It is ironical that despite the name Pritam attached to the soundtrack of Hello Darling, you play on the album with minimum expectations. There are couple of reasons for that. First and foremost it is not a quintessential romantic tale where one can expect the composer to come up with some of his best tunes. Secondly, the film has been in the making for quite some time now and due to the rapidly changing musical scene, one is apprehensive about what Hello Darling would have in the offing. Add to that the fact that it has been a while since one heard a popular soundtrack coming from the house of Subhash Ghai. Due to this, one doesn't get overtly excited to know what is in store from Hello Darling that has Shabbir Ahmed contributing with most number of songs (three) as a lyricist with Ashish Pandit and Kumaar coming up with a song apiece.
It was four decades back when 'Aa Jaane Jaan' was heard first in Inteqam. While there have been countless 'remix versions' that have been made in the last decade, it is for the first time that a new version has been created for a film. Just as has been the case in 'Aapka Kya Hoga - Dhanno' [Housefull] and 'Parda' [Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai] where new lyrics were added to the original tracks with just the 'mukhda' kept intact, the same holds good for 'Aa Jaane Jaan' too with Shabbir Ahmed adding his own words to the song. While Akriti Kakkar and Antara Mitra are fine behind the mike, the interspersing rendition by Javed Jaffery is totally 80s. Also, the sound of 'aau' a la Michael Jackson is totally passe. The song doesn't quite have in it to cover much distance here.
Thankfully, Pritam gets into his zone, well to some extent at least, with a 'dholki' driven 'Band Baaja' that hints of Imtiaz Ali school of music. Written by Ashish Pandit, this is a fun celebration number about a guy bringing himself to his bride's place with full arrangement of - as the lyrics suggest - 'Band Baaja'. Rana Mazumder, who has been working with Pritam for a while now, gets a major song to his credit as he goes full throated in a manner similar to that of Neeraj Sridhar and Mika and does a rather good job. Richa Sharma and Ritu Pathak bring in a folksy flavour to this song as well which is instantly likeable and is foot tapping. The song rightfully gets a 'remix version' for itself and one doesn't mind hearing it all over again.
It is time to hear something trademark Pritam from the very opening note of 'Dil To Saala'. Of course the song does seem 3-4 years late in the day but one doesn't mind that, courtesy the kind of spunk that Sunidhi Chauhan brings in her rendition. Foot tapping from start to finish, this number written by Kumaar has lyrics that go like 'Dil To Saala Ullu Ka Paatha Hai'. Well, all that one thinks at this moment is that after Kaminey, Lafangey Parindey and 'Ullu Ka Patha', what next could possibly be in store? Nevertheless, the number works as instant coffee and should be a fun watch on screen.
However, what follows next is barely passable as 'Attrah Baras Ki' makes one immediately feel that this could well be a song entirely designed by Subhash Ghai himself. Stuck in a time warp, right from Shabbir Ahmed's lyrics, Suzzane D'Mello's singing and of course Pritam's composition, there isn't much that makes you feel that the song has been created in the current decade. Until and unless the three leading ladies of Hello Darling sizzle on screen during this song, there isn't much life that can be expected for 'Attrah Baras Ki'.
Shabbir Ahmed also writes the last song in the album, 'Working Girls', which has Shweta Pandit, Ritu Pathak and Priyadarshini coming together as the women force. This has to be one of the weakest songs in the album as it doesn't go beyond sounding like an ad jingle. There is a Westernized treatment to the song but all it does is reminding one of the kind of title sequence songs from TV serials around women power.
There were never many expectations to begin with from Hello Darling so there is no disappointment as well after one is through hearing the entire soundtrack. In fact it is just fair that eventually there are at least a couple of songs that still turn out to be reasonably entertaining - 'Band Baaja' and 'Dil To Saala'. However, with the limited promotional window that Hello Darling has, it would be difficult for the album to sustain itself on the power of just these two songs, which by themselves are not exceptional to begin with.
Band Baaja, Dil To Saala