One of the things that ‘Namastey London’ is remembered for is its music. The film marked the first and the only collaboration of Javed Akhtar and Himesh Reshammiya and the two of them made sure that the album turns out to be special for both their fans. Though ‘Namastey England’ is only a sequel-in-the-spirit to ‘Namastey London’ and not a continuation of the original story, one has good expectations from the music of the film. Though Javed Akhtar continues to be a part of the music team, it is Mannan Shaah (‘Commando’, Commando 2’) and not Himesh Reshammiya who dons the composer’s hat this time around.
The album opens with “Tere Liye”, a sweeping melody which Atif Aslam’s voice does complete justice to. This is the kind of track which makes a lasting impression in the very first hearing. The melody is easy on the ears and the words get on your lips in no time. There is a lot of detailing in the orchestral arrangement as well; watch out for the string section played between 1:25 minutes and 2:02 minutes. Atif has always done well in this space and he does not let down the listener this time around either.
Mannan brings in elements of celebration, festivity and love in “Dhoom Dhadakka”, arguably the best track on the album. At the surface of it, it sounds like an out-and-out celebration song but when you look deeper and listen to the lyrics carefully, you realise it is no less than a love song. While the mukhda is boisterous and fun, the antara has a more languid pace to it. This contrast works pretty well and helps in bringing out the different emotional layers in the song.
The opening notes, played on an acoustic guitar, set the tone for “Kya Kahoon Jaaneman”, a song which plays when Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) is trying to seduce Param (Arjun Kapoor). Though the initial portions (“baby let me kiss you, baby let me hug you”) make you cringe, the song grows on you in a while. The jazz-based structure of the song adds to the sensuous feel of the track. Shashaa Tirupati’s rendition is very smooth and silken-like as per the requirements of the song.
Mannan Shaah comes behind the mic for “Ziddi Hai Dil”, a sombre melody which perhaps reflects Param’s state of mind when he arrives in England to look for Parmeet. Mannan, who had earlier lent his voice to “Thoda Sa Pyaar” from the film ‘Kucch Luv Jaisaa’ does a fine job as a vocalist and brings out the pathos in it very well. Javed Akhtar’s verses are simple and connect with the listener instantly. The composition has a raga base to it and the orchestral arrangement has a nice amalgamation of western sounds with beats of tabla.
The most memorable song from ‘Namastey London’ is probably “Main Jahaan Rahoon”, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Krishna Beura. It would be unfair “Tu Meri Main Tera” to that song as apart from the involvement of Javed Akhtar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, there are no similarities between the two tracks. Just like “Ziddi Hai Dil”, this one, too, has a melancholic feel to it. However, the two tracks have a completely different structure to them. The choral vocalists chant “Tu Meri Main Tera” in a qawalli-like manner and that gives a nice edge to the song.
There are two recreated tracks in the film, namely “Bhare Bazaar” and “Proper Patola”. Though the original tracks are already popular, “Bhare Bazaar” works better in the film’s context. Also, it sounds more like a film song and hence, creates a better impact. “Proper Patola’, too, do its job of serving as a promotional number pretty well.
Mannan Shaah had shown some promise with his earlier films but with ‘Namaste England’, he truly comes on his own. He gets to show his versatility as a composer by putting together songs of different genres and moods. One looks forward to see what he does next.