Well well well, what have we here? One of Salman Khan's most awaited flicks Wanted has been in the news like a frenzy since the theatrical teaser hit the screens and the websites. The response has been hurricane-like, with movie buffs waiting with bated breath for the movie to unfold this Eid! With the music just hitting the stands, the curiosity level has been sky high so what is the music like? I erase my mind of all irrational expectations before inserting the brand new CD into my laptop, plugging in my headphones and waiting for the pause before iTunes pops up to play the tracks...
BANG! That's how the album starts. However reading the title of the song “Love Me Love Me” you would assume that it would be some lounge track with English lyrics added to it. But we are proven wrong after the immediate start of that powerful ethnic-sounding ‘THUMP’. And once the thump starts, there is no stopping it. Sometimes, Wajid himself comes before the mic to provide eclectic vocals, which make an irresistible combination with Jalees Sherwani's zany lyrics that start off with the lines “Love Me Love Me Love Me, Your Mama says you Love me, My Pappa Says you Love me, Just Love Me Baby Love Me”. The start is immediately hooking and grabs you toward the song for repeated play. Pads have been used well alongside the synth loops that are equally focused. Wajid might have had a blast singing this song as he is completely in form. Amrita Kak is efficient in whatever lines she gets to sing. And considering the picturization of the song, the video of which we have been getting to see in the TV spots recently, the song is an instant hit, and will be constantly on radio, hogging the airplay just as “Twist” from Love Aaj Kal and “Dhan Te Nan” from Kaminey did. It is evident that these songs have cemented their positions as chart-busters. Now it's the time for "Love Me Love Me" to gain fan following far and wide. The infectious beats alongside the opening lyrics are so zany that the song keeps on repeating in my mind. GOD, STOP IT NOW!
We then move on to the second track called“Ishq Vishk” which falls into the R&B / Hip-Hop genre. Strings, followed by hip-hop beats, coupled later with Kamaal Khan's sonic vocals give a fire cracking start to the song! Suzanne provides ample Westernized seductive vocals and gives it extra impact. Sunidhi Chauhan comes later to completely change the feeling of this upbeat romantic track which is a must hear. Listen out especially for Sunidhi’s entry, which raises the song to dizzy heights. Sameer's lyrics are an added highlight. The words are simple, making the masses 'connect' to the song with ease. Surely another infectious hear!
After two extremely contagious and upbeat songs, Sajid and Wajid move into the lounge/romance category with a gem called "Dil Leke". With their trademark stamp over it (i.e. you'll begin to reminisce on Sajid Wajid's “O Jaana” from God Tussi Great Ho and “Lal Dupatta” from Mujhse Shaadi Karoge), some listeners might write it off as déjà vu, but nevertheless, it still turns out to be a magical and delightful track for romantics alike. With just the right elements of Indian and Western melodies fused together I can already picturize Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia Azmi romancing each other either in some opulent set or somewhere outside, somewhere exotic. Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal are wonderful in this song. While Shaan is at his usual best it is Shreya Ghoshal whose vocals manages to open the doors of my imagination to a far away place that is both vivid and exotic. Suzanne's backing vocals are efficient enough, but had they been absent from the song, it would not have made any difference. Overall, another track that requires repeated listening to have the song grow upon the listener.
The “THUMP” is back with "Jalwa" which starts yet again with some contagious beats that raise the expectation levels for the song, and as the song progresses, with its part Hindi, part Western synth loops, you want to hear more. But alas, as soon as Wajid Ali starts crooning behind the mic, you realise that the track is nothing more than an ego trip, with the lyrics sketching the character of the role Salman Khan plays in the movie - that of the dreaded gangster “Radhe”. The song had potential due to its fantastic arrangements, and just the right assortment of beats to click with the crowd, but the lyrics totally ruin the whole outing. Jalees Sherwani's decision to take a trip to the 90's spoils it in the process. Overall, a decent track that needs good picturization.
So far it's been all urban/fusion tracks, Sajid and Wajid make a sudden U-Turn with a full-on desi track called "Tose Pyaar Karte Hain". It sounds like a kind of ode to the naughty, playful and upbeat romantic tracks of the 90’s. Just when everyone thought that such a song would never be released again, the duo revisit an era gone by as in David Dhawan comedies and long ago, were termed as fast-paced classics in Kishore Kumar movies and compositions. Somehow, I remember that song from the cult comedy Padosan, called “Ek Chatur Naar Karke Sringar”, which still makes me giggle…. Overall, this one is another must hear.
With six tracks over with, I am suddenly devoid of all expectations for the next song, which reads on the back of the disc cover as "Most Wanted Track". Right from the very start we get Salman’s punch lines from the movie indicating it is a theme track. And theme tracks are arguably meant to be one of the best offerings of the respective soundtrack right? Unfortunately you feel that something's missing with this one and as a result you will find yourself avoiding it unless you’re a die-hard Sallu fanatic. Maybe they could have inserted the instrumental “techno” version of the track which would enhance the listener repeat level on this one.
To conclude this collaboration between Salman Khan and the duo of Sajid and Wajid is surely no Partner but turns out to be somewhat better and more redeeming than God Tussi Great Ho. The three redeeming tracks are “Love Me Love Me”, “Ishq Vishk”, “Dil Leke” and along with “Jalwa”, have the potential to rise the album to the top of the charts for some weeks until a better album arrives- the upcoming Dil Bole Hadippa will be stiff competition, particularly with the king of chart-busters: Pritam, at the helm. Until then, I can only hope that Salman Khan's prediction comes true and Wanted thunders better than Ghajini in the box office. Until then, let's wait and see!
Additional Analysis- Remixes
“Love Me Love Me (Mama Papa Mix)” - With such a ridiculous and laugh-inducing name, I wondered if the remix would do any good, or perhaps, any justice to the original. But reading such a redeeming name as DJ “Akbar Sami” generated an inbuilt expectation. All this expectation is regrettably shattered as the remix turns out to be a watered-down version of the original, which creates a heavy impact with it's beats but little more. This one's a complete downer. And what's with the Spanish touch? Below average fare.
“Ishq Vishk (Remix)” - With the original again winning hands down in impressing the listener, this one tries the same old trick by increasing the tempo and adding the same old club beats, but compared to the previous one it sounds a little better in comparison, though in reality it isn't really groundbreaking. It's just that the original song is quite overpowering. Undoubtedly it's a decent hear and will find a fair share of admirers and detractors.
“Dil Leke (Remix)” - Now I wonder if it was really necessary to make a remix of this particular song. This one just doesn't make sense; it seems like this mix was made for the sake of making the ‘mix’. A complete downer, considering the original is a much cherished romantic outing, and the remix doesn't help much with the repeat value.
“Jalwa On The House (Remix)” - The original song had amazing beats, but this one works in most parts, because of its eclectic arrangements. This makes it the only remix so far to add any value to the original and gives it some repeat value. While the original did not break much ground due to it's average lyrics, this one has an amazing set of pads, synth loops, bass and beats, therefore making a contagious hear.
“Tose Pyaar Karte Hain (Remix)” - The final remix fails to deliver as it just sounds like an enhanced, extended version of the original with extra beats. Akbar Sami just can't get it right in this one. Sadly, another disappointment.