After making his debut as a music composer with the Tamil film ‘3’, Anirudh steadily consolidated his position as one of the top composers in Tamil cinema. While he did compose one song for Bejoy Nambiar’s bilingual ‘David’ (2013), the young composer didn’t take up any projects in the Hindi film industry in all these years. With the Shah Rukh Khan – Nayanthara – Vijay Sethupathi starrer ‘Jawan’, Anirudh gets the opportunity to do the entire album along with the score for a Hindi film. While Kumaar serves as the primary lyricist on the album, two songs (‘Zinda Banda’ and ‘Aararaari Raaro’) have been credited to Irshad Kamil. The Arabic version of one of the songs in the album (‘Chhaleya’) has been written by Mohamed El Maghribi.
“Zinda Banda” starts with a popular couplet written by renowned poet Wasim Barelvi being recited by Shah Rukh Khan. This is actually the highpoint of this song which is saddled with a very ordinary composition. Anirudh’s rendition does not have the kind of energy or spunk this song required and his voice does not suit the song either. While the percussive background brings some energy into the song, the tune is a complete letdown. “Maati ka baadal ufaq ufaq jaaye, ambar jhuka do thirak thirak re…”, Irshad Kamil breathes some life into the song with his wordplay.
As you hear the piano piece towards the beginning of “Chhaleya”, you can foresee the lounge-ish feel the song will have. The tune has a laidback feel to it which is complemented well by the arrangements and the vocal rendition by Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao. It is far from being an extraordinary track but is not as bland as the first track on the album. While you might not want to play the song on repeat mode, it makes for a decent hear. The Arabic version of the song has been sung well by Grini and Jamila El Badaoui.
Things go downhill with “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya”, a song which just fails to engage. The synth driven sound of the song and the electronic beats are passable but the composition is lackluster. Vishal Dadlani and Shilpa Rao try to infuse some energy to the song but the tune itself is so weak that you do not really feel tempted to revisit the track after listening to it once. Perhaps, the only thing that would arouse the listener’s interest in the song is the presence of the signature tune/audio theme of the film in it.
“Aararaari Raaro”, one of the better songs on the album, is a lullaby sung with a lot of sensitivity and warmth by Deepthi Suresh. Anirudh composes a heartwarming tune and layers it with some solid orchestral pieces. “Apne ya begaane sab ka hi yaara ho tu, dharti ka suraj ho himmat ka tara ho tu”, the composer is greatly aided by the poignant verses written by Irshad Kamil. While this emotional song works very well as a standalone audio track, it should make an even bigger impact with visuals.
“Jawan Title Track” is just the kind of track one would want to hear when a major action sequence is taking place in the film. Anirudh has layered the track with several distinctive music pieces and sounds to come together to form a cohesive structure. The rap portion, written and performed by Raja Kumari, which pays a homage to Shah Rukh Khan and his aura, plays an important role in making the track memorable.
After two engaging tracks, arrives the weakest song on the album. “Faraatta”, sung by Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi, sounds like something which Meet Bros would compose and Kumaar would write on a bad day. While the corny lyrics by Kumaar do not do any good to the song, the composition by Anirudh is unimaginative to say the least. Badshah’s rap seems forced into the song and just makes things worse.
Being the first full-fledged soundtrack put together by Anirudh for a Hindi film, one had huge expectations from the music of ‘Jawan’. While a couple of songs leave a mark, the album has its weak spots too. Even if you keep the expectations aside, you end up feeling underwhelmed by the quality of songs that have been offered here. One just hopes Anirudh sticks around in the Hindi film industry and delivers a much better album the next time around.