Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
The much awaited music of Ra.One finally arrives on stands. Expectations. Expectations and some more expectations. This is how one looks forward to the music of Ra.One and why not, after all this is the biggest ever film starring Shahrukh Khan which has created huge buzz accompanied by immense hype ever since it was launched. The last time music directors Vishal-Shekhar and 'BaadShah' Shahrukh Khan joined hands, the result was Om Shanti Om (2007) which is still considered the best work by the musicians duo who also erupted a volcano last year in the name of 'Sheila Ki Jawaani' (Tees Maar Khan). So are these expectations met? Well, very much as each of the seven unique tracks along with few instrumental themes and remix bring on a variety that makes Ra.One a winner all the way with a total of 15 tracks.
The soundtrack opens with Chammak Challo, which has already gained popularity for two reasons. First, due to its leaked International Version on the net three months ago, second, a renowned International artist- Akon, has been roped in for this Indo-Western unique composition. If that is not enough, hear the lyrics 'Tu Meri Chammak Challo, Teri picture ka main Hero', written by Vishal Dadlani and Niranjan Iyengar. The brilliance with which Akon renders the Hindi vocals can even give Ash King (Te Amo and I love You fame) a complex for his Hindi dictions. Hamsika Iyer, who is a regular voice with ad jingles, lends good support to him and makes the composition highly addictive that will be remembered for years to come.
Make no doubt that Vishal-Shekhar are on the verge of breaking Pritam's record for most number of versions of a particular song by providing four other versions of Chammak Challo after the original one (a total of five). First on the line is Chammak Challo Punjabi Mix which has 'plug-it-on-and-dance' flavour that is applicable for dance floors as well as parties. Chammak Challo Club Mix and Remix makes the experience even better with the Chammak Challo International Version (leaked version) being a solo outing for Akon with no Hamsika Iyer, however, Akon is well used but it seems too much of him by now with so many versions.
Shafqat Amanat Ali, Vishal Dadlani, Clinton Cerejo, Shekhar Ravjiani yes, that’s the list of singers for the next romantic composition Dildaara-Stand By Me (based on Ben.E.King's song 'Stand By Me'). It's melodious, breezy and a sure shot chartbuster from the word 'Go' with Shahrukh Khan looking absolutely stunning in his curly hair cut. Shafqat Amanat Ali comes out of his sufiana-comfort zone and once again his voice reminds me of Shankar Mahadevan, but nevertheless he has been used beautifully with good support from others for the English renditions. Hear some innovative vivacious classical notes with rock beats from 2:10 to 2:30, sheer brilliance. The lyricist Kumaar, a hot favourite for Vishal-Shekhar, does a commendable job once again with his pen. However, one more antara could have been included but nevertheless it's a song which one would just wish could be played in loop for hours at a stretch.
Criminal a 'qaatil' composition for which Vishal Dadlani and Shruti Pathak joins Akon, has all in it to be a havoc at the discotheques. An immensely innovative track which will certainly get appreciation at an international level. It's high on Vishal-Shekhar trademark orchestra and drum beats and is filled with English and Hindi vocals with some brilliant lyrics written by Vishal Dadlani and Kumaar. Akon impresses again with his Hindi dictions and Vishal Dadlani stands tall with him. Shruti Pathak after 'Aas paas hai khuda' and 'Tujhe bhula diya' from Anjaana Anjaani is used well by the composers in a male dominated song where the protagonist is describing the 'latka-jhatkas' of his lady love as 'qaatilana'. Undoubtedly the song needs to be promoted aggressively (SRK is all guns blazing for this number) and will be a rage once the video is out.
Criminal Club Mix provides nothing extraordinary with some usual bass and increased tempo. The original is far better.
Ever heard a fusion of Tabla beats and English renditions, sit through this next six minute composition Bhare Naina which falls in the same corridor as Piya Kesariyo from Hum Tum Shabana. Crooned by Nandini Shrikar, it starts with a haunting prelude which seems the basic theme of Ra.One as it is heard again in the interludes and in other tracks as well, including an instrumental. Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani joins in with their English and Sanskrit enchants in this epic classical cum western outing, which shows an altogether different facet of the composer-duo. Panchhi Jalonvi lyrics are fresh and at the same time painful and slightly makes us remember Vishal-Shekhar's very own 'Jag Soona Soona Lage' (Om Shanti Om) which was penned down by Kumaar, solely on the lyrics front. While one waits to see it rise in popularity in days to come, one can be sure that this is one song that has in it to enjoy a long shelf life. (Don't dare miss the peaceful but short flute renditions from 4:10 to 4:20).
After four brilliant compositions comes Right By Your Side, an animated, techno-peppy song by Siddharath Coutto and written by Anvita Dutt. Though Vishal Dadlani renders full support to 'Life Sahi Hai' (Pyar Ka Punchnama) fame Sid Coutto but still it results in an average track. It's a usual Vishal-Shekhar tune which defines their trademark style from their days of Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999) till today. Passable.
Moving further, Raftaarein executed by vociferous Vishal Dadlani (who is also the lyricist for this one) and Shekhar Ravjiani is a blusterous composition which will leave you spellbound and stunned due to its power packed vocals and tribute paid to 1970-80's style of R.D. Burman ('Duniya Mein Logo Ko'). It defines the overall theme of Ra.One and will find its place at various junctures in the movie post interval. The surprise element comes in the form of Shekhar Ravjiani who after crooning 'Bin Tere Unplugged' from I Hate Luv Story's (2010), proves his menace as he overpowers Vishal's audacious voice (at places though) with his never-heard before avatar with some high energy notes to start with. A brilliant composition and will certainly be an interesting watch in the Big screen with SRK's superhero avatar.
For Jiya Mora Ghabraye (The Chase), director Anubhav Sinha's makes his presence felt as it is quite similar to the themes of his previous ventures Dus (2005) and Cash (2007). It’s more of an instrumental where a talent like Sukhwinder Singh is wasted by making him render some classical notes and alaap which seems a bit unnecessary in a total rock feel environment. As a rock-theme instrumental it might work but expect nothing much from the lyrics and vocals.
What continues after these seven tracks is a series of instrumentals, three in number, each with about one and a half minutes duration and almost the same theme that is heard in the previous songs. First in line is Comes The Light (Theme) which gives a mild feeling of Don-The Chase Begins Theme. I Am On (Theme) is a fast instrumental of the song Raftaarein. Song Of The End (Theme) as the name suggests is sad one and may be used in the climax sequence.
Ra.One is an unconventional album, especially when one looks at it from the Bollywood standpoint. Change is good and it is slowly but steadily. While Vishal-Shekhar can take pride on coming up with something that justifies a certain quality, SRK and Anubhav Sinha can be rest assured that this is their best work till date. With the kind of hype that has surrounded the movie; the music should find instant attention and will grow from strength to strength with about 40 days till the movie releases. Dildaara will see itself scorching the charts and Chammak Challo alongside Criminal will certainly be a hit at an International level. Highly Recommended!!
I rate it 4 out of 5!
Edited Version @ PlanetBollywood
Edited Version @ PlanetBollywood