When I say Ashutosh Gowarikar, you think a mangnum opus...and A.R. Rahman. With his newest release, What's Your Raashee?, however, you might be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised to see the absence of both these elements.
Number 1, this is a non-epic light-hearted romantic comedy. Number 2, Bye Bye Rahman and enter newbie Sohail, son of composer Sameer Sen (who I couldn't place immediately and had to IMDb him...but his music wasn't half bad..he gave it for Aaina and Yeh Dillagi amongst other movies). Anyway, the point is, taking debutante Sen at this high-point could have been a big risk. But fortunately, the risk pays off with a fabulously meshed 13 track album.
Yes, you saw right! 13! But all these full-length tracks don't bore you a bit. In fact, I'm pretty sure you'll be looking forward to most of them while watching the movie, after listening of course. The unique thing about the album as a whole is that each track is specially constructed for one particular character (in this case, a horoscope portrayed by Piggy Chops). Maybe it's the first time in history.
1) First up, the title track, "What's Your Raashee? (Pal Pal Dil Jisko Dhoonde)". Now, this song has the music director crooning it himself in search of that perfect girl who will take his heart. With a jazz setting, this song may be slow..but it is just the right number to start the album.
2) "Jao Na", the second track on the album can easily be termed as the best song in the entire track list. One of the best romantic songs of the year, the song works exclusively on Sen's voice and an accompanying guitar. It's the perfect song for a date and the back-up vocals by Tarannum Mallik are beautiful.
3) Geminis can rejoice for "Aaja Lehraate". For the energetic and vivacious, comes this peppy dance number (really needed in this case). This fun Indian song has just the right amount of 'westernisation' provided by pro Shaan and a new find in Bhavya Pandit. The song grows slowly under your skin, and when it does you can't help but groove to it.
4) We're back to romance with "Bikhri Bikhri", but this time, in a very different style. An extremely melodious number, the poignancy is enhanced by the vocals of Marianne D'Cruz in the antara. This song, though similar to the styles of Rahman and Pritam all at once, is about keeping hope. And a subtle sadness limgers long after the song is over.
5) And the day the director sang...Farhan Akhtar could do it, why can't I? says Gowarikar. (I know what you're think...I just HAVE to mention Farhan Akhtar somewhere in the conversation...ooh that's twice :D). Anyway, "Maanunga Maanunga", is a very west-based song which may not be great to listen to. A situational track about the guy complying to whatever his girl wishes, and the dominating Libran girl, who won't compromise. PERIOD! (Ok, that was added by me). This song will probably prove its mettle when seen as a lot depends on how it's picturised.
6) Another love ballad in the form of "Sau Janam" by Udit Narayan, Madhushree and Sohail Sen. A beautiful composition, it reminds you of the mush churned out in past decades especially the 80s. However, it never apes any particular song and just takes you down memory lane. Interestingly, this soft melody is coupled with soft rock elements which make it very different and give it a slightly modern touch.
7) Ab director gaa sakta hai, to uski lawyer behen kyun nahin? So Sohail ropes in Aslesha Gowarikar to sing "Aa Le Chal" for the passionate and hopelessly romantic Scorpio girl. This song reminds us of the seductive songs of the 50s and 60s. However, the hip hop beats make it just as new and refreshing. The flustered Harman comes in here and there with a few one-liners in the middle but what really stands out is the unique and unconventional voice of Aslesha which makes her pinings believable.
8) "Pyaari Pyaari" crooned by Alka Yagnik (just when we thought finally an album where SHE'S not there) is another soft romantic number but the only thing you actually remember in this song is the minimal usage of instruments. Otherwise, this song is strictly average.
9) YAY! Thank God for "Su Chhe" and my great memory. I heard this song...I loved this song...and now, i remember this song so easily that I irritate the crap out of Kriti Sharma when singing it lagataar in college. Since this movie is based on a Gujarati novel, it would be a shame to not include a Gujarati number. However, this is not like your typical Gujju fare. Instead, we have a really cool weddingy-number number which is Gujarati at heart, but with major western influences especially Arabic and Spanish Flamenco style. The lyrics are pretty nonsensical but it doesn't matter....because it's difficult not to sing along thanks to the great vocals by Bela Shende and Sen himself (again! My god this guy is on a roll!).
10) By this time, you really need something fast and bouncy, but sadly, you're stuck with Sen's obsession with that old world thing. Another problem with the next track, "Salone Kya" is that it's not great to listen to (as a song that is). But I won't say that Tarannum Mallik vocals aren't good. If I did, I'd just be lying... But it's kinda been there, done that. The only redeeming factor for the track is that the lyrics are befitting the situation it is placed in. ie. when thought of in terms of the thinking Sagittarius girl, it's a winner. Another situational number, once again, its success depends completely on the way it's picturised.
11) You'd think I got tired by this point of time...but I didn't. (Cue for my mother to say that if this were an assignment, you'd still have 80% to go. Too bad that fun topics like these aren't given for assignments). "Dhadkan Dhadkan" is a very orchestral number, and again, very sitautional. It's setting gives a feeling that it may be used as a climax song. But then I can't say much about that. Till then, it reminds us of Leo's intensity pretty well.
12) Now, you may not agree with me BUT this song is easily one of the best in the album. Meant for the simplicity of the Capricorn village belle, Jhankana, "Koi Jaane Na" is a classical based song sung by Rajab Ali Bharti and Bela Shende (finally a song without Sohail Sen). What stands out here is the usage of the piano and the thought-provoking lyrics by Akhtar which surely bring tears to the eyes (not for me...for the emotional fools).
And finally 13) Another take on the title track, "Chehre Jo Dekhe Hain" is pretty cool. It's like a subconscious coaxing the main character to choose one of the 12 girls who he can see as his wife. This song is a medley of each of the preceding 12 tracks where, according to the video, each of the avatars come by and confuse Harman even more. A nice upbeat song, it will be a treat to watch during the film.
Review by: Rhea
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