Shirish Kunder’s debut film Jaan-E-Mann is still remembered for its vivid picturisation of songs. The soundtrack had some sparkling melodies (Humko maloom hain, Ajnabi shehar and Sonu Nigam’s Sau dard) written by Gulzar and set to tune by Anu Malik. In Joker, his second film as director, Kunder ropes in Rahman’s nephew GV Prakash and Gaurav Dagonkar to compose the songs.
The album starts with the hugely hyped but disappointing item number Kaafirana. Sunidhi Chauhan attempts to spruce things up a bit with her enthusiastic rendition, but Dagonkar’s composition clearly lacks spunk. Everything about the track is way too generic. Even the normally infectious Maharashtrian dhols and percussion fail to infuse vigour into this one.
Sing Raja (Daler Mehndi, Sonu Kakkar) is a fusion of folk and electronic with a distinct flute loop. Though Mehndi and Kakkar add energy with their robust singing, the track still ends up a poor cousin of Rahman’s earlier Tamil songs. The number would have probably been bearable if the lyrics weren’t so unbearably trite. The title track Yeh joker (Sonu Nigam, Shweta Pandit) is mounted lavishly with drums, trumpets and a loud chorus but the end result is bland and uninteresting. Jugnu is perhaps the only noteworthy track in this album. Prakash layers this gentle melody wonderfully, using strings, flutes, whistles and backing vocals. And it’s always a joy to listen to Udit Narayan render a feel-good, uplifting song. The music pieces Alien arrival and Tears of joker are strictly average.
GV Prakash’s debut in the Hindi film industry is a bit of a damp squib.