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Now this one is supposed to be big. Really BIG! And why not? After all Jodhaa Akbar has:
a) Ashutosh Gowarikar's labor of love finally getting ready to be unveiled after going through grueling shooting schedules,
b) Hritik and Aishwarya Bachchan coming together again after Dhoom 2, albeit in a different avatar,
c) A.R. Rahman and Javed Akhtar saab collaborating with Ashutosh for the third straight time after Lagaan and
Swades and d) A true historical being brought to celluloid after ages.
No wonder, everything about this film is expected to be flawless and studied to the minutest details. This is why one looks at the music with great expectations. However, it all turns out to be anticipation in vain as Jodhaa Akbar turns out to be the first major disappointment of 2008.
In the praise of Shahenshah Akbar comes the opening track 'Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah'. High on orchestra, the track has 'grand' written all over it and deserves an opulent treatment to it. Crooned by Mohammed Aslam, Bonnie Chakraborty and Chorus, the track hails Akbar for creating an empire where there is peace, harmony, and great life all around. The song doesn't belong to the kind which could be sung around or played loud at home but would do well when seen on the big screen, provided the picturisation is as lavish as Rahman's efforts.
Javed Ali, who has been trying to make his mark over last 3-4 years, gets a big break in the form of 'Jashn-E-Bahaaraa'. Sounding quite close to Sonu Nigam, Javed does well in his rendition of this slow track that is in complete contrast to 'Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah' in its treatment. Javed Akhtar saab's poetry is in full flow for this love song which comes close to the style of 60's in it's tune and flow.
However, one misses the kind of punch as expected from the first romantic song of the album and the final outcome turns out to be little lackluster with not much in the song pulling a listener for a repeat hearing. Towards the album's end, a 'Flute Instrumental' version of the song is heard as well, which works better as a core background piece which could be enjoyed with lights switched off.
Kashif written 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' is a devotional track, which is strictly for Rahman fans. Rendered by Rahman himself, it has the kind of arrangements as heard in 'Kehna Hi Kya' [Bombay]. With minimal instruments in play, 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' has its strength lying in it's lyrics but that too has minimal target audience due to the track's genre and setting. Overall, a situational piece that seems like an unlikely candidate to make much headway into current crop of audience. An 'Oboe Instrumental' piece for the same track comes at the album's end and yet again has the kind of treatment, which hardly promises a popular reach out.