The duo of Vishal and Shekhar (V-S), who had quite a few successful outings in Bollywood last year with Tashan (2008), Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) and especially Dostana (2008), are back to prove themselves in Sujoy Ghosh’s third directorial outing – Aladin, which has already created an instant impression due to its breathtaking promos.
Speaking of Sujoy Ghosh, all his films till now have had one thing in common – Vishal and Shekhar’s music. Whilst the award winning Jhankaar Beats (2003) catapulted the duo to be the next big thing, Home Delivery (2005) did little to promote their career as they ended up producing a situational soundtrack barring a few songs. But Aladin already has mammoth expectations surrounding it so do they fulfill these? Read on to find out.
The opener “Genie Rap” is a feel-good ‘ego-trip’ for Amitabh Bachchan who, as everyone knows by now, plays the Genie (although it’s strange that he is called Genius in the movie ) and has also given his vocals for this particular track. He is joined by Anushka Manchanda, who provides some electric backing vocals throughout the song, which is hip in its own way although when Bachchan starts singing, you start to feel a déjà vu, probably because his vocals sound the same whenever he sings (be it in “Come on Come on” from Baabul (2006), or “Chali Chali” from Baghban (2003). However saying that, there will be millions of Amitabh Bachchan fans who love to hear him sing and coupled with the wacky lyrics and the overall upbeat music, this is an electric hear, if only for a while.
Is this a Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy track? That’s precisely the first reaction of the listener once he’s into the next track, the peppy ”Tak Dhina Dhin” . Admittedly, patches of the Vishal-Shekhar trademark come into focus in bits and spurts, but overall, you get another annoying déjà vu with this song, which has Shankar Mahadevan and Shaan in a singing duet which is well done. The lyrics (by Vishal Dadlani & Anvita Dutt Guptan) are very average though. Overall, yet another situational track which fails to impress from a purely auditory perspective.
Now this is a track which might at last find some patronage among the audience. Titled ”Ore Saawariya”, one wonders if it would have been more convenient to name the track “More Saiyyan” or “Sasur Ghar Jaana”, as the annoying chants by Sudesh Bhonsle and Amitabh Bachchan focus on these words far often! Shreya Ghoshal gives her all to pitch in a really well-rendered semi-classical performance. The lyrics are horribly written again, as pointed out by the repetitive “Sasur Ghar Jaana” etc which irritate after a while! Other than that, the beats are really good to listen to, and the arrangements are fine, but this track, like the other ones, give you that déjà vu feeling once again, which could harm the prospects of the song. A strictly okay outing.
“You May Be” demonstrates that the duo can perform well and bring back some much needed credibility. Though only a spark, it manages to bring a kind of a thehraav to the album and some much needed repeat value. This is the romantic song of the 70’s where soft rock always used to be fused with an Indian touch by the legend that was Rahul Dev Burman. The Hinglish lyrics are nice and sweet and an improvement over the previous tracks. Vishal and Shekhar lend beautiful vocals to this song that can also boast of some really good arrangements and mixing. Though this song is not meant to last long in the charts, it will generate some fan following before stepping out.
A poorer sounding version of “Deewangee Deewaangee” (Om Shaanti Om (2007)) returns for Aladin’s “Bachke O Bachke” , in which the beats, the arrangements, and the sound designing really give us yet another déjà vu. Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan, who are present in this track, have sung for the previous number as well although Shankar Mahadevan and Vishal Dadlani thankfully bring some change. Lyrics are woeful again! Yet another let-down by V-S. Period!
The last track of the album (and the listener adds to this sentence, “Thankfully!”) turns out to be “Giri Giri” , with vocals by Sanjay Dutt. Though he has sung well in the past for a number of successful songs, one wonders where he is heading with this track that sounds lame even without his vocals! But probably, like the Genie, the Ringmaster needs a song as well, so here it is. Though the lyrics are okay enough in describing the Ringmaster’s character, this is another poorly executed track by Vishal and Shekhar who end up disappointing the listener so much that by now you feel giving up on the soundtrack altogether!
“Genie Rap Remix” and “Ore Saawariya Remix” by DJ Suketu and AKS are okay, but how one wishes the originals were better so that the poor DJs could have something to go at (to mix) in the first place. Alas they too have been let down by the duo.
Overall, Vishal and Shekhar have delivered a very average soundtrack here, and considering their back to back hits last year, one wonders where the duo is heading particularly since this is a Sujoy Ghosh movie. Whilst it is yet to be seen if the music will do well on the big screen, he must be disappointed with their efforts for the soundtrack. As for the listeners, they are already well and truly over it!