It seems that Bollywood is working inversely. As the movie scene is seemingly improving, the music scene is definitely going down hill. After the disappointing Yaadein, and the recent below average Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, we now have Dil Chahta Hai, which is some what of a let down, but is still worth a listen or two.
"Dil Chahta Hai" is being touted as the first real Hollywood-Bollywood movie, for it´s script, touch-ups and screen play. With such a big star cast that is already being praised for their work, an excellent soundtrack would make this film superb. The music in its own little (stress that) way, does fit the "Hollywood-Bollywood" theme but isn´t a hit album.
Evidence of the American styled tune is "Dil Chahta Hai", the title track, rendered twice by Shankar Mahadevan. The first version is affluently mixed with an American styled chorus that is bound to catch on with many and is catchy at best. The guitar in the middle of the track adds to that effect, but I must say it comes close to sounding a little too bit American. The lyrics are appealing and will probably be the only reason this song makes it to the charts, however it is the "reprise" that sounds a little better. In the first version the beats are toned down a little bringing out Mahadevan´s voice which doesn´t excel, (we´ve heard better from him). The second version brings out more beats, differing slightly from the first version and those are more attractive as well. Unfortunately, these are probably two of the better songs on the soundtrack.
The best song of the soundtrack is without a doubt "Jaane Kyon." Restoring a little of the traditional feel to the album, Jaane Kyon is sung excellently by Udit Narayan and Alka, both of whom are having a good year. Shankar Eshan Loy are more than succesful in creating a unique tune here which is not only foot tapping, hummable but very ear pleasing as well. The beats, the flute and the lyrics combine to create a chartbuster. You can prepare to hit rewind on this one, because you will definitely want to. The chorus in the middle of the album keeps with the American feel (it´s nothing like American classical but more like American hip hop or contemporary), but doesn´t interrupt the flow of the excellent tune. In fact for what ever reason, Shankar Eshan Loy have interwoven the chorus excellently. Jaane Kyon is excellent, but it may instill false hope that the rest of the album is just as so, but unfortunately it isn´t.
Opening up with an American beat which we´ve heard often is "Woh Ladki Hai Kahan". The opening though is kind of sneaky as it draws you into a run of the mill track. Thankfully the instrument used in the backdrop provides for a change and makes this song tolerable. Assisting with that is Shaan and Kavita who make this a decent listen. Shaan´s singing is very much up to par with his past hits like Tune Mujhe Pehchana Nahi from Raju Chacha and Apni Yaadon Ko from Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat. Kavita is okay but this is nowhere near any of her excellent performances. The musical intervals are somewhat mediocre and may not appeal to many. Though the track is ok, you´ll either like this one or you won´t.
Softly opening up with flute intervals and a moderately fast paced tune is "Kaise Hai Yeh Rut". This one too has an American feel to it and the singing is aptly done by Srinivas. He does at times, however, sound like a draw between Shaan and Shankar Mahadevan. The flute intervals (though a little reminiscent of Dholna from Uttam Singh´s Dil To Pagal Hai) are excellently done essentially helping the track. The song though may get too slow to grasp and hold one´s attention.
As with any three hero project there has to be a three hero song, unfortunately this one fails to impress (personally, most "dosti" songs fail to impress...) You´ve heard these beats before (in fact they resemble some of the similar hits from the eighties). Shankar dominates the song (as well as the album) too much, he does need to experiment a little. Shaan is the only one that stands out (as with many of the tracks he is singing as of late), and Kay Kay sounds odd because this is probably the only track we´ve heard him singing so subtly and the one only one that he is not shrieking or screaming!
Perhaps striding towards A. R. Rahman´s excellent composing in Aamir Khan´s Lagaan is Michael Harvey´s Akash Love Theme. "Akash" is the name of Aamir´s character in the film and this instrumental will most likely be picturized on him. I am not too sure who will be pleased by this one as it sounds like a left over from the "Gone With the Wind" soundtrack. It surely doesn´t make the soundtrack groundbreaking. While on instrumentals "Rocking Goa" is another track which may have you hitting fast forward...
Ending of the album is the well-sung Tanhayee by the reliable Sonu Nigam. The song requires a high pitched vocal and thankfully he doesn´t get screechy and sound like he is in mourning (though the lyrics do depict a sense of loneliness). The instrumentals here are well done and like the rest of the album, original. (Give credit where credit is deserved). It opens up catchy, with rather effective beats. The cleverly interwoven tunes are pleasantly back dropped with beats that are excellently used! The flute played throughout this track is another attracting part of the song. Sonu sings excellently without overdoing the feeling, at all! It carries through with those catchy effective beats and tunes and is probably the only other mildly entertaining track.
Dil Chahta Hai represents a certain norm of music that can´t be described as average, probably because we don´t hear Shankar Eshan Loy a lot. The musical compositions do carry themselves well and leaves one satisfied to a certain extent, with the best, which do more than that being, "Jaane Kyon" and the excellent composition "Tanhayee." To add to that, Javed Akhtar does stay on the top with non redundant lyrics.
Dil Chahta Hai also brings with it a certain American feel with it adding to the Hollywood style which it supposedly displays (for that we still anxiously await the release this summer). To their credit, Shankar Eshan Loy do remain original in all of the tracks, but Mission Kashmir still remains a better soundtrack. For such a big cast, the expectations were also higher. I would say that the album doesn´t do any harm to the movie, but still could have been a little better.