Ashutosh Gowariker and A R Rahman have regaled us with breathtaking music in Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa Akbar. And then Slumdog Millionaire happened. The story goes that Rahman sacrificed Gowariker’s What’s Your Rashee (WYR) to compose his Oscar-winning score for the Danny Boyle film.
The director went on to choose debutant composer Sohail Sen to replace Rahman. And even though WYR tanked at the box office, Sen made a respectable entry into Hindi films. Gowariker reaffirmed his faith in Sen when he brought him on board for his next, KHJJS.
Though Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are powerful and inspiring, it’s the gentle melody of Yeh des hain mera that catches your attention the first time you hear this song. Sen’s composition is light and easy on the ears and his soothing voice suits this tune perfectly. He also weaves in bits of Vande mataram to add to the overall patriotic mood of the song.
Naiyn tere (Pamela Jain and Ranjini Bose) brims with playful innocence and is more like light-hearted banter between two friends. The lyrics are simple yet they convey the joys of first love effectively. The composition is distinctly Bengali and both the ladies do a great job with their rendition of this melodious number. There is a sad version of this track but that’s largely an instrumental piece. Sapne saloney (Sohail Sen and Pamela Jain) charms with its simplicity. This soft romantic number beautifully encapsulates a lover’s confusion about his future with his beloved. Both singers are good, especially Sen, who displays terrific range and control.
The title track, sung by the children at Suresh Wadkar’s Ajivasan Music Academy, doesn’t whip up the frenzy of an anthem but it packs a decent punch. The kids render the song with energy and enthusiasm. Vande mataram (Revised from Sanskrit to Hindi) makes for an intense listening experience even in its Hindi version. The album also includes half a dozen instrumental pieces, which are likely to feature prominently as part of the background score.
Sohail Sen sticks to the genre and delivers the goods. But while the songs are high on lyrical content and melody, they are likely to work best in the context of the film or post its release.