When you have a movie like ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR having an immense buzz around it, expectations for its soundtrack are obviously high. But, like Shimit Amin’s (director) last critical and commercial hit, Chak De India, this one has also has a music release date that is barely a week from the movie release date. With pre-release hype surrounding it, and a very mixed response received for its promotional title song (Pocket Mein Rocket) which was aired around a week after the release of the first teaser promo, on radio, television, and through other marketing methods (Facebook, YouTube et al). Like the soundtrack of Chak De India which had a rather odd presentation with a different set of situational tracks – a first for the Yash Raj banner who usually strive to have good music in most of their productions. To put a patch on the horde of situational tracks, the distributors glorified it by making it an interactive data CD and pitching in some videos for marketing. Of course the songs were hits BUT only after the release of the movie – very few even cared to listen to anything other than the title song and the Hockey song, and maybe even those two would have been ignored if they hadn’t been promoted decently. A similar trend is following with ROCKET SINGH, but does the music CD create any magic?
Well the biggest shocker is that the music CD only has three original tracks belonging to the movie (the rest of the them are from past Yash Raj Films). Don’t blink your eyes- it is fact that the soundtrack of ROCKET SINGH is a short three-track effort, which is a disappointment, considering a lot was expected of this album. So do the three tracks manage to catch the attention of the listener?
The album opens with an overtly hyped “Pocket Mein Rocket”, which starts off with some random sounds but shifting slowly to its main gear after a big bang. Salim & Sulaiman have given us a lot of English and Hinglish songs (most of them with the Yash Raj banner), but this particular one – a Hinglish effort – is unusual in its own way. With the weirdest of lyrics, and an amazing set of beats, bass, synthesizer loops, samples and pads, this one is a sure-shot rocker! Benny Dayal, more known for his recent singing collaborations with A. R. Rahman (a la Ghajini and Yuvvraaj), gives us listeners the mind-blowing attitude this song needs. The only problem with the song – it’s only for the urban sensibilities. Usually most of the English lyrics in Bollywood numbers are crass and wannabe, but this one has real meaning – and explains the situation of the title character of the movie, Harpreet “Rocket” Singh, hence the pocket-mein-rocket (which, if you’ve seen the video, means “My name is Rocket Singh; here’s my card.” – don’t know how it connects, but Ranbir Kapoor keeps flashing his business card every time a chorus arrives!). Give it a try – you’ll love the number for it’s amazingly zany lyrics and it’s overall attitude.
When you read a title like “Gadbadi Hadbadi” for a song at the back cover, you expect a fun number. With Vishal Dadlani as vocalist you get exactly that – a fun situational number that would probably suit the sensibilities of the screen better than just audibly. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad number – it just doesn’t have the impact it should. It’s just an okay listen, and might grow on you after a while, but only until the release date of the movie.
Now comes the real gem of the album. This one, titled “Pankhon Ko” is an amazing number which is sensitively composed and rendered. Salim Merchant’s vocals prove to you that he is the only singer composer (apart from Wajid who recently rendered the fantastic “Tum Ne Socha” from Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna) who takes his singing very seriously. Here, he sings with an uncanny emotional depth, which will touch the core of your heart. The music is spellbinding, and the best part about it is that it doesn’t focus a lot on beats – in fact, there is a lot of guitar strumming throughout three-fourths of the song. This almost ‘unplugged’ track deserves appreciation for its lyrics by Jaideep Sahni, which makes you think for long. Salim & Sulaiman’s composition is amazing, and gives the required impact a slow song should give. All you need to do is to switch off the lights, slip in your favorite headphones, slump into a couch, and immerse into the song. Overall, a beautiful track that deserves constant and consistent replay, this one will literally make you smile and feel better every time you hear it. Thumbs up!
That’s it! It is very tough to rate an album like this, as with only three songs, it doesn’t really deserve to be called an ‘album’. But with two out of three songs managing to make an impact (“Pocket Mein Rocket”, “Pankhon Ko”), this one still turns out to be a deserving buy. What’s more, you get a promotional video of “Pocket Mein Rocket” as a bonus! Whether or not people would buy it for only three songs is a question that can only be answered by the shelf life of the music in the days to come, but the only thing that can be answered right now is that the three sole tracks meant for the movie are worth a listen. Not a bad try.