As I sat down to write this review, I saw a tall thin man in a top hat ‘n’ tails singing out loud, “My name is Anthony Gonsalves….mein duniya mein akela hoon….”. An immediate burst of nostalgia floods my brain cells as I remember the classic movie, “Amar, Akbar, Anthony”. Following that, I pull out the classic soundtrack for the classic movie (by music legends Laxmikant Pyrelal). Ahhh, the chills I get, as that tall thin man in the top hat walks off into the sunset. Strangely enough, the man has a frown on his face. I wonder why?
Producers Bhushan Kumar/Red Chilies Entertainment (Shah Rukh Khan) brings fans this nostalgic titled movie that hopes to launch a new superstar, Nikhil Dwivedi and transforms Amrita Arora from the innocent girl next door to the sexy not so innocent girl next door. Directed by E. Niwas (“Shool”), the movie promises to hold enough chills, thrills, and romance to win over the most jaded of Bollywood fans. With the talent involved in making this movie, one expects a blockbuster soundtrack. Unfortunately, the soundtrack can barely be considered mediocre at best. There’s a track by Himesh, and then Pritam steps in (“Darling” déjà vu). The lyrics are by Sameer and are standard at best. You won’t find any complex romantic symbolism here.
It’s no wonder that the tall thin man in the top hat ‘n’ tails is frowning. Let’s fire up that IPOD and listen to this underwhelming soundtrack.
Track one, “Tum Mile”, is the best track on the album. Surprise, surprise! It’s composed by the once prolific now “vanished” great-capped one, Himesh Reshammiya. In an amazing feat of talent, he seems to be channeling Pritam! The song is seemingly composed in the typical Pritam style (soft melody, use of guitar, reliance on keyboards). The song starts out with the strumming of guitar, which then segues into some keyboard bass; followed by a standard techno drum machine beat. Pritam mainstay K.K. defects to the other side to sing the gentle vocals as only he can. The backbone of the song is its romantic melody that just grabs the listener. I give kudos to HR for using the often neglected and rarely heard harmonica to add to the romantic ambience of the track. Sunidhi Chauhan makes a brief appearance to sing a few lines, and what’s interesting is that her voice is layered at times so that her own voice lends a choral affect to her main vocals. It’s no wonder that this track is being used in the promos for the movie. HR scores with this one, and gives the listener some hope that the music for his upcoming films will bring the music director back to his romantic roots. This one is romantically rocking, so add this to your playlist right away!
Pritam takes over the music-directing baton with the second track, “Tere Bina”. It starts out with some crazy keyboard effects that lead to a typical Middle Eastern techno backbeat. Sunidhi Chauhan sings in her aggressive toned avatar. Just to throw the mood completely off, Pritam throws in some canned keyboard trumpets to up the cheese factor. There’s really nothing special about this track, as it seems to have been produced by the Pritam music factory. What the track is lacking is any kind of soul. Skip, skip, skip this one and keep it as far away from your playlist as possible.
It’s ok, you can take your hands off your ears now, as the previous track is over, and it’s now time to move to track three, “Ya Baba”. "Ya Baba"…is another Pritam track that starts out with some ghetto centric “get on the dance floor” vocals. It’s Dhoom all over again! The track sounds like something that should have been on the Dhoom or Dhoom II or the eventual Dhoom III soundtrack. It’s got the same melody, beats and rhythm. Even Shaan can’t save this track with his few lines in the middle of the song. This is another song that seems like the Pritam music factory has produced it. Either the talented music director was not inspired at all, or he’s saving his better tunes for a bigger banner. Don’t add this one to your playlist, instead just pick any track from Dhoom or Dhoom II for the same effect. This one makes me want to shout, “REHASH”!
Hmmm…here’s an idea. Whenever inspiration is lacking, it’s always cool to fall back on some pseudo Marathi-African musical combo. To add some “chutney” to the music, let’s rope in Amit Kumar and have him add some GUSTO to the track. “Jaane Maula Jaane Khuda” is apparently trying to give some street cred to lead star Nikhil Dwivedi’s Anthony character. It’s listenable in that fun, music with no meaning kind of way. This track would have been perfectly at home in any movie from the eighties. It’s not bad, it’s just ok, but it’s definitely better than the previous two tracks. Still, it’s not rocking, it’s not mind-blowing, and it’s not worthy of your playlist.
The soundtrack is rounded off with three remixes (“Jaane Maula Jaane Khuda” (which channels the spirit of Remo Fernandes), “Tum Mile” and “Ya Baba”) For the most part it’s the standard Euro dance set of remixes that really are nothing out of the ordinary.
So where were we? Well, the album on the whole is quite disappointing. Himesh composes the one really good track, “Tum Mile”. Pritam composes the one ok track, “Allah Beli”. I have to say that HR stole the show with “Tum Mile” as none of Pritam’s songs comes close to the likeability of that first song. The rest of the album in between is Pritam at his most uninspired. It doesn’t help that the lyrics fail to add any emotional depth to the music. Add “Tum Mile” and “Allah Beli” to your playlist, and forget the rest.
Here’s a message to the producers/director of the film: In the future, please focus more on the music, especially if you are trying to launch a new star. This soundtrack is a very inauspicious sign for the movie itself.
Alas, the tall thin man in a top hat ‘n’ tails sadly walks off into the sunset still singing, “My name is Anthony Gonsalves….mein duniya main akela hoon.”