It would be silly to expect a soundtrack of “Pakeezah” proportions from “Chalte Chalte”. Indeed, it would not be unreasonable to expect an album that might just be as good as “Yes Boss” and “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani”. Alas, “Chalte Chalte” does not really fulfill any of those types of expectations but that is not to say that it is not a good album. Roaming through the songs, it is clear who the real star of the soundtrack is. Abhijeet.
For Abhijeet is given the most melodious songs in the album and evidently those are the tracks that are making an instant impact on the charts right now.
When I first read the lyrics “Tauba Tumhare Yeh Ishare, Hum To Deewane Hain Tumhare”, I feared that it might be a re-tread of another Abhijeet-Shah Rukh Khan song, “Hum To Deewane Hue Yaar, Tere Deewane Hue Yaar” (“Baadshah”). It is a relief to know that it is anything but that. Rendered by Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik, “Tauba Tumhare Yeh Ishare” is an instantly likeable romantic duet. My only complaint is that Jatin-Lalit were a bit too heavy-handed with the beats, which is occasionally slightly louder than the singing. There is also an instrumental version of this. Verdict: Cool!
Abhijeet opens up the next song, “Chalte Chalte” with the introductory line “Pyar humko bhi hai, Pyar tumko bhi hai, To yeh kya silsile hogaye”. Abhijeet’s soothing intro is marvelous! Another excellent part of the song is when both he and Yagnik hum “mmm ooo kya bata… kahaan hum chale”. I especially love the way they knowingly say the word “kahaan” as if they are slightly nervous about where they are heading but are also anticipating it. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics play a huge part in making this song so loveable! Verdict: Fantastic!
Abhijeet and J-L take a break and let Aadesh Shrivastava and Sukhwinder Singh take center stage in “Layi Vi Na Gayee”. Shrivastava’s music has a traditional Punjabi tone to it and, naturally, Singh feels right at home in this lovely composition. Singh magically brings the emotive poetry (by Pappu Dhillon and Babu Maan) alive and makes your heart skip a beat. Verdict: Spellbinding!
Things take a downturn with Shrivastava’s next song “Gum Shuda” (Sonu Nigam). Please cover your ears as Nigam repetitively shouts, “Gum Shudaaaaaa”. Ouch! Well, to be fair, he does not shout but he repeats it so much that it feels like the song is being forced into your ears. The middle portions between the “Gum Shuda” refrains are tolerable but those parts have an outdated eighties/Bappi Lahiri feel to them. Verdict: Yuck!
Udit Narayan and Yagnik lead the sweet number in J-L’s, “Dagariya Chalo”. The tune is nothing special but the singers are a treasure to listen to. The popularity of this kind of song really depends on the picturization in the film. A memorable picturization could make this one stand apart from the other songs. Verdict: Listenable!
Shrivastava pushes J-L out of the way and tries to get his “Tujhpar Gagan Se” into the spotlight. Singh is joined by Preeti and Pinky this time round. Preeti and Pinky make the intro very enticing with the way they sing the words “kaisi deewangi hai”. What follows is a spicy fast-paced track with Singh being supported by a superb chorus. In fact, without the excellent chorus, this number would not be anything to write home about. On first listen, this song might seem like a noisy disruption from the other melodic numbers but it can be quite enjoyable to listen to once you get used to the speedy tune. Verdict: Good
It is a surprise to learn that Shrivastava has composed “Suno Na Suno Na” because it sounds very Jatin-Lalit like. It suffers from a “Yes Boss” hangover. Abhijeet pops up to bid adieu to us in the last track in the album. Don’t expect to find anything earth shattering here. Once again, Abhijeet’s velvety vocals save the day. The way he sings has a Shah Rukh stamp all over it so it is easy to imagine it being picturized on the star while listening to it. A treat for Abhijeet and Shah Rukh fans. Verdict: Above Average
I don’t really support albums that have more than one composers and soundtracks like “Chalte Chalte” proves why. There is often a lack of consistency. It jumps from a calming track like the title song (by J-L) to a strange attempt at a pop ballad by Sonu (by Shrivastava). There is a noticeable difference in the style of compositions and it can be unsettling to listen to. Overall, the album is worth a listen or two. But I sincerely doubt whether the songs will still be remembered within a year’s time.