Director Sajid Khan (brother of Farah Khan of “Om Shanti Om” fame) returns after his blockbuster hit “Heyy Babyy” with what promises to be a rom-com foot stomping entertainer, “Housefull”. Akshay Kumar and Ritesh Deshmukh return to tickle the Bollywood funny bone about a loser who just can’t find true love.
Sajid Khan’s partners in music crime are the talented threesome Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy who are more affectionately known as SEL (with lyrics by Sameer and Amitabh Bhattacharya). This trio has been responsible for some of the best filmi music of the last few years. From “Dus” to “Karthik Calling Karthik”, including the music for Sajid’s previous film, “Heyy Babyy”, SEL have proven time and time again that they know how to keep it fresh. So what about this time? Is their soundtrack to “Housefull” hit…ya miss? Read on….read on…..as I strum my guitar ever so musically in the background.
With a movie like this, one has to keep in mind that any director would want the music to reach as broad of an audience as possible. From paanwallas to upper terracewallas…. from single screen to multiplex…. from meaningless gratification to meaningful resonance…. from…well, you get my meaning. It’s not going to be a soundtrack that will rock the world and take music to new heights (though one can always hope for that), rather one that will be catchy ‘n’ cool like cotton candy. So, let’s grab that barrel of monkeys and some cotton candy as we listen to “Housefull”!
The accordion playfully intros the first track, “Oh Girl, You’re Mine”, from then on the slow tempo of percussion takes the track forward as the vocals by Tarun Sagar, Alyssa Mendonsa (daughter of Loy Mendonsa) and Loy himself with support from Rithu Pathak join in on the fun. It’s a deceptively simple melody, and incredibly catchy. The lyrics are simple and straightforward, something lyricist Sameer is known for. It’s groovy with a capital G. Tarun Sagar has a nice gravelly tone to his voice that is pleasing to listen to, similar to the quality of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in places. Loy’s rendering of, the “Oh Girl, You’re Mine” refrain is what really catches the ear. Go get her tiger, and shout from the rooftops, “Oh Girl, You’re Mine” as this track is headed to the top.
Ah, just when you think your life is down in the dumps, you hear some music that lifts your spirits in a fun ‘n’ frivolous way. To continue on that theme, the second track, “Papa Jag Jayega” hits the fun mark big time. Bombay Viking’s Neeraj Sridhar’s smooth voice starts off the song with his trademark vocals. The music is playfully Arabic with techno accents, and a heavy use of programmed percussion. Alyssa Mendonsa provides the sultry female vocals and her voice is a nice counterpoint to Neeraj’s. It’s the way that they both sing the refrain, “Volume kam kar…papa jag jayega” that gets the body moving. Lyrics by Amitabh Battacharya are fun and flighty, and stick to the frivolous like, “naughty naughty naughty raat ayi”. It’s not deep, but it sure is a lot of fun, just like this track. It’ll remind you of the days you and your guy/gal of the moment snuck behind your father’s back…careful don’t wake him up!
After the crazy previous track, we move on to what may be the most annoyingly catchy song on the album. This one will work itself into your brain and you will find yourself humming along uncontrollably while visiting your favorite paanwalla. “I Don’t Know What To Do” starts out simply enough with Sunidhi Chauhans silky vocals, but it’s when Shabbir Kumar kicks in backed by harmonium and dhols singing, “I don’t know what to do…I don’t know what to do….tauba…ab main kya karoo….” (lyrics by Sameer), that the track truly shines. It’s slightly reminiscent of the “I Don’t Know What You Say” (Hum Bane Tum Bane) refrain from “Ek Duje Ke Liye” SEL wisely keeps the instrumentation simple with programmed percussion combined with Shehnai and Dholak. What can I say? It’s not the best track in the world, but it sure is catchy as hell!
The final track on this light ‘n’ airy soundtrack is a jazzy trip titled, “Loser”. Vivienne Pacha provides the provocative and Eartha Kitt sounding purring vocals. Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya joins her, as she basically tells the guy this is directed to that he’s the biggest loser in the world. It’s the attitude that makes this jazzy track work. Not the best on the album, but certainly interesting to listen to.
Next we enter the patented PB REMIX ZONE ™! DJ Whosane resurfaces with remixes of “Oh Girl You’re Mine – O Boy/What a Girl Mix”, which is pretty decent though it loses the suaveness of the original. It’s got his trademark techno beat (which was put to good use on his album Moksh), which is a nice subtle change from the usual Euro trance pounding beats attached to remixes. “Papa Jag Jayega – Insane Insomniac Mix”, follows this. It’s a pretty straightforward remix that is well done, if not too memorable. The best of the three mixes has to be, “I Don’t Know What To Do – Shabbir’s Sexy 70s Mix” which takes arguably the best track on the soundtrack and totally kicks in the nostalgia pulse. It’s the 70s all over again with Rekha as Princess Leia (wearing that weird bun hairdo) and guys wearing flare floppy pants or slip slapping dhotis! Whosane knocks this one out of the park, and this should be a real club hit. You won’t be able to stop swaying this way and that!
All in all, “HouseFull” may not be as catchy as “Heyy Babyy”, but nevertheless SEL deliver a fun ‘n’ frothy soundtrack that serves up a whole heaping spoonful of happiness. It’s one of those rare soundtracks that doesn’t just focus on the item number, but rather is a complete soundtrack that can be listened to from beginning to end. That in itself is an accomplishment and rarity in the fragmented music scene that is so prevalent in Bollywood today. So, blast these tracks and put a smile on your face with, “Housefull”!