The name of Ashutosh Gowarikar is often synonymous with words like ''substance'' with flicks that promise class entertainment for masses. WHAT'S YOUR RASHEE, romantic comedy adds new dimension to it by promising to be intelligent as well as amusing for the ''aam junta''. On its musical front, Gowarikar switches gears from meticulously refined A R Rehman (LAAGAN, SWADES and JODHAA AKBAR) to struggling but deserving Sohail Sen in an album that desires 13 original soundtracks, depicting all the 12 ''rashees'' (sun-signs) and finally combining all in one. It's a big exasperating ''ask'' for any composer with an acid-test of ''making-or-breaking'' in filmdom. Does Sohail Sen have that flaring spark of making this difficult task to happen? Can the music of this romantic comedy be as successful as director last few musical hits? We can't be a Linda Goodman to deliver the verdict but surely can be enthusiastic listeners in answering such question, so let's get straight into the business...
Jazz seems to be flavour of this marriage season as the prelude to this multifaceted album comes in the form of subtle sounding ''What's Your Rashee? Pal Pal Dil Jisko Dhoonde(ARIES)''. Sohail Sen makes a cool introduction to the concept in his vocals with suavity of instruments like soft drums, trumpets, piano, brass and prolifically played Saxophone. Sen's music is pristine in Jazz's genre and matches the somber mood by sensitizing out the title of the flick. Javed Akhtar's lyrics are narrative than poetic and it's the flair of Jazz that makes it enterprising yet entertaining for the listeners, well suited for opening or end titles for the flick.
After superfluously played Saxophone, Acoustic Guitar forms the paradigm of romanticism with delectably played chords followed with rigorous progression in diligently composed ''Jao Na (AQUARIUS)''. Sohail Sen's singing as well as guitar strumming makes a brilliant collage of a romantic communion under dim-lights (its street lights falling on open-air car...!). Sen's makes great usage of Javed saab's lucid wordings and gets optimum ''glare of publicity'' in making a career as great soloist. Tarannum Malik's restrained humming in tandem pours dash of femininity in it. It's a cool break from regular sounding KK or Mohit Chauhan as now Sohail Sen is likely to be the new name in this acceptable genre of soft-rock ballads. Chartbuster!!!
Sohail Sen's picks his third card in the form of ''yuppie'' friendly frolicking sounding 80's pop music, with spicy touches of hip-hop in uproariously thumped ''Aaja Lehraate (GEMINI)'' . It is shades different to Ashutosh Gowarikar's style of music so far and inundates out feverish fervor of teenybopper's of college campus battling out on floors. Shaan's exuberantly loud vocals talks loud but its tangible ''n'' piercing nasal voice of Bhavya Pandit that brings out the mischievousness in it. Catered to woo young audiences, this packs dosages of breath-taking choreographic moves, lively college surroundings with scintillating camera moves and if shot well then it can be another winner on its D-Day. Versatility gets into its extreme, as Sohail Sen's melodic aesthetics makes mood swivels from classical cum contemporary western music to traditional ''ghazal'' singing in album's most melodious track ''Bikhri Bikhri (CANCER)''. It catapults the sobriety of romantic relations of ''Cancerian girl'' by capturing out nostalgia of emotions (''Beete pal bhool ja, Woh pal nahin hain kahin, Laayenge pal naye, Ek Zindagi phir haseen...) to the realms of eternal intimacy. This is Javed saab's finest work of the album where Sohail's somber baritones strikes chord with ethnical display of traditional instruments. To add slender sentimental hues, there is graceful humming of Marianne D' Cruz that gives it upbeat edges and makes it graceful offerings. It's like listening to finest of Roop Kumar Rathod or Hariharan's ''ghazal-gayaki'' works and thumbs up for overall fine musical display. Melodious!!!
Like Aamir Khan's playfully errant singing in ''Aati Kya Khandala'' (GHULAM (1998), Ashutosh Gowarikar makes breakthrough singing career move by getting behind the mike and trying out with jovial singing in situational sounding ''Mannunga Mannunga (LIBRA)''. As situation demanded it for dominating ''Libran'' girl, the song comes in expressions of dutiful ''n'' obeying lover in modulating tones of Ashutosh Gowarikar and Pamela Jain. Its playful overtures have hilarious ''ched-chad'' where honest efforts by Gowarikar (sounding like Vinod Rathod) might be big surprise on big screen.
What's in store for ''Piscean'' girl? The cliched romantic expression of undying love of ''janam-janam'' that has gone into history books comes alive again through sugary ''n'' saccharine melody titled ''Sau Janam (PISCES)''. It has tender piano notes, soft drums, guitar strumming with elements of Jazz music to evoke modernity in it. Madhushree is silken and contemporary Udit Narayan's voice brings out bygone era but the composition and lyrics lack innovation and are too predictable to create any ripples.
The story of ''Scorpion girl'' comes out to be world of ''rags to riches'' fairyland with upcoming Ashleesha Gowarikar (sister of Ashutosh Gowarikar) crooning like pop diva in
''Aa Le Chal (SCORPIO)''. Ashleesha sings out in sluggish sensuous tones (sounding like Alisha Chinai) exuding out peculiar ''dreamy'' feel of 60's with Harman Baweja chipping out with one-liners. Sohail's music is again inclined towards somber westernized musical that comes in tandem with vocals. It's a situational offering that demands quirky hilarious situational melodramatic feel to support while vocalist shows her earnest efforts in making it happen.
If ''Bikhri Bikhri'' and ''Jao Na'' made Sohail Sen audible as prolific singer then ''Pyaari Pyaari (VIRGO)'' accentuates his good work with similar finesse. It's again delectable piano drills that welcomes the first spring of romance with soothing sounding composition doing the needful. Sohail's soft vocals bring out decency for lady love that amalgamates tenderly with experienced Alka Yagnik's demure singing expressions. Javed Akhtar's contemporary wordings are bliss with flute notes in latter interludes adding to the flows.
Peppiness thrills out with naughty ''n'' sassy Gujarati lass in an impish playful mood as she woos out for her prince-charming in flamboyantly vociferous track ''Su Chhe (TAURUS)''. For its vibrant shades in varying tones, Bela Shende turns out to best live-wire entertainer among female vocalist of the album with the song that promises tons of on-screen humor. The hilarious binge in Javed Akhtar's wordings has the spice of catchy Gujarati catchphrases with feisty guitar and violin display. Sohail plays the second lead this time with Bela taking out the bigger chunk of this enthralling number. Amusing!!!
How can ''Sagittarian girl'' be described in one word? Puritan! ''Salone Kya (SAGITTARIUS)'' opens up glossary of Hindi terminology of love and romance with Tarrannum Malik showing her sharp diction edges. Sohail's composition is mixed and match of Spanish and westernized arrangements with added ''black & white'' era feel created in accordion works. It works on satirical moves with Javed Akhtar's lyrics sticking to the array of well described refined Hindi words. This all girl show brings out lively shades of Tarrannum's singing with flair while Sohail ends up as amiable co-singer for this ''feel-good'' track.
What could be the feel of confronting ''Leo girl''? Intimidating! Yes, it's a dark melodic feel that can have sensuous shades with nerve-racking impulsive feel of facing the ultimate in life. ''Dhadkan Dhadkan (LEO)'', an intriguing situational track by impressive sounding Tarrannum Malik and Sohail Sen captures out these set of emotions (similar to RGV's flicks) with rigorous electronic sounds and loud percussions giving it that ''killer'' outlook.
After showcasing 11 different shades of emotions for all the ''rashees'' (sun-signs), what one can anticipate about ''Capricorn Girl'' in one word? Ethnic! Folk music was the missing link of this album and it makes striking presence with Rajab Ali Bharti's booming voice in folklore style of singing in ''Koi Jaane Na (CAPRICORN)''. Sohail's composition is simply fabulous as it captures the naivety of emotions in its ''antaras'' with the expertise of modernity in arrangements. Melancholic to core, it echoes out the dilemma of the love-relationship and state-of-heart and falls in cadre of quality folk tracks like ''Yeh Honsla'' (DOR -2006). Bela Shende's voice in slender tones with soulful chorals adds to the pathos and works with the spirit of the characters. Touching!!!
''What's Your Rashee? Chehre Jo Dekhe Hain'', the finale, comes out as conclusion of all engrossing 12 chapters with the heart-felt pain, pleasures and voice-over of the lead protagonist. This exudes out the signature feel of romantic comedy with every varied emotions coming in different sounding instrumentals. It's placing of instrumentals in order than the entire composition that impresses in summing up this quirky ''bon voyage'' for deserving bride.
WHAT'S YOUR RASHEE is tedious toil to perform that whole-heartedly talk's about versatility of expressions, adaptability of emotions and exhibition of varied musical genres, with full truthfulness in its elaborate depiction. It's amusing as well as comprehensive in work and in numbers too from promising Sohail Sen, with tracks like ''Jao Na'', ''Su Chhe'', ''Bikhri Bikhri'', ''Koi Jane Na'' and title track showing enough promise to succeed. This Ashutosh Gowarikar's presentation work with the feel and caricatures of the character and rightfully it gets its due in these thirteen original soundtracks.