The soundtrack to Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is one of the most anticipated (besides Mausam as of now) due to three very important reasons. This is composer Sohail Sen’s third soundtrack after his smashing debut in What’s Your Raashee?, and the shining example of talent in his next work with Gowariker – Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. And considering the promotional adverts of the title track and “Dhunki”, we can see Sen’s early experimentation tilted more toward the commercial side of things. Secondly, this is a soundtrack coming from the stables of Yash Raj Films, from which the success of their last film Band Baaja Baaraat still resounds; and the production house has always managed to come out and impress the potential expectant listener more often than not. And last but not the least, this is a film which stars three people who’ve always been involved with regular, hit music – Ali Zafar (who’s already very much a successful composer back in Pakistan, having made his initial waves with Jhoom), Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif (both of whose films have been associated with successful soundtracks more often than not).
Considering these three reasons, there’s a lot at stake to satisfy the potential listener being extra-anxious to listen to the soundtrack. And what with the two outrageously catchy, kitschy numbers that have been madly promoted on air and on broadcast, there’s obviously too much to expect. One only wonders if this expectation level would harm the listeners’ appreciation level. This sort of wonder plagues my head as I insert the official audio disc to play on my iTunes...
The catchy intro of the soundtrack’s opener, the title song of the film, “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” makes us almost forget the anxiety. Very north Indian, very chataak and certainly a song that will attract the layman’s attention immediately. It is a song that takes a turn for the very better when Krishna Beura starts off with “Matrimonial Si Aankhein…” in a tone and pitch you haven’t heard from him before, considering his obvious inspiration from the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with his usual high-pitched classical singing. K.K’s free-flowing vocals don’t really allow him to do much in terms of intensity, but you sure do enjoy the infectiously fun atmosphere created by the song. Irshad Kamil’s smart writing makes the song talk to its listeners, and a very good example is the addictive mukhda “Dil Se Dilli Ho Woh Dhadkan Se Ho London, Dhoondoon Main Dhoondoon Mere Brother Ki Dulhan”. The Yash Raj Films trademark is very much audible throughout the track, and for a whole lot of reasons, you do connect to the soundtracks of YRF’s previous films like Salaam Namaste, Bunty Aur Babli, Hum Tum and the more recent Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Despite the trademark, the Sohail-Sen-ness cannot be mistaken, woven intricately throughout the whole song. This track has merits to make it big in the music charts (and considering the way it’s being promoted it sure will!), and turns out to be an immensely addictive listen for many reasons.
Post the opener that has decidedly set base to how the whole soundtrack will follow, the second track goes a notch above the first and with a singer like Neha Bhasin, “Dhunki” –the other of the two madly promoted songs of the film – can never go wrong! Electric guitar riffs get the track moving after the haunting horns, beckoning you to listen further. As soon as the chorus sings “Oh Malang Hua Dil Yeh Mera, Oh Mast Malang Hua Dil Yeh Mera”, you are further captivated by the song. And when Neha Bhasin’s uber-confident vocals start rocking to the rest of track, you start to notice the rustic nature of Irshad Kamil’s writing, where he has effectively managed to make both the antara and the mukhda such that the song would sound complete if well sung – and Bhasin ends up doing absolute justice to the track. Sohail Sen’s music could have gone wrong here too but it doesn’t thanks to some classy arrangements and mixing making this a mind-blowing listen, and this might just be as successful as the last solo-female track “Chhaliya” (also from the YRF stables) which completely changed Kareena Kapoor’s image from pretty and bubbly to sexy and glamorous. A must hear, as it’s surely going to pump up the rest of your day!
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan seems to be typecast into many tempo songs like “Isq Risk” and as a result this song may not be warmed up to by a lot of listeners who’ll want something different. However considering his classical background I personally feel it’s the composers and producers who are typecasting him in such similar sounding commercially ‘intense’ tracks and this one vaguely reminds you of YRF’s previous “O Re Piya” from Aaja Nachle. Despite this, Sohail Sen manages to give the sound and feel his own stamp with Kamil’s lyrics giving us the inkling that he wants to go down the Prasoon Joshi or Gulzar way by providing a rustic feel despite adding a couple of English words in the mix, all this while not letting the poetry sound anywhere near too “corny”. Sen’s music doesn’t make the proceedings any different but one tends to hear the track anyway due to this being the only melody based track albeit coupled by some fantastic arrangements and mixing that makes the overall package a wee bit classier than what we are used to. Worth the listen. This song returns in a “Risky Remix” and just like the original, the remix too starts off with the radio cosmic noise, but instead of the typical Hindi radio announcer, there’s a British dude here who’s mouthing some corny link adding the words “Risky Love” in the mix, and we wonder if the remix is going to be any better at captivating our attention. But Joshilay manages to make the perfect mix, whilst also differentiating this from the original by selecting different singers (Indian Idol 5 winner Sreeramachandra, accompanied by Bhasin, who returns after “Dhunki” for this albeit for a short stint) and making the song sound standalone. This one’s an interestingly programmed track and might just be a favorite of DJ-sets next month as the movie becomes all the more popular.
C’mon, we’ve got a singer acting as a parallel lead in a Bollywood film and he doesn’t get a chance to sing in the film for at least one song? That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? So with “Madhubala” we have your quintessential rustic masala track featuring Ali Zafar, accompanied by a bubbly sounding Shweta Pandit. Reminiscent of the feel of a “Humka Peeni Hai” from Dabangg, this one’s another chataak number that works primarily because of the old-world feel and naughtiness that Zafar’s vocals lend the track (reminiscent of Kishore Kumar’s naughtiness and Shailendra Singh’s smooth vocals), and though I do not mean to compare it with any legend or song, I do get that feel being a fan of 70s flicks. The interestingly penned mukhda by Kamil (“Panghat Pe Naache, Naache Re Naache Madhubala”) will make you smile and the whole nature of the song is absolutely massy so will click with the desi crowds in the days to come. People looking for class will badmouth the track, but then again, were Sajid and Wajid looking for an Oscar with the soundtracks to Wanted and Dabangg?. Here too, the song has the potential to become a chartbuster if promoted well.
Outrageous commercialism continues with the final song “Do Dhaari Talwar” also featuring Shweta Pandit, but this time led by Shahid Mallya (who can also be heard in absolutely mellifluous vocals from Mausam’s “Rabba”). The intro makes you feel like it’s going to be a full-fledged situational qawwali but as the song builds up and we hear the piece that we can connect to the trailer’s motif, the mood change and you do begin shaking your shoulders to this one. Yet again, Irshad Kamil shows that he’s a pro at writing kitschy, spicy lyrics that are understandable and fun to listen to. There’s a level of infectiousness that catches you off-guard for some reason and you end up enjoying the song. As chartbusting as the opener is, the closer also puts the album on a high note.