Planet Bollywood
Kajraare: A Concise Musical Analysis
- Gianysh Toolsee           Let us know what you think about this feature article

The analysis of the soundtrack of Kajraare.

Flashback

On the 27 June 2007, the world was waiting for the release of the most popular composer’s (in terms of consecutive hits and sales) first movie release; Aap Ka Surroor - The Moviee, featuring Himesh Reshammiya and Hansika Motwani. At that time, all his shows around the world were sold out, Himesh Reshammiya was playing on all radio and TV channels and T-Series was also cashing in on the huge sales seen after ages. All prolific music directors were getting anxious and worried. The frenzy was unstoppable. Produced by Vijay Taneja and directed by Prashant Chadha, Aap Ka Surroor - The Moviee became an overnight hit! On the same day, the Bhatts’ were also releasing one of their biggest budget movies; Awarapan, with Emraan Hashmi and Shreya Saran. Awarapan could not face the competition and crashed.

A year later, Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter; Pooja Bhatt decided to work with Himesh Reshammiya in the T-Series productions Kajraare. Mahesh Bhatt has written the story of Kajraare, and Pooja Bhatt is behind the cameras. One would have expected that the music sense of Pooja Bhatt as a director (Paap and Dhokha), would have been reflected in Kajraare, but it appears that Himesh Reshammiya tailored all the songs to primarily fit the theme of the movie. The music taste of Mahesh Bhatt is also unparalleled; he has given second innings to music directors like Nadeem-Shravan and Anu Malik and also fully supported Pritam in his early days. But in this case, it was the melody of the T-Series and the Reshammiya brand, which influences the soundtrack and one can hardly see any massive involvement of the Bhatts’ in the music making of Kajraare.

Genres

With the exception of ‘Woh Lamha Phir Se Jeena Hai’, the rest of the romantic songs are soft ballads or ghazals, instantly strike the romantic chords with listeners. Also most of these songs; ‘Aafreen’, ‘Tujhe Dekh Ke Armaan Jaage’, ‘Teriyan Meriyan’, ‘Woh Lamha Phir Se Jeena Hai’, ‘Sanu Guzara Zamana’ follow the same path of the new style, which first started off in ‘Tera Mera Milna’ (Aap Ka Surroor - The Moviee), and recently in Radio with ‘Jaaneman’, ‘Piya Jaise Ladoo Motichoor Wale’, ‘Koi Na Koi Chahe’, ‘Teri Meri Dosti Ka Aasmaan’, ‘Shaam Ho Chali Hai’ and ‘Rafa Dafaa Kiya Nahin Jaaye’.

On the good side, the composer has perfected the recipe for such romantic songs and considering that the production of Kajraare started off well before Radio, it appears the most of its songs were composed before Radio and this explains the similarity in the romantic and ghazal genre. However, it is expected that there is a change in his next releases; else this style of Himesh Reshammiya will be getting seriously repetitive.

Hit Formulas

Post Karz, the ‘Lut Jaaon Lut Jaaon’ style did not become a new formula for Reshammiya. Since the movie bombed and the song did not achieve the success it deserves, Himesh did not use this formula again, but hesitantly shows glimpses in ‘Woh Lamha Phir Se Jeena Hai’. ‘Mann Ka Radio’ (Radio) was a style which laid more emphasis on the ‘new voice’ and also was fit for the theme of the movie. There wasn’t much scope in terms of new style. The unfailingly formula like ‘Kajra Kajra Kajraare’ and ‘Rabba Luck Barsa’ works again and no one is complaining. The downfall is that we have experienced this before and the ‘wow’ factor is missing.

Singers

In Radio, Himesh Reshammiya gave the chance to Kailash Kher to sing one of the tracks, but in Kajraare, once again he is the only male singer behind the mike and this unconsciously creates a repetitive appeal to the ears. Imagine Mohit Chauhan, Rashid Ali or Javed Ali, singing along Shreya Ghoshal for the romantic ballads. The true potential of the romantic melodies would have had a greater impact, hitting the charts in no time! Some of the tunes require a more mature voice than Himesh Reshammiya and it’s also a loss for all music lovers, seeing that most of these wonderfully composed tunes are being sung only by Himesh Reshammiya. How about Kunal Ganjawala, Shaan and Sonu Nigam?

The composer in Himesh Reshammiya prefers to stick to the favourites female voices too like Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan and Harshdeep Kaur. While Shreya Ghoshal makes the perfect fit for the romantic ballads, it is Sunidhi Chauhan who displays the most versatile voice in the soundtrack, changing genres from ‘Kajra Kajra Kajraare’ to ‘Sanu Guzara Zamana’.

Melody

A self-confessed student from the school of music of veterans like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, a younger Himesh Reshammiya used the same orchestration (on a smaller scale) of the well-known music directors, when he first began in the industry. It was the melody of Reshammiya which put him in the big league. In this soundtrack, the composer balances the soundtrack with melody in some of the tracks, while keeping his style. ‘Rabba Luck Barsa’ is a highly melodious track where the composer retained a bit of his style, but added a new dimension to this song, but the enchanting ‘oooh’ is definitely Himesh Reshammiya. Again, this shows how he keeps his fans in mind. It’s the same ‘oooh’ which was present in Aashiq Banaya Aapne’s title song and Jhalak Dilkla Ja (Aksar) in a different tune and avatar.

Lyrics

Sameer’s lyrics are well written for such a theme as one can instantly notice that there are less of words like ‘sanam’, dil’ and ‘dhadkan’. The’ Aafreen’ version, which was also a title in Red (2007) and was more energetic in the melody, clearly displays the versatility of both Himesh Reshammiya and Sameer as a duo.

Remixes

DJ Lloyd and DISCREET replace respected veteran DJ Akbar Sami and the work speaks for itself. However, the experience cannot be matched. DJ Akbar Sami whose remixes contain galloping beats and piercing music, along with high rage tempos, always transforms the original songs into rocking remixes. DJ Lloyd and DISCREET comes up with cleaner and more trendy remixes, keeping the original tune intact and adding pulsating synths, mesemerizing synthesizers and female vocals to join forces for a wickedly hypnotic ride.

Orchestration, Instrumentation and Programming

Compared to his earlier hits in Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Aksar, Ahista Ahista, Rocky and the rest, Himesh Reshammiya has kept minimal orchestration in most of the tracks. Most of the common instruments used like the sarangi, the keyboard sounds, the solo violin and the tabla are equally present. The composer is also using the same orchestra he used from 2005-2007. The same keyboard sounds are still heard in the background music, which sometimes do not match the standards of his quality songs. A good song needs to be properly packaged. One of the largest flaws in the soundtrack is the lack of innovation in terms of the use of new instruments.

The only changes come in the form of new synthesizers’ sounds in the background. However, there has been an array of new sounds since 2006 with emerging music directors like Amit Trivedi, Sachin Gupta, Mithoon, Bapi-Tutul, Monty, Sangeet and Siddharth Haldipur who have brought innovative sounds to the industry. Even regulars like Pritam (Tum Mile), Salim-Sulaiman (Fashion) and old-timers like Anu Malik (Kambakkht Ishq) and Nadeem-Shravan (Do Not Disturb) have worked with programmers to deliver the new sounds. If Himesh Reshammiya wants to remain competitive in this area, he needs to work harder on programming and sounds. The project is mixed by Aamir Shaikh.

The Challenge for Himesh Reshammiya

Himesh needs to be challenged and pushed outside his comfort zone. Composing music for your own movies is a great idea, but in the long run it is bringing little innovation for the talented music composer. No doubt when he was challenged by other directors, we saw the best of Himesh in Banaras and Ahista Ahista during the 2006-2007 period, excluding the series of hits, which were created by Himesh Reshammiya after the success of Aashiq Banaya Aapne. Unfortunately, there is no defining moment in the soundtrack. Considering the abilities of Himesh Reshammiya in the music department and the experience of Pooja Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt and Bhushan Kumar, Kajraare lacks a solid super hit. However, it still remains a good soundtrack.

 » Check out the Music Review of Kajraare


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