Surprise!

The good news is that there’s actually more to Dabangg’s soundtrack by Sajid-Wajid than Munni Badnaam.

Written by Pooja Pillai | Published:August 20, 2010 1:34 am

Sajid-Wajid – Dabangg
T-Series
Rs 175

A R Rahman – Robot
Venus Records
Rs 160

The good news is that there’s actually more to Dabangg’s soundtrack by Sajid-Wajid than Munni Badnaam. The bad news is that the worst of Dabangg’s soundtrack is better than the best of Robot’s.

Munni Badnaam has catchy music and tongue-in-cheek lyrics (both by Lalit Pandit) and it unabashedly plays to the gallery. While it certainly can’t rival Kajraare from Bunty aur Babli and Beedi from Omkara in terms of musical sophistication,it’s one of the best item numbers in a long time. With its crazy lyrics (le jhandu baam hui/ darling tere liye),it’s a track that needs plenty of attitude to sing and both the debut vocalists,Mamta Sharma and Aishwarya,deliver on that. Surprisingly enough,there’s more to enjoy in this album. Hud Hud Dabangg,the title track,is a folksy song with an addictive chorus,while the energetic Humka Peeni Hai,is a great drinking song faithful to its Hindi heartland setting. Tere Mast Mast Do Nain,performed by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan—both as a solo and as a duet with Shreya Ghoshal—is strongly reminiscent of the singer’s Aaj Din Chadheya in Love Aaj Kal. But its simple melody and both singers’ strong vocals remain enjoyable. Chori Kiya Re Jiya is the odd one out on this album—while all other songs maintain a consistent rustic feel,this particular track,with its rather urban guitar base,betrays that sincerity.

If Dabangg’s soundtrack comes as a pleasant surprise,Robot’s music,by AR Rahman,comes as a rather unpleasant shock. The composer,so far considered the wunderkind of Indian film music,seems to be losing his famed magic touch—the touch that lent some respectability even to movies like Dilli-6 and Raavan. It confirms our worst fear that Blue’s awful Chiggy Wiggy was not a one-off stumble.

The album begins with disco-inspired Naina Miley,which also forays into hip-hop territory. We imagine that the heavy use of distortion is an effort to stay on track with the science-fiction theme of the movie. Whatever other qualities the music may have,subtlety is not one of them. The fact that this is music for a science-fiction music is rubbed in at every opportunity,with every reverb and distortion. It’s also there in the rampant use of nonsensical English lyrics (I am a super girl/ teri pyari rapper girl) and gratuitous usage of any words even remotely associated with science —neutrons,protons,Isaac Asimov,Isaac Newton,Albert Einstein,battery,silicon. The tragedy is that none of this can save the music—at its best,it’s merely pretentious,such as in the decidedly weird Arima Arima. At it’s worst,it’s terribly annoying,like in Kilimanjaro which,by the way,also references Mohenjo Daro. Robot’s music has failed it miserably. Let’s hope Rajnikanth can reverse the damage.

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