It all started six years back when the music of Jhankaar Beats was released. This was the soundtrack that brought together film maker Sujoy Ghosh with composers Vishal and Shekhar who have never looked back ever since then. In fact such has been the benchmark set by the composer duo in Jhankaar Beats that each and every album of theirs is expected to throw at least one 'Tu Aashiqui Hai' or a 'Suno Naa'. They did come up with some good music for Sujoy's next film Home Delivery too but sadly, the effort went completely unnoticed. And now the team comes back with Aladin which belongs to an altogether different scale and setting. With Vishal Dadlani writing lyrics for all songs in the album barring one (by Anvita Dutt Guptan), Aladin is expected to be a huge soundtrack considering it's larger than life theme and treatment.
'Big' is actually the way 'Genie Rap' begins as the number is as foot tapping and infectious as it gets. An extremely well paced rap song that keeps the funk on throughout it's relatively shorter 3 minutes duration, one wishes that the fun stayed on for much longer. Anushka Manchanda, who is time and again roped in by Vishal-Shekhar for certain special songs, makes an impression in this fun song which is bound to be a HIT with the kids. A Hinglish number which is sung with aplomb by Amitabh Bachchan, 'Genie Rap' [which comes with the key words 'Make A Wish'] is lavishly choreographed too that adds on to the grand look and feel.
What turns out to be an icing on the cake though is DJ Suketu created 'remix version' which takes the song to an altogether different level. This time around one won't complain about the length since 'Genie Rap' lasts for close to five and a half minutes. This version is made just for the dance floors, what with 'bhangra beats' bringing with it its own set of audiences. A winner and a positive start for the album.
The sound of saxophone immediately brings to fore the sound of late 70s/early 80s and sets the mood for a nostalgia driven ride led by Amitabh Bachchan. Shankar Mahadevan is roped in to croon for Big B though how one wishes that the legendary actor had himself come behind the mike for this one. To Shankar's credit, he does well in coming up with a full throated rendition that does justify his presence behind the mike.
If one has to draw parallels, 'Tak Dhina Dhin' is set in the same mode as 'Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai' [Kaalia]. However, other than the mood from the past, the situation is entirely different here and hence even the lyrics. A fun situational number which has Shaan crooning for Riteish Deshmukh, it yet again has children as its target audience, especially if one closely observes the interludes.
One is further forced to go down the memory lane when Amitabh Bachchan is seen in his trademark outfit from 'Pag Ghunghroo Baandh' [Namak Halal]. Close to three decades later, it is time for 'O Re Saawariya' which has some rooted lyrics by Vishal Dadlani. Sung by both Amitabh Bachchan and Sudesh Bhonsle, the song continues the fun and lively mood of the album with Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan joining in. Vishal and Shekhar move away from the Western rhythm with this song and instead place 'O Re Saawariya' in an out and out 'hindustani' zone. It's a different matter though that this number too is presented in a 'remix version'.
By the time the song is through, one realizes that majority of songs in Aladin are anything but what one associates with Vishal and Shekhar as the album turns out to be more of homage to Amitabh Bachchan than anything else.
The thought is dispelled soon after though as the composer duo gets one of the most romantic numbers of the year in the form of 'You May Be'. A lovely melodious track which makes one just stop all work and just concentrate on the beauty of lyrics, music as well as rendition, 'You May Be' is a mix of English and Hindi. This is one contemporary urban love song that remains consistent from the 'mukhda' through the 'antaras' and makes one place it in the repeat mode. For the first time ever, both Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani come behind the mike for the same song and the impact created by their joint outing is just magical. Pick this one up and play it on for the one you love!
A quintessential climax song comes next with the arrival of 'Bachke O Bachke'. Written by Anvita Dutt Guptan, this one is high on orchestra and faintly reminds one of 'Deewangee Deewangee' [Om Shanti Om]. However, the final impact is nowhere close to it though. Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani come together for 'Bachke O Bachke' which stays on to be situational at most and makes one look forward to how it has been presented on screen.
Lastly arrives a dark number with Sanjay Dutt coming behind the mike for 'Giri Giri'. Now this is one track which takes a few hearing before one is able to grasp not just the tune but even its style and setting. A song where Sanjay Dutt describes his evil character of 'Ringmaster', it doesn't quite belong to the kind that one would die for. However, the base rhythms that accompany the key words 'Giri Giri' go perfectly well with Sanjay Dutt's on-screen image and manage to keep the interest alive.
Aladin would have been a difficult album to compose since it doesn't quite fall under the bracket of a regular love story or a rom-com or a period film. Due to this reason, don't expect another Jhankaar Beats or an Om Shanti Om or a Dostana. For a film that has an element of fantasy and myth interspersed in the contemporary times, Sujoy along with Vishal-Shekhar bring together certain situational songs (Tak Dhina Dhin, O Re Saawariya, Bachke O Bachke) along with a couple of theme songs (Genie Rap, Giri Giri) and an out and out romantic number (You May Be).
'You May Be', 'Genie Rap'
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