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Music Reviews: Anjaana Anjaani and Robot

Music Reviews: Anjaana Anjaani and Robot

August 26, 2010

Two new soundtracks of big upcoming films, poles apart in sound and style - one hits and the other misses.

Here’s a double feature music review of the two new big film soundtracks to be released recently: Vishal-Shekhar’s Anjaana Anjaani (directed by Siddharth Anand) and A.R. Rahman’s Robot (directed by Shankar). Both soundtracks are by very talented composers, whose sounds are as different as pasta and biryani, for films that are just as different. However, one makes an impact while the other just misses the target.

Anjaana Anjaani

Siddharth Anand’s upcoming Ranbir Kapoor – Priyanka Chopra starrer Anjaana Anjaani arrives with yet another winning peppy soundtrack by the duo of music-cool Vishal-Shekhar. After the successful music of I Hate Luv Storys the team of Vishal-Shekhar prove once again that they know how to appeal to the youth with fresh sounds, fresher voices, and music that guarantees to be in the charts for a while.

The title track of the album comes in two incarnations. The first – the one doing the rounds in the promos – called Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahaani, is destined to be popular in the clubs. It has a thumping beat with fresh vocals by Nikhil D’Souza and Monali Thakur.  It has a very catchy chorus, which is bound to be big with the youngsters, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The second version comes later in the album. Simply titled Anjaana Anjaani and sung by Vishal Dadlani and Shilpa Rao, it’s the “sad” version with a slower, more melodious tune and a soft rock feel to it. It’s obviously meant for a different mood in the film but fails to leave much of an impression.

Lucky Ali helms Hairat, a song that’s quickly climbing the charts helped by a hip road-trip promo. It’s heavy on electric guitar and drums and has hints of Aahista Aahista from Bachna Ae Haseeno, mostly because of the way Ali sounds. The weakest song in the album is probably I Feel Good. Sung by Vishal Dadlani and Shilpa Rao, it sounds the most ordinary compared to the other very refreshing tracks in this album.

The three best tracks here, in my opinion, are Aas Paas Khuda, Tumse Hi Tumse, and Tujhe Bhula Diya. Sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Aas Paas Khuda is a love ballad with a rock feel to it. Khan’s qawwali-esque voice with the rock beats work very well and leaves a strong emotional impact. Tumse Hi Tumse is a charming number with a youthful innocence to it. Shekhar Ravjiani’s voice brings a playful bounce to the track accompanied by English interludes by Caralisa Monteiro. Tujhe Bhula Diya has an opening that makes it instantly addictive. Shruti Pathak soulfully croons a verse in Punjabi to the sound of a guitar being softly plucked in the background. Then Mohit Chauhan enters singing about heartbreak and loneliness. Though it’s a sad song, it has a scintillating mix of melody and Pathak’s Punjabi verse with interludes of qawwali sung by Shekhar Ravjiani. Definitely a very fresh angle to the quintessential “sad song” that each Hindi love story must have.

Overall, Vishal-Shekhar’s Anjaana Anjaani is just what you expect from the duo – hip, refreshing sounds, appealing to their target audience, and just enjoyable music. They’re quite the reliable team. Check this one out for sure.

Robot

How does a robot serenading Aishwarya Rai Bachchan compliment her beauty? He asks how many neutrons and electrons are in those blue eyes, of course! Yes, A.R.Rahman is back with a soundtrack only he can put together – he invents words, makes physics romantic, and brings his signature fusion music to a full-on South Indian sci-fi flick. The film – starring Rajnikanth with Mrs. Rai Bachchan – is releasing in Tamil and Telegu as Endhiran and in Hindi as Robot. This review is only for the Hindi version of the soundtrack.

It takes a while for Rahman tracks to grow on the listener. After all, he experiments fearlessly, something that isn’t always appreciated immediately. With Robot, there are hints of his trademark experimentation but there’s also a sense of the ordinary with most of the tracks. The album starts with O Naye Insaan, which has a very ominous feel to it. Sung by Srinivas D and Khatija Rahman (yup, Rahman’s daughter), it’s a song dedicated to the robot. It’s the kind of song that will probably sound better with visuals. Srinivas lends a very dominant voice to it while Khatija sounds sweet. The next song is Pagal Anukan (Pyaara Tera Gussa Bhi), the one with the romantic scientific lingo. Despite its odd lyrics – which I guess are fitting for a film about a robot – this song works pretty well. Mohit Chauhan makes the words “neutron” and “electron” sound quite sensual while Shreya Goshal complements him well.

Rahman makes his vocal presence in Naina Mile, accompanied by Suzanne and Kash ‘N’ Krissy. Designed as a romantic dance number, it falls prey to heavy synthesizing, making the song sound rather plain. Arima Arima brings the voices of Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam back after a long time. It’s the trademark grand song that every Rahman album needs, with trumpets and everything. The best song of the album is Kilimanjaro. Yes, it’s titled after a mountain but Javed Ali and Chinmayi , along with the most diverse musical arrangement of the lot, make this the most peppy and likeable song.

The two “theme” tracks  - Chitti Dance Showcase and Boom Boom Robo Da – require you to really get into the mood of the film, which will probably happen after the film comes out. Chitti Dance Showcase seems uneven in its tempo – it fluctuates between slow and fast beats, hyper drums and mellow strings, that don’t quite gel well together. Boom Boom Robo Da is a track that really needs visuals to make it appealing. The song mentions everyone from Newton to Einstein to describe this Rajnikanth-shaped robot and really begs for some Shankar-esque special effects to make it come to life.

Rahman, as the regular composer for all of Shankar’s films, has delivered truly quirky songs for all these films, including some that have become chartbusters (who can forget Shakalaka Baby from Nayak?).  With Robot, however, Rahman doesn’t deliver that same punch. It’s a quirky soundtrack for sure, but it fails to jump out at the listener as another high-profile collaboration between Shankar and Rahman. Even though it’s tailored towards a sci-fi theme, the songs often end up with very similar sounds to one another. Rahman excels at assembling the most diverse array of singers, but unfortunately it’s not his most inspired soundtrack and will probably make much more sense once the film comes out.




15 Comments

  • sandeepkoivila
    By
    sandeepkoivila
    06.11.11 09:50 AM
    robot music was a big hit in south india.north it not make impact might be because of weired lyrics
  • esh
    By
    esh
    21.12.10 07:37 PM
    robot songs are good!!
    they sound like english songs...lik they have good sound effects and the meaning of the lyrics is also good!!
    but i would have been happy if there was a nice melody and typical spb song in it[other than pudhiya manidha(in endhiran-tamil version)]
  • radhika
    By
    radhika
    15.10.10 06:36 PM
    kilimanjaro is very different song. a beautiful composition from A R Rahman
  • Robot
    By
    Robot
    02.10.10 08:01 PM
    ROBOT music is a support for a movie... Music is good but punches are really not required in this movie... Techno Man... Another Movie Jhoota Hi Sahi is not comparitively good as compared to Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.. but has lots of melody.. dont compare his music with any other films or music directors.. Rahman works according to Script.. Lets not forget his block buster which has created magic ...
  • Ibad
    By
    Ibad
    24.09.10 12:33 AM
    Hi guys , its the movie's requirement that the songs should have robo touch . Rehmann cant just add some melody to this sci fi movie so that his listeners are satisfied .so we listeners should understand that fact. i am sure that when the movie get released then these songs will be loved by every1 .bye
  • Pulkit Datta
    By
    Pulkit Datta
    05.09.10 10:25 PM
    Joseph, I totally agree with you - Rahman has a very unique style and he is simply a musical genius. I am a big fan of his work. However, with the album of Robot I wasn't hooked on the music like I am with most of his work. I felt there was something missing. I think he's a great asset to India and has done Indians proud by winning such recognition. Like I said in a previous comment, I did not mean to compare Vishal-Shekhar with Rahman with these two reviews. I posted them together since both albums came out at the same time. Thanks for your comment!
  • Joseph
    By
    Joseph
    05.09.10 11:36 AM
    Dutta

    Definetely anjaana anjanni will appeal to hindi audience,but please remember director of the movie Siddharth anand told in an interview recently that he wanted this filem to have soundtrack like a r rahman and he asked vishal shekhar to work on new sounds,he had also said it cant be in par with rahman,So kindly bear in mind that rahman style is unique and now it is copied by many music directors like vishal shekhar,

    Please dont expect too much from one guy,Academy award,Bafta,Golden globe and grammies no Indian music director achieved ,
  • Pulkit Datta
    By
    Pulkit Datta
    31.08.10 09:22 AM
    Thanks, Swapnil. I don't think it's a case of Indians not liking techno music - Rahman can make great stuff in numerous genres. For example, his song 'Fanaa' from Yuva had a techno feel and it was a great song from a great soundtrack. I think it's simply the case of this album not living up to our expectations. It's definitely not as punchy. I didn't mean to compare Robot with Anjaana Anjaani - I reviewed them together because the albums released simultaneously. But yes, Vishal-Shekhar are doing great work.
  • Swapnil Dandwate
    By
    Swapnil Dandwate
    30.08.10 10:47 AM
    Yes,anjaana anjaani does again.robots are not meant for indian people,indian people lack the tendency of liking a techno music,same in my case.definately rehman has not composed a punching music since delhi 6,vishal shekhar has given two block buster music this year,i hav wasted my 150 bucks in buying robot audio cd but i hav earned 175 bucks in buying anjaana anjaani and 160 bucks in buying i hate luv storys audio cd.......
  • Pulkit Datta
    By
    Pulkit Datta
    28.08.10 09:12 PM
    Hi Rohit,
    Thanks for the comments.
    You're certainly welcome to disagree. I called 'I Feel Good' ordinary not in terms of whether or not in gels with the mood of the album (it certainly does) but in terms of its composition. Musically, for me, it didn't add anything new. It's not a bad song, but compared to the rest of the album it's not quite there. You know what I mean? And yes, Hairat is becoming very popular. It's a very good song. Personally, I liked Tumse Hi Tumse and Tujhe Bhula Diya the most. Thanks for your insights!
  • rohit jain
    By
    rohit jain
    28.08.10 02:17 PM
    gr8 review but i disagree on certain aspects

    ----------
    1) i feel good is not the most ordinary in this one. instead it suits the album much more as all the songs have rcok feel , are fast and peppy. so instead the qawalli type song aa paas khuda is an average fare , (in terms of the album but much better than the other albums ).

    best song in this album is undisputedly
    HAIRAT HAI by lucky ali. its an adrenaline pumping with heavy heavy electric guitar and instruments . robot is nowhere compared to anjaana anjaani especially the average lyrics (cant help because its a dubbed one ! )
  • Pulkit Datta
    By
    Pulkit Datta
    28.08.10 01:55 AM
    Thanks all!

    Yes the music is rather ordinary but it may have more of an impact in the film. Kilimanjaro is still the only one I like out of the entire album.

    Have any of you listened to the Anjaana Anjaani soundtrack?
  • Lakshmi rajan
    By
    Lakshmi rajan
    27.08.10 06:06 PM
    Well, I liked couple of the songs in the Tamil version (yet to listen the Hindi version)and i like Kilimanjaro and Naina Mile in the Tamil version. Eagerly waiting for the movie now...
  • Dr roshan
    By
    Dr roshan
    26.08.10 10:06 PM
    wasnt really impressed with robots music even after repeated hearing.. hope the movie is better
  • Rajive
    By
    Rajive
    26.08.10 05:23 PM
    Big disappointment from Rehman. Music is as ordinary as that of Blue. Not a single track has any melody. Lyrics are too complex for nothing (and too much of it). What’s the point? (of Yakking so much). Like Bose Rehman should have stayed with only instrumental if wanted to create techno music.

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