Rating: ★ ★ ★
A sequel, that too of a Remake Version develop humongous expectations, be it the soundtrack or the movie, and nothing short of some elegant and stylish stuff will be acceptable by the music buff's. Don 2 comes from the house of 'Farhan Akhtar' (Director and Story Writer) who shot to fame with his debut movie 'Dil Chahta Hai' almost a decade ago, from thereon, it's been a team- Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for the Music Direction and his father Javed Akhtar for penning the lyrics and no wonder the team has produced some smash hits in 'Dil Chahta Hai' (which was an outstanding OST of its time- 2001); 'Lakshya' (2004) and 'Don-The Chase Begins Again (TCBA)' (2006) and now with Don 2, one expects another thrilling and sizzling outing from S-E-L and the Akhtar's. If one looks back to 2011 and 2010, one will realise that the past two years have not been prolific for S-E-L, "Aarakshan" and "Game" this year proved to be a huge disappointment while 'Patiala House' and 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' was simply good and had nothing Jaw dropping or monumental for which the composers have been known all these years since they made their debut with 'Dus' in 1997. So, let’s see if the composers put an end to all the criticism they have been facing from past 2 years!
The proceedings starts with "Aa Raha Hu Palat Ke", a 35 sec monologue by Shahrukh Khan (SrK) which marks the return of Don and tries to set the mood for the rest of the songs.
The second track, "Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo" starts with Anusha Mani ('Lazy Lamhe'-'Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic' fame) knocking at the doors of 'Aaj Ki Raat' from 'Don-TCBA'. The chorus is a bit loud while the musical arrangements maintains the same rhythm and pitch during the whole song but Vishal Dadlani entry after 2 minutes and SrK stylish onscreen presence makes it interesting and brings an evil attitude to the song which is being promoted aggressively and is sure to get up the charts with time. But also there is nothing innovative in the lyrics department, moreover, the 2nd antara disappoints which leads to an average start and much below the standards of S-E-L.
It's innovative, it's fresh and certainly the best of the 3 originals, "Hai Yeh Maya" starts with retro-techno beats and the talented, Usha Uthup behind the mike. It's been 2 decades in the industry when she sang 'Koi Yaha Aaha Nache Nache' in 'Disco Dancer' and recently 'Darling' in '7 Khoon Maaf', and her voice still has the power and exuberance to thrill the listeners. A perfect choice of singer for an enthralling composition like this which will find its place at various junctures in the movie. It refreshes the memories of Asha Bhonsle-R.D.Burman classic 'Jab Andhera Hota Hai' back in 1972 and certainly will grab ears post the movie release if not now.
"Hai Yeh Maya Remix" by DJ Shane Mendonsa is a mix of various arrangements and gives a club feel to the song. Too much experiment, I would prefer the original.
Some more retro, some more techno, that brings on the 4th track "Dushman Mera", which seem to be a perfect climax outing with Priyanka Chopra and SrK. Sunitha Sarathty starts off well (remember 'Khuda Hafiz' from 'Yuva'-2004), joined later by Shankar Mahadevan who sounds different from his usual style (somewhat like Kishore Kumar, anyone?). The composition could have been much better if S-E-L had tried to come out of the 'Don' zone, the lyrics are lame and there is hardly any innovation anywhere, on the flip side though, a terrific visual treat will blast a dynamite onscreen. Wait for the video!
Sunitha Sarathy perfectly brings on the thrill element with her lines-'Har Dil Me Hulchul Hai, Aaya Hai Dekho Kaun' at very start for "The King Is Back (Theme)"and from thereon, electrifying guitar riffs, some pretentious keyboard arrangements will take you for a roller-coaster ride. It takes forward the majestic 'Don Theme and at 2.30 it completely goes in the 'Dushman Mera' zone. A perfect ringtone material.
"Mujhko PehchaanLo", a reprise/reconstructed version of ‘Main Hoon Don' from 'Don-TCBA' minus the chorus. It's animated and dark and will disappoint those listeners who compare it with the original version by Shaan. K.K here brings on the required attitude and arrogance alongside some powerful drum beats and guitar strumming. Instead of going for something new, the director sticks to the old theme and in my opinion it shouldn't be wasted in the starting credits.
What disappoints is "Mujhko Pehchaan Lo Remix" (is it actually a remix?)which suffers from an infinite loop of 'Don Ko Pakadna Mushkil Hi Nahi, Namumkin Hai' during the whole 5 minutes and Srk's continuous chanting of Don..Don in the first interlude irritates. 3 minutes later, you will rip off your hairs for sure. Skip Skip!
The last track/instrumental is named "The Don Waltz" where Caralisa Monteiro throws in some opera-ish- notes (only for 20 sec though). The violin loops reminds me of some Tom & Jerry series and refreshes the scene from the previous ‘Don’ where SrK was shown taking a bath in his bath tub and watching Tom & Jerry. A good innovative attempt but one wonder how and when the director will use it in the movie (may be for some Ballet Dance sequence or may be something else).
Don 2 doesn't lives upto the expectations which were sky high after the huge success of 'Don-TCBA', it's a soundtrack that will work along the movie and will take the story forward, but as an audio alone it doesn't delivers. S-E-L plays safe by continuing from where they left in the previous venture of Don and there is hardly any innovation, Javed Akhtar lyrics are usual and lack the artistic touch, as a result 'Hai Ye Maaya' is the only good thing about Don 2 as of now, rest other will gain popularity post the movie release.
I rate it 3 out of 5!
Edited Version @ Planet-Bollywood
Edited Version @ Planet-Bollywood