the part where they find the two men to pitch at the speed that (the baseball scouts) want. After months of looking for cricket players, they find players who can throw at this incredibly fast speed. That's what the track was recorded for. But the director liked (the track) so much that they ended up using it for the opening of the movie."[11]

Reception[edit]

The score received positive critical reception. Scott Foundas of Variety praised the score by comparing, "As far as the film's saturated color palette is concerned, jubilant wall-to-wall is the song score by Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman".[12] Upon release of the single "Keep The Hustle", critic Sarah Polonsky for Vibe wrote, "A mishmash of elements that fuse Indian music with the big synth of electronica, all set under Wale's boss lyrics", reviewing the score as, "This is one of those film scores that come around every decade and knocks it out of the ballpark not only with powerful tunes, but also, through encompassing a generation's zeitgeist. In 2014, modern music is a sonic free-for-all, and Million Dollar Arm's soundtrack could easily serve as a blueprint to today's genre-varied ethos and creative landscape."[13] Critic Rajeev Masand for CNN-IBN writes, "AR Rahman's soundtrack fits in nicely with the narrative."[14] On contrary to positive reviews, at India Today, Suhani Singh noted, "AR Rahman's score is mishmash, drawing sounds from everywhere leaving the soundtrack with no standout track."[15] Venky Vembu at The Hindu wrote, "A.R. Rahman's background score is mood elevating with haunting melodies."[16] At The American Bazaar, Deepak Chitnis pointed out, "A.R. Rahman's score is mostly bland, with little differentiating it from his Slumdog Millionaire work".[17] Udita Jhunjhunwala for The Wall Street Journal writes, "A.R. Rahman's soundtrack adds to mood and rhythm to the action and comedy"[18] Tara Agrawal at Business of Cinema stated, "The scenes shot in India are reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire, augmented by A.R. Rahman's impressive soundtrack (including a sample of 'Ringa Ringa' in one scene)."[19] At the The Indian Express critic Suanshu Khurana noted, "Overall the album works, not just as a soundtrack, but also as an audio by triumphing on some meditative moments. What it lacks, on some occasions, is the profundity we were looking for."[20]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by A. R. Rahman.

Million Dollar Arm (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[21]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Makhna" (featuring Sukhwinder Singh) A. R. Rahman 3:20
2. "Million Dollar Dream" (featuring Iggy Azalea) A. R. Rahman, Iggy Azalea 2:44
3. "Unborn Children" (featuring Unni Krishnan and Chithra) A. R. Rahman, Vairamuthu 4:37
4. "We Could Be Kings" (featuring KT Tunstall) KT Tunstall, A. R. Rahman 3:08
5. "Taa Taa Tai"   A. R. Rahman 3:25
6. "Keep the Hustle" (featuring Wale and Raghav[22]) A. R. Rahman 3:09
7. "Nimma Nimma"   A. R. Rahman 2:29
8. "Bobbleheads"   A. R. Rahman 1:59
9. "Never Give Up"   A. R. Rahman 2:21
10. "Lucknow"   A. R. Rahman 1:50
11. "Farewell"   A. R. Rahman 2:10
12. "Desi Thoughts"   A. R. Rahman 2:51
13. "First Tryout"   A. R. Rahman 2:30
14. "Calling Scouts Again"   A. R. Rahman 1:39
Total length:
45:28

Album credits[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[23]

  • A. R. Rahman - Composer, Primary Artist, Producer, Soundtrack Producer, Vocals
Vocal & music personnel
Technical personnel
  • Bryan Carrigan - Digital Recording
  • T.R. Krishna Chetan - Programming
  • Ishaan Chhabra - Music Assistant, Programming
  • Joel Iwataki - Mixing, Recording
  • Tony Joy - Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
  • Srinidhi Venkatesh - Engineer
  • Nitish Kumar - Engineer
  • Stephen Marcussen - Mastering
  • Jon Mooney - Music Editor, Music Supervisor
  • Suresh Permal - Engineer
  • Booker White - Music Preparation
Production
  • A. R. Rahman - Soundtrack Producer
  • Mark Ciardi - Executive Soundtrack Producer
  • Craig Gillespie - Executive Soundtrack Producer
  • Gordon Gray - Executive Soundtrack Producer
  • Joe Roth - Executive Soundtrack Producer
  • Mitchell Leib - Executive in Charge of Music, Soundtrack Producer
  • Peter Rotter - Music Contractor
Promotions
  • Scott Holtzman & Don Welty - Legal Advisor, Music Business Affairs
Artistic personnel

Dabboo Ratnani - Photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "AR Rahman scores music for Hollywood movie". Hindustan Times. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "'Million Dollar Arm' soundtrack keeps A.R. Rahman busy". IANS. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Walt Disney Records Set To Release Academy Award®-Winning Composer A. R. Rahman's Million Dollar Arm Soundtrack". PR Newswire. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Farleyon, Christopher John (5 May 2014). "'Slumdog' Composer Steps Up To Bat for 'Million Dollar Arm'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Christopher John Farley (May 4, 2014)'Slumdog' Composer Steps Up to Bat for 'Million Dollar Arm'The Wall Street Journal Retrieved 13 May 2014
  6. ^ a b c Moraski, Lauren (15 May 2014). "A.R. Rahman on composing music for "Million Dollar Arm"". CBS News. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Rangachar, Anu (February 18, 2014). "A film with songs has better impact: A.R. Rahman". DearCinema.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Ramanujam, Srinivas (May 4, 2014). "Of music and a Million Dollar Arm". The Hindu. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Walt Disney Records Set To Release Academy Award®-Winning Composer A. R. Rahman's Million Dollar Arm Soundtrack". PR Newswire. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  10. ^ a b AR Rahman: Movies with good music and song-and-dance routines have more longevityIBN Live Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e Torrelio, Sebastian (June 23, 2014). "Q&A: Bruin lends voice to Disney's 'Million Dollar Arm' - The soundtrack to Walt Disney Pictures' "Million Dollar Arm" features Gaayatri Kaundinya, who recently graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in ethnomusicology. Kaundinya's opportunity to sing for the soundtrack came from an internship with film composer A.R. Rahman.". Daily Bruin. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Film Review: 'Million Dollar Arm'". Variety. New York. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Premiere: A. R. Rahman "Keep The Hustle" Feat. Wale". Vibe. New York. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  14. ^ 'Million Dollar Arm' review: The film is solidly staged, inhabited with richly-drawn characters Retrieved 13 May 2014
  15. ^ Suhani Singh (May 9, 2014)Million Dollar Arm is heart-warming but also predictable Retrieved May 13, 2014
  16. ^ Million Dollar Arm: And it's a home run Retrieved May 13, 2014
  17. ^ Million Dollar Arm's depiction of India needs some work Retrieved May 13, 2014
  18. ^ Film Review: Million Dollar Arm Retrieved May 13, 2014
  19. ^ Film Review: Million Dollar Arm – Doesn't Hit A Home Run Retrieved May 13, 2014
  20. ^ Beat Box: Million Dollar Arm The Indian Express Retrieved August 25, 2014
  21. ^ Rahman360 (April 29, 2014). "Million Dollar Arm - Tracklist". Amazon. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Raghav & AR Rahman collaborate again". Ikonz. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  23. ^ A.R. Rahman Million Dollar Arm [Original Soundtrack] Credits AllMusic Retrieved August 25, 2014

External links[edit]