Prakash Jha is known for his hard hitting realistic cinema. His previous ventures had different music directors: Raajneeti (2010) had Pritam, Aadesh Shrivastav, Shantanu Moitra and Wayne Sharp; Aparahan (2005) had Aadesh Shrivastav and Gangaajal (2003) had Sandesh Shandiliya. Prakash Jha's movies are sort of non-musica; he gives very little space for music in his films. Raajneeti’s super-hit songs ‘Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si’ and ‘Mora Piya’ were given very less screen space in the movie. For Aarakshan, Prakash Jha tries Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL) and Prasoon Joshi (who had worked together for movies like Taare Zameen Par and London Dreams to name a few).
The soundtrack offers six tracks with four originals, one solo version and one remix. Out of four originals, three have been composed by SEL and surprisingly one fantastic classical number by lyricist-turned- musician Prasoon Joshi, who has made his debut as a music director in this movie.
The soundtrack opens with another soulful number by Mohit Chauhan with Shreya Ghoshal, named Acha Lagta Hai. The number is instantly catchy due to some brilliant lyrics by Prasoon Joshi. However the way it started, it straight away reminded me of ‘Mujhe Tum Chupke Chupke Jab Aise Dekhti Ho, Achi Lagti Ho’ from the movie Kuch Naa Kaho (2003) composed by SEL. But as the song progresses, it creates its own aura and carries on to be a decent hear. The remix DJ Suketu is passable.
Next comes, Mauka sung by Mahalaxmi Iyer, Raman Mahadevan, Tarun, Gaurav and Rehan. Mahalaxmi Iyer made her singing debut with Dus which was SEL debut as music directors in 1997. Since then, she has been the hot favourite for them. This is more of a situational-inspirational track which talks about giving a chanas (chance). It’s a track which will work more with the video. Again the lyrics create the high-point for the song, like ‘Kahi Jeet Milti Nahayi Huyi, Talcum Chidak Kar Aayi Huyi’.
The last original song, Roshanee crooned by Shankar Mahadevan himself is a revolutionary track and is very much similar to SEL previous tunes in the movie Lakshya (2004), ‘Paega Jo Lakshya Hai Tera’, the title song and ‘Kandhon Se Milte Hai Kandhe’, especially the way it started and the chorus part in between every stanza. Roshanee is a trademark SEL composition which will go well along the narration of the movie and once again Shankar Mahadevan's voice reminds me of Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan at parts.
Mauka-Remix Version by Abhijit Vaghani disappoints and has nothing new to offer apart from some extra beats.
Overall, Aarakshan is more of a situational soundtrack (as expected out of Prakash Jha) and apart from ‘Achi Lagti Ho’, the other songs will not have a longer shelf life. Prasoon Joshi is excellent with his pen as always but sadly their combination failed to create the same magic as in Taare Zameen Par.