Imagine the Hollywood film Terminator with song and dance! While it makes more sense to just have a compelling background score (like Terminator did by Brad Fiedel), a Hindi film on a similar theme cannot be complete without a song-and-dance sequence. Though A R Rahman makes an attempt to offer an entertaining score for Robot, listeners will not be able to connect with all songs.
Robot’s music album comes with seven tracks but one cannot go beyond the first three – Naina miley, Pagal anukan and Chitti dance showcase. The score, needless to say, is heavy on electronic – ambient sound effects like flangers/echoes – aimed at enhancing the sci-fi feel of the movie.
Naina miley features A R Rahman and Suzanne. As far as melody goes, it’s peppy with many ambient effects – even Rahman’s voice is processed. While it’s certainly challenging to score for a storyline like this, Rahman pulls off the song pretty well, both as composer and singer. Suzanne also adds a lot of attitude to the song with her vocals and doesn’t quite sound her usual self.
The second-best on the album is Pagal anukan, the only track sans any effects on the album. While the words (by Swanand Kirkire) may take a while to get used to, the tune definitely grows over time. Singers Mohit Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal do a great job but it’s really the easy tune and arrangements that work.
The track, Chitti dance showcase (‘Chitti’ meaning ‘consciousness’), captures the moments of a robot coming to life with perfection. The track has a lot of energy, which is why it makes for a great mix for an introduction. There are no vocals (the good part!), but just some bolish, distorted guitars and string sections (this track was arranged by Pravin Mani). If the visuals are good, this track will amplify its effect on screen.
Alas! There is no point going beyond these three songs on the album. After that, you risk venturing into the territory of inane lyrics, gibberish and compositions that have neither head nor tail.
The songs Arima arima (singers like Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam are wasted!), Kilimanjaro (Javed Ali, Chinmayi), Boom Boom Robo Da (on the lines of Blue’s title track) and O naye insaan (also featuring Rahman’s daugther Khatija) fail to work at all levels. Robot’s music, sadly, is only half good!