One always looks forward to the music of a film produced or directed by Aanand L Rai. He is one of the very few producers/directors who has largely stuck to the idea of getting one composer and lyricist to work on the entire film. If you go through his filmography, you realize he has had a two-film association with most of his composers.
Composers like Vinay Tiwari (‘Strangers’ and ‘Thodi Life Thoda Magic’), Krsna (‘Tanu Weds Manu’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’) and A R Rahman (‘Raanjhanaa’ and ‘Atrangi Re’) have collaborated with him on two films. With Ajay-Atul, he has worked on just one film (‘Zero’) so far. ‘Raksha Bandhan’ marks his first collaboration with Himesh Reshammiya. With lyricist Irshad Kamil, it’s his fifth collaboration after ‘Thodi Life Thoda Magic’, ‘Raanjhanaa’, ‘Zero’ and ‘Atrangi Re’.
The 50-minute long album opens with “Tere Saath Hoon Main”, a pleasant number showcasing the relationship shared by Kedarnath (Akshay Kumar) and his sisters in the film. The song has an old-world charm to it which works greatly in its favour. What also works for the song is the very tender rendition by Nihal Tauro. After registering an impact as a singer with his performances in a reality show and a few non-film singles, Nihal gets to sing for a film and he makes the most of this opportunity.
“Chaaron dishaon jaisi tum ho mere liye zaroori, tum na ho toh har din aadha, har ek sham adhuri…..”, some wonderful lines written by Irshad Kamil for “Dhaagon Se Baandhaa”,one of the best tracks on the album, exemplify the strong bond shared by the siblings in the film. Shreya Ghoshal makes a brief but important appearance in the song as she sings the first few lines which help in establishing the theme of the song. The composition, by Himesh Reshammiya, is highly tuneful. The song becomes more upbeat as Arijit Singh gets behind the mic. The guitar piece at the 00:29 mark reminds one of a similar music piece from the title track of ‘Tere Naam’.
Himesh Reshammiya goes behind the mic for “Kangan Ruby”, arguably the worst track on the album. The song brings back memories of some of the weakest songs composed by Himesh between 2006-07 and makes one wonder what made him create a mish-mash of so many forgettable tracks. The only redeeming part of the song is the lyrics written by Irshad Kamil. One, however, wonders why the protagonist, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, uses Punjabi words like ‘Heeriye’. There is also a ‘House Mix’ version of the song featuring a rap portion by Akshay The One and female vocals by Akasa.
Another underwhelming track follows in the form of “Done Kar Do”. The brief to the composer here was to come up with a song that would be in a similar mould to that of the kind of tracks that are played in jagraatas or mata ki chowkis. The prelude of this song reminds one of “Tune Mera Chain Vain Le Liya” from ‘Anthony Kaun Hai’. That song from the Arshad Warsi – Sanjay Dutt was far more interesting. Irshad Kamil manages to evoke some humour through his wordplay.
The album gets back on track with “Raksha Bandhan”, the title track sung wonderfully by Shreya Ghoshal. The song is designed to evoke sentiments and that it does quite successfully. The composition is good and a wide range of Indian instruments like flute and sitar used very well to decorate the song. “Chahaton ki jhaanki mile, chitthiyon mein rakhi mile, bhulaati kabhi na behnein, ho hazaar dooriyan…..” – it is wonderful to come across such beautiful lines written in Hindi in a mainstream Hindi film. If Aanand L Rai had not picked this song, Sooraj Barjatya surely would have. Stebin Ben’s awkward singing ruins the reprise version of the song.
Since the film is about a brother on a mission to get his sisters married, one does expect a song centred around weddings and bidaai. “Bidaai”, sung by Romy, happens to be one of the last tracks listed on the album. “Raunak tu hai saari khushiyon ki tu kyaari, piya ko bhi hogi tu jaise humko pyaari…”, Irshad Kamil writes verses that provide one with a good understanding of the emotions a brother goes through when his sister gets married and bids adieu to her family. The song is very melodious and has been arranged rather well. Many of the elements, including the guitar piece played at the 02:27 mark, are worth a mention. In the reprise version, the Nooran Sisters take centre stage and Romy’s voice is heard sporadically in the background.
Nihal Tuaro concludes the album with his rendition of “Tu Bichhde Toh”. There is a part of the song which gives one an impression of it being an alternate version of “Tere Saath Hoon Main” but one can’t help but brush away that thought as the rest of the song is completely different. While the song is not as bad as “Kangan Ruby” or a “Done Kar Do”, it does not come close to the other superior tracks in the album. When you listen to it, you feel not much thought was put behind its creation.
In the last 10-12 years, Himesh has been quite selective when it comes to composing for films. The last five years, in particular, have been quite dry. With ‘Raksha Bandhan’, he makes a good comeback to film music. In the music made for films today, one longs to hear the sound of Indian instruments. In this album, Himesh has used Indian instruments extensively and that is, definitely, one of the things that appeal to you as a listener. While a couple of songs are underwhelming, the album has enough good songs to keep you engaged.