The sheer confidence of the makers have made the soundtrack to Anjaana Anjaani one of the most eagerly awaited of 2010! The soundtracks to Siddhath Anand’s last three films (Salaam Namaste, Ta Ra Rum Pum, Bachna Ae Haseeno, all composed by Vishal-Shekhar (V-S)) have held popular appeal with slick, stylish music reaching out to the masses and classes. With Anjaana Anjaani, Siddharth Anand ventures out of Yash Raj Films to direct a film with Nadiawala and Grandson, a production house also known for producing films with music that delivers big time (hits like Housefull, Heyy Babyy, Kambakkht Ishq, and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi? are testimony).
Vishal and Shekhar’s last outing with I Hate Luv Storys was a commercial musical chartbuster, and this has made the expectant wait even more anxiety-filled. Now that the wait is over, are the expectations met?
Guitar strums, coupled with a flanged overlay and brass do enough to build up the excitement in the first title track “Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahaani” . Once the beats start, you’ll find yourself shaking your head and tapping your feet to the groove of this eclectic 70’s-styled Burman-esque dance number. Neelesh Mishra’s lyrics sound a lot like it’s got the style of Vishal Dadlani’s writing in snatches, but have a lot of spunk and originality, meshing a fine blend of English and Hindi. However it is the confidence of Monali Thakur (of "Zara Zara Touch Me" fame) and Nikhil D’Souza which takes the song to dizzying heights! The trademark V-S “thump” is evidently present in every moment of the song, which makes you groove and dance to the beats! By the time the song ends, you want more even though the track is almost five minutes in length. This song has all it takes to move its way up in the musical charts, and via popularity it has already gained through the promos, it is a chartbuster in the making!
The tempo slows down, filling your ears with an attention-grabbing intro as “Hairat” starts with its prelude! Electronic guitar riffs make a sudden, stunning appearance, setting a strong rock-base. Once Lucky Ali takes over and croons to the excellently written lyrics by Vishal, the duo nail it right in the head by giving the song an addictively powerful feel! The best part of the song is the fact that it doesn’t give you a déjà vu of the duo’s previous efforts, but provides a completely fresh sound. Ali’s moon-dipped-in-honey vocals are extra-smooth and set the addiction-level to a whole new level. This one track will make the listener feel that the album is worth the money – and with the visuals of the song shown in its promotional videos online and on television, you expect something out of the movie too. Holding excellent replay value, this sets the graph of the album higher!
Guitar riffs fill in the ears of the listener as the mood of the album shifts to a completely romantic mode with “Aas Paas Khuda” , rendered superbly by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who returns to form after his average stint in “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain” for Dabangg. Starting off full-throated, he effortlessly flows between high-pitched to low-pitched vocals. And once the song enters chorus mode, it turns into a soft-rock track with oodles of style. The song is about spiritual redemption, and the lyrics beautifully describe the element of the song, having a certain sub-textual and spiritual depth. This one grows on you after a listen or two, and after that it has guaranteed replay value. V-S have also taken a bigger interest toward unplugged music (with their previous unplugged track being the Shekhar Ravjiani crooned reprise of “Bin Tere” from I Hate Luv Storys) and this is proved in “Aas Paas Khuda” (Unplugged). Shruti Pathak joins Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in this version, which is mostly kept raw, with intermittent mixing. Unlike “Bin Tere” though, this one is pretty well layered, with some well-added chorus. The beats are kept out of the equation, and this makes it sound that bit more special.
Youthfulness-mode comes to the fore with the fresh and fun sounding “Tumse Hi Tumse” . The track brings a different mood altogether and usually when this happens the listeners don’t take to it. But this has an exhilarating feel attached to it, so much that once you close your eyes and imagine yourself goofing around with your best friend or the love of your life, this song would act as a perfect mental ‘background score’. The lyrics have a very simplistic, understandable and relatable feel to it, and when Shekhar croons to the lyrics, the music attains a new level of freshness. The English lyrics at interludes, both written and rendered by Caralisa Monteiro, don’t really sound cheesy and in fact compliment the song well. This one will click with the listeners, for its happiness-exuding, hummable music, fresh and variable lyrics, and the uplifting vocals! Along with the previous winners, this one too holds replay value and the immense likability and pace of the song will make for an impressive hear.
A haunting prelude breaks into the ears of the listener at the very start of “Tujhe Bhula Diya” after which Shruti Pathak’s vocal to the Punjabi lyrics fill the ears of the listener catching your attention almost immediately. However it is Mohit Chauhan’s haunting entry (an impressive choice by V-S for such a song) that stuns one and all, and he continues singing magically throughout. The intermittent qawwali portions have been arranged and mixed solidly, and the lyrics of the chorus lines (written by Kumaar) headed by Shekhar complements the other singers well. The wet mix in the track, coupled with a strongly built sound design backing it, and excellent music composition by V-S, makes it one of the finest sombre tracks of the new decade. Written poignantly by Vishal himself, it has every ingredient in it to earn a huge audience looking for the perfect melancholy track. This one’s a sure-shot winner! “Tujhe Bhula Diya” (Remix) later on in the album is a great alternative and with the right amount of mixing it gives the soul a completely different, albeit glamorous, body. The faraway, haunting feel rendered by the mixing makes this an impressive standalone entity.
Feel-good literally returns post “Tumse Hi Tumse”, with “I Feel Good”, another soft rock track for the album. Vishal and Shilpa Rao team up to make a fine youthful singing duet. The lyrics by Vishal are perfect for the song, and keep you immensely cheerful and exhilarated for the whole journey. Parts of the mukhda remind you of snatches from “Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahaani”, but luckily don’t end up being entirely déjà vu, thanks to Dadlani and Rao’s exuberant vocal powers. A song of such caliber belongs to the teen pop-rock love-song genre (which frequently appears in Hollywood film soundtracks and by artists like Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson, but isn’t attempted much here, except for in Pyaar Impossible). Thumbs up to V-S for successfully experimenting here and ending up with yet another enjoyable song for the soundtrack. However you have to say the quality has dipped here slightly compared with the previous songs on the album.
Soft rock meets love song with the second title track “Anjaana Anjaani” . A haunting prelude, which turns honey-dipped within a few seconds and Shilpa Rao’s standout vocals that kick-start the song. Vishal teams up with Shilpa Rao for a second time after "I Feel Good". Not only is this an excellently produced soft rock track, it also is a beautiful love song with outstanding lyrics by Kausar Munir (“Falak Tak” from Tashan). The mukhda of the track (written by Irshad Kamil) has so much energy to it that you want to hear it again and again and it compliments the smooth-flowing antara very well. This track clicks with the listener on the very first hear, and ends makes for a fitting end to the album. Siddharth Anand had the perfect love song with “My Dil Goes Mmmm” from Salaam Namaste. He had it followed up with Ta Ra Rum Pum’s “Hey Shona”, and finally reached the peak with the super-successful “Khuda Jaane” from Bachna Ae Haseeno! But this one tops all of them and easily has to be Anand’s best love song in any movie of his.
Nadiawala and Siddharth Anand are right to be proud because the musical duo have genuinely struck gold with most songs having the potential to become memorable hits. The soundtrack has the right blend of fun, youthfulness, romance, and melancholy, thereby making it V-S’s most complete soundtrack after Musafir. Terrific sound design, superb arrangement and remarkable mixing of the songs in the soundtrack give an international feel – and who better to trust for world sound than the makers of chartbusting soundtracks like Jhankaar Beats, Om Shaanti Om and Dus? All I can say is that if you’re a music lover and you’re anjaana (or anjaani) to this soundtrack, you’re missing out on some really mind-blowing stuff! Grab your copy right away!