Everytime I get a music score by A R Rahman, I give it a few days
and a few listenings to let it strike some chord before I can start enjoying it. The same
for Pukar, though I would rate it lesser
than his previous scores this year. This is not to make the music of Pukar sound any
lesser, as the comparison here is Earth, Taal,
Thakshak - all brilliant score in recent months.
Pukar opens with an Indianized rendition of Kay Sera.. Sera..
(Que Sera Sera) in a song that seems like a late addition to the album. This being the Prabhudeva-Madhuri dance number, has a good rhythm
going in its favor. The female lead singing by Kavita Krishnamurthy lifts
the song further, though Shankar Mahadevan as a male support does not
have much opportunity. Similarly patchy is the lyrics, by Javed Akhtar, which is quite
interestingly creative in the use of Kay Sera Sera and the main lines - but has some very
cheesy sounding background / chorus lines. Credit or discredit to Rahman, the rhythms and
the tune is reworked from a recent Tamil movie (like he did in Thakshak), and the Tamil
song had the charm of originality which this perhaps misses. But someone, who hasn't heard
that may find this as brilliant (which it is, and perhaps will be further enhanced by the
Sunta Hai Mera Khuda by Udit Narayan and
Kavita Krishnamurthy follows as a easy flowing song that grows on you with time - starting
off as a very simple melody with little to charm, and growing into an addictive soft
number. One reason why song grows on you are the Lyrics by Majrooh perhaps (the album
credits Javed Akhtar and Majrooh for lyrics, but does not mention who for which song).
Rahman uses the voice of Swarnalatha in the background most liltingly -
another reason why the melody grows on you slowly, but surely.
The next number, Hamrahi Jab Ho Mastana, is for me - the
weakest song of the album. Udit Narayan and Hema Sardesai bring much life
to the song, which seems to run a staccato pace - trying to be fast - but with a staid
rhythm much unlike the varied rhythms of Kay Sera Sera earlier.
Hai Jaana .. by Sujatha, features twice in
the album - and like Sunta Hai Mera Khuda - takes time to grow on your ears. The
singing leaves you imagining a song of seduction and yearning rolled together. The song
has the charm that Majrooh would create so very effectively with S D Burman or R D Burman
through the previous three decades - and is enriched by the orchestral arrangements of A R
The best songs of the album come towards the end. Sonu Nigam lifts Kismat
Se Tum Humko Mile to amazing heights, sounding very reminiscent of Mohd.
Rafi in a semi-classical number of the 60s or 70s. Anuradha Paudwal
provides able and equally competent support - and Rahman combines conventional Indian
instruments with his inimicable style to come up a truly remarkable composition for a
soft, slow and romantic number. Poetic line, my guess by Majrooh, contribute as much to
the brilliance of this song.
I would have picked Kismat Se Tum Humko Mile as my song of the album - but for
the combination of Rahman and Lata for Ek Tu
Hi Bharosa. Lyrics sound more like Javed Akhtar here, maybe because we have
heard him write similarly patriotic or anti-violence lines for Earth or Border in recent times. Lata brings in the same spirit that she did
with patriotic songs in the 60s and 70s. The composition is simple, with Lata's voice well
enhanced by effective use of kids in chorus.
On the positive side of the album is that this is a different score from many of
Rahman's recent ones - in having the melody and spirit of music from a few decades back,
and presented in modern day form without sounding like a remix version. At the same time,
the score leaves you with a feeling of incompleteness - a feeling that something is
missing that keeps this from becoming a strikingly brilliant album.