Accompanying the Yash Raj Film (YRF) banner, a stellar cast and heightened public expectations, no wonder the movie Tashan (aka ‘Style’) is one of the most eagerly awaited in 2008! It promises to amuse and bring us something hatke and different as the promotional line states…the ishtyle, the goodluck and the pharmoola ….woah, that’s big coming from the YRF camp!
Anyway, such a movie requires an equally stylish soundtrack to underpin its roots, attitude and culture. A reliable composer would be preferable; someone who has delivered the goods in the past so I ask you listeners….who would make your short list? The versatile duo Vishal-Shekar (V-S) would definitely rank up there having built a solid reputation over the years for pushing the (bollywood music) envelope, often with daring execution. Their superb last music offering for the 2007 blockbuster Om Shanti Om did no harm to their reputation either! So with a movie like Tashan expect a lot of experimentation and hatke sounds but can the duo pull it off again?
Things get off to a promising note with the confident and peppy Dil Haara. The tabla beats, whilst prominent throughout, sit in the background to some stylish and varied arrangements including some attractive harmonium play culminating with the combination of addictive guitar riffs and assertive shouts of ‘oh-woh-ho’. Kudos also to Sukhwinder Singh for injecting further flavor into the track with superlative singing, his unique vocals sitting beautifully against the mix of traditional and western sounds. The lyrics by Piyush Mishra are decent. Verdict: As a product of Tashan, Dil Haara is arguably the most addictive and satisfying track here and V-S should be given some credit for it. But you expected more from the talented duo and your focus consequently falls immediately onto the next track…
….Sadly you may as well do yourself a favor and skip Chhaliya which is not only the worst song of Tashan but also ranks as one of V-S’s all time duds! The dance/hip hop music is tedious and shoddy at times, the lyrics by Anvita Dutt Guptan are pathetic and annoying especially the constantly repeated English line 'don’t look at me like that mahee'... Even the queen bee singer herself, Sunidhi Chauhan sounds bored and performs within herself. Verdict: It’s baffling that such sub-standard sounds can come from V-S. Horrible!
Probably on the insistence of the producers, we then get a typical YRF romantic number in the form of Falak Tak…so much for a hatke and ‘mould breaking’ soundtrack guys! One would be forgiving if it sounded any good but no such luck as the composers appear to have put little effort into this one with an overused tabla being the single most annoying aspect of the mundane arrangements followed closely by the average lyrics of Kausar Munir. It hurts me immensely that the singing talents of Udit Narayan and Mahalaxmi Iyer are wasted on a song like this and whilst undoubtedly lifting the song above it’s otherwise shallow base, they deserve so much better. Verdict: B-O-R-I-N-G!
Tashan Mein ends the soundtrack on a disappointing note. Yes it has the right intentions again but tries too hard to sound ultra cool and hip and falls just short of the mark. There is just too much mixing of arrangements here with an underlying rock base and it simply doesn’t work in the end. Consequently the loud vocals by Vishal and Saleem become the USP of this title track but after a while their repeated cries of Tashan Mein become irritating …the lyrics by Piyush Mishra and Vishal are passable. Verdict: Just when you think you've hit that killer trademark V-S track, Tashan Mein leaves you wanting more…alas it’s also the last offering of the soundtrack!
Note: The soundtrack also contains a brief intro from each of the main stars who tell us what their tashan is. From their vocals alone, the characters of Bachchan Pande (Akshay Kumar) and Bhaiyyaji (Anil Kapoor) sound more interesting than those of Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) and Jimmy (Saif Ali Khan).
Whatever the reason one hopes Tashan is a blip because the prolific composers have produced one of their worst soundtracks ever! Don’t let anyone tell you the soundtrack is good simply because it’s different…holding daring intentions is one thing but it must come with the right execution and sadly Tashan fails on the latter. Yes some of the tracks (mainly Dil Haara and Dil Dance Maare) here do attempt to bring a certain flavor / attitude / culture to the movie but on the whole the soundtrack lacks substance and the repeat value is surprisingly poor. One wonders how the YRF camp have accepted this especially when you consider how good Om Shaanti Om was in terms of invigorating the movie…nevertheless one hopes for much better music from V-S for the rest of 2008…Tashan on the whole is a major disappointment!