Aah, now this one is a huge film. For a 10 year old who may still be wondering what's the fuss about the coming together of Shah Rukh Khan and Aditya Chopra, a trip to Maratha Mandir, Mumbai, is mandatory to check out Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge which is still running there for 13 uninterrupted years. And for the grown-ups, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi hardly needs an introduction. Of course, the music of any Yash Raj Film is special because regardless the fate of some of their recent films, music continues to be highpoint of the production house, Tashan and Bachna Ae Haseeno being the case in point.
Talking about the music of RNBJD, one looks forward to what composer duo of Salim-Sulaiman and lyricist Jaideep Sahni have come up with, considering this is easily their BIGGEST project ever. Also, they would be expected to fill the shoes of Jatin-Lalit who made the score of DDLJ and Mohabbatein, the two projects directed by Aditya Chopra, ever-so-memorable.
a) So, does the music eventually go on to meet the sky high expectations?
b) Has Aditya Chopra indeed reserved the best songs for his third directorial outing?
c) Will Shah Rukh Khan have yet another blockbuster score a la Om Shanti Om to his credit?
d) Does Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi turn out to be the kind which would be played at least 3-4 years from now, if not a decade?
So how does one sum up the music of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi? Well, it is not bad but then it is primarily situational; the kind that gets enhanced by picturisation and choreography.
The sound of 'santoor' at the very beginning of 'Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai' attracts one's attention right away since you immediately get the feel of a Veer Zaara outing. A simple outing that has an out and out Indian feel to it; 'Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai' starts off well but just doesn't pick up enough, courtesy the choice of singer. Seriously, instead of Roop Kumar Rathod being entrusted with the responsibility of a track which is the flagship number of RNBDJ, if a singer like Udit Narayan or Sonu Niigaam or K.K. would have been the chosen one, the song could well have gone to a different level altogether.
In the end, it turns out to be a more than decent number which certainly could have been much better. Also, it doesn't quite turn out to be the kind which deserves to appear at the very beginning of the album. Female version of the song, a much slower one, comes towards the album's end and has Shreya Ghoshal at the helm. A 100 second piece, it is a slower version and a sad one at that. Purely situational.
A slightly better number comes in the form of 'Haule Haule', a number which carries the flavor of Aaja Nachle soundtrack both in terms of middle-class setting and the overall simplicity of sound design. Rendered by Sukhwinder Singh who is subdued rather than being typically full throated, 'Haule Haule' is a situational track which is already on air and is being noticed for the way the bespectacled Shah Rukh Khan brings in all his experience while comfortably dancing around in his middle class clothing. The number has melody as its driving force.
Would 'Dance Pe Chance' turn out to be that number which would make RNBDJ soundtrack special? This is what one wonders when this track sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Labh Janjua arrives next. However, to one's disappointment, 'Dance Pe Chance' has an ordinary orchestra and arrangements that pull the song back. Preset keyboard sound seems to be driving this 'dance number' that is mainly a Sunidhi Chauhan track with an element of Punjabi being thrown in, courtesy Labh Janjua.
A song where a plain and simple Shah Rukh Khan seems to be going through dance classes, 'Dance Pe Chance' is a number where Salim-Sulaiman haven't done anything special and just followed the sound they have already brought to the audience in films like Neal N Nikki. A four minute remix version 'Dancing Jodi' marks an end to the album and is marginally better due to all the pep and rhythm thrown in. Also, it includes references to 'Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai' and 'Haule Haule'.
'Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte' is a kind of number which (on screen) could turn out to be good on screen, purely on the basis of how Aditya Chopra gets some fun rolling on the screen. This one is clearly an experiment in the making since it amalgamates numerous lyrics and tunes from the yesteryear and mixes them together to create a 'bhelpuri' of sorts. So whether it is 'Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai', 'Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koyi Hamein Pyaar Kar Le' or 'Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke' or 'O Haseena Zulfon Waali' or 'Jai Jai Shiv Shankar' - the number includes them all and many more with Sonu Nigam singing as if he is a part of a concert where he has to pay a homage to all the greats from the past. As a standalone number, 'Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte' just doesn't stand a chance and certainly not the kind which would be solely responsible for the sales of the album.
There were four questions that were raised at the beginning of the review. This is what one has to say after hearing the entire album:
a) The music is decent but not huge enough to befit a project which marks the return of Aditya Chopra as a director
b) Aditya Chopra has been responsible for far better romantic outings, most recently being Bachna Ae Haseeno
c) The music will sell well but touching the numbers of Om Shanti Om would be feasible only if the movie turns out to be an excellent fare with a sustained presence at the box office
d) It seems highly improbable that the songs would remain rooted for years at stretch in the hearts of music buffs who expect nothing but the best from a project as huge and important as RNBDJ.
However, what needs to be remembered is that Aditya Chopra has been one of the pioneers when it comes to song picturisation. How can one forget songs like 'Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko To Pyaar Sajna'/'Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye' [DDLJ] or 'Chalte Chalte'/'Soni Soni' [Mohabbatein] which were not the flagship numbers of the respective films ('Tujhe Dekha' and 'Humko Humi Se Churalo' were) but still turned out to be widely popular. The same can be ultimately expected from RNBJD, if response to just-on-air 'Haule Haule' is any indication.
If the remaining songs too come close to 'Haule Haule' in the way they are picturised, rest assured RNBJD too would do well. Add to it the curiosity around SRK and Aditya Chopra coming together and the album can be expected to take a flying start at the stands.