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Music Review : Aarakshan

Director :
Music :

Lyrics :
Starring :
 Prakash Jha
 Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
 Prasoon Joshi
 Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar, Shabana Azmi, Tanvi Azmi and Hema Malini

By Satyajit, Bollywood Trade Editorial Send to Friend

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RAAJNEETI ruled the hearts and AARAKSHAN (meaning reservation) promises to reserve its share of success at the box office. Prakash Jha's meteoric rise in filmdom is credited to his tryst with socially relevant subjects that have been controversial as well as hard-hitting in both treatment and narration. It's a big occasion where his directorial excellence finds the acting prowess of legendary Amitabh Bachchan in this flick that deals with controversial 'reservation' issue that stormed the nation. Packed with bankable and potential actors, the musical department too sounds amiable with the presence of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (S-E-L) as composers and Prasoon Joshi as the lyricist of this album. After colossal commercial success of recently released ZINDAGI MILEGI NA DOBARA, S-E-L makes big news again but this time the feel is entirely situational as well as thematically oriented with the hard-hitting subject of the film. Barring the recent musical success of RAAJNEETI, Prakash Jha's films have been always moderate on musical barometer and this one too holds average expectations. Can the rocking magic of triumphant triumvirate S-E-L be able to fuel up passion for this social saga? Does the music of AARAKSHAN have the potency of alluring listeners? Let's get started...

Vivaciously chirpy in nature, the album opens up with a lighthearted duet number that comes moreover like a cheery tete-a-tete between lovers in likable sounding 'Accha Lagta Hai'. In this thematically bound social saga, it comes like a breather but the cool mushy impact is moderate. S-E-L has been prolific in delivering out such prankster-friendly love tracks like 'Jaane Kyun' (DIL CHAHTA HAI) but this time it sounds more like a mixed and match of their previous works like 'Acchi Lagti Ho' (KUCH NA KAHO (2003)) and 'Agar Main Kahoon' (LAKSHYA (2004)). Mohit Chauhan's mischievous tones are playful and so are Shreya Ghoshal's sweet feminine imprints that make a lovable duo but the arrangements aren't that befitting to make this an everlasting occasion. It's still an audible affair where Prasoon Joshi's urbane-cool wordings make impress concoction with the composition.

Rustic in style and loud in expressions, the revolutionary feel gets the boisterous voiceover of array of singers in typical 'nautanki' style of composing in fun-filled soundtrack titled 'Mauka'. It brings out memories of 'Show me your Jalwa' (AAJA NACHLE (2007)), a type of road-show promotional number that comes with a social message from bunch of singers. Mahalaxmi Iyer, Raman Mahadevan, Tarun Sagar, Gaurav Gupta and Rehan form a formidable 'street-play' singing group in singing out this theatrically profound playful number. S-E-L unravels a different path this time but the impact is once again is purely situational. The amalgamation of folksy instrumentals with trumpets and horns gives out a garish rural decorum that should be working progressively with the narration of the flick. 'Mauka (remix)' adds pop and funky disco beat fillers in this track to make this a rare dancing feasting attraction in this album.

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Classy, indeed classy! Hindustani classical music has been rare genre in Bollywood and it's really pristine to hear a soundtrack as traditionally composed as 'Kaun Si Dor'. Pt. Channulal Mishra's immaculately streamlined classical voice echoes out the pathos, hardships, trials and tribulations of lead protagonists in his well-tempered vocal flows. It's great to hear Shreya Ghoshal in one of her most classically refined singing stances where she gists out the poignant feel in form of 'alaaps', variations and modulations. S-E-L delivers out pure Indian classical arrangements that have vim and vigor of classical instrumentals in optimum packaging. Prasoon Joshi's author-backed lyrics are tragically inundated ('Badey jatan se fasal lagaye, chun chun beej rachye, Baandh taki taki ki rakhwari, dabiya ankur muskaaye, Bhaag chirayia badi nithoor hai...) and has the melodramatic verve to connect with the melancholic situational feel in the flick. 'Kaun Si Dor' stands out as one of the finest efforts and attempts by the entire musical team and as expected it comes in another version titled 'Saans Albeli'. It comes out as male solo version of 'Kaun Si Dor' where Pt.Channulal Mishra sings his heart out in almost similar arrangements and lyrical settings. For all those who have heart and ear for classically refined music, this one is really a listening delight that should be doing a lot in enhancing the hard-hitting feel and insightful narration of the flick. Worth-a-hear!

Light of Enlightenment! As our fond memories goes, Shankar Mahadevan made a magical spell in earlier phase of his singing career by singing out a beautiful inspirational track titled 'Aasman Ke Paar' (ROCKFORD (1999)), a song that is still a favorite in every singing talent show. Once again, the singing magic returns as he sings out another inspirational track titled 'Roshanee' (meaning light) with a theme of awakening to new horizons and opportunities in life. It primarily targets youth audience with a motivational thriving appeal and succeeds to great extent in those highly pumped vocals and upbeat rock-beat arrangements. It brings back the jingoism of S-E-L's earlier tracks like 'Lakshya' (LAKSHYA (2004)) and fuels up passion of being 'go-getter' in life in lines like 'Sabke liye raste ho, aasha ke baste ho, Jin mein ujaale baste ho...) and works more like a promotional song for educational awareness program. Commercially speaking, this well penned and sung track may not be finding maximum takers but is surely to be one positive musical move in the cadre of inspirational 'filmi' songs of our time. Inspirational!

AARAKSHAN does not hold any big attractions for listeners who await rocking-thrilling rocking feast from the composers (S-E-L) but works categorically to the socially relevant theme of the film in most ingenious way. Despite the fact that producers are promoting 'Acchi Lagti Ho' to its maximum in media, the finest of the albums comes in the form of two meticulously composed tracks titled 'Kaun Si Dor' and 'Roshanee'. It will restrict its presence to few selected sect of listeners but will surely be a great asset in the theatrical happenings of the flick.

Rating - 2.5/5

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