Multiple listens don’t change the fact that Challa feels more a Rabbi Shergill song than an A R Rahman song. But that apart the song does have a breezy allure to it, lent by the guitar-led arrangement. The elaborate orchestration in Saans brings with it a Yuvvraaj-meets-Veer Zara feel. Which is not a very good thing, if you must know. Only digression happens in the second interlude, with a surprise bagpipe segment. Mohit Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal do their part well, though I felt that Mohit might not have been the best choice for this song. A slower and shorter reprise version has Shreya going solo, but the effect is pretty much the same. Best thing about Ishq Shava is the use of strings. And the fact that Shilpa Rao has debuted for ARR. She is joined here by Raghav Mathur (that guy who had some time back done a remix of Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar) who does an equally commendable rendition. As a complete song it fails to impress much though.
The title song starts off bearing the promise to be the best of the soundtrack, what with that lovely interplay of piano and strings. But just as things get to a high, supported by Javed Ali’s singing, a dated dholak beat template appears in the background and kills it off. And it happens again, even as Shaktisree Gopalan mesmerizes with her rendition in the latter half of the song! Ishq Dance, the instrumental track, unlike ARR instrumentals in general, is of a functional nature mostly with its dominance of percussion. Should make for a better viewing than hearing. What really made the soundtrack for me, are the remaining three songs. Jiya Re sees some sparkling arrangement from the maestro, once again led by strings – guitars and mandolins in the first half, and some exceptional violin in the latter. Neeti Mohan is fabulous, pulling off a nuanced delivery of the attitude-loaded song. I get a feeling this is an intro for Anushka Sharma (mind goes back to YRF’s Ladies vs Ricky Behl). Jab Tak Hai Jaan – The Poem is all about the arrangement, I would have gladly taken this in the instrumental form. As it happens though, we have Shahrukh Khan reciting the poem in the foreground, which would have been an absolute win had the lines been better. The music makes up for all that anyway. And that brings us to Heer. Punjabi lyrics, and a breezy melody to go with it. Who better to sing it than Harshdeep Kaur? If you have someone else in mind, wait till you hear her sincere rendition. And the orchestration is of a matchingly soft, heart-warming variety. If I were to give just one reason to buy the soundtrack, this song would be it.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Has its ARR-special moments, but for a film touted as Yash Chopra’s 50th year special and his first venture with A R Rahman (along with Gulzar, that too!), the soundtrack is underwhelming. Thankfully there is more lined up from the maestro this year.
Music Aloud Rating: 7/10
Top Recos: Heer, Jiya Re, Jab Tak Hai Jaan – The Poem