My Name Is Khan – Music Review

My name is khanSajda provides a marvellous opening to the proceedings of My Name Is Khan, Richa Sharma and Rahat Fateh Ali at their classical best in rendering this song that falls in the league of SEL‘s Mitwa et al. Of late I generally get turned off when those telltale dholak/tabla beats come up in SEL songs but in this case the instruments sound so beautifully part of the song!I am totally caught on to that “Ab jaan loot jaaye.. Ye Jahaan loot jaaye” hook. Rahat seems to have turned over a new leaf (rather turned over to his older leaf!!) in 2010, with twowonderful songs totally befitting his style in the first week itself. Richa Sharma sounds solike Rekha Bharadwaj in terms of voice and rendition. Rather unfortunate that she hasn’t got her due as yet in Bollywood. And I am glad they didn’t go for a remix version of this one. Would have totally spoilt the beauty. What follows is an even better song called Noor-e-Khuda. While we were doing our 2009 musical roundup me and Anirudh had noticed that songs featuring acoustic guitars have a general tendency to be pleasant experiences. This song further cements our hypothesis, though it moves on to more than just acoustic guitars as it progresses, the occasional drone of the sarangi in the background being one of the highlight factors adding to the longing feeling conveyed by the song.  Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal and Adnan Sami impart a sort of fusion element to the vocals, the former two going about in a classical-tinged manner while Adnan follows his usual Westernized style. Good return for Adnan after a very quiet 2009, barring that forgettable composing work for Chance Pe Dance.

The dholak-tabla template returns with Tere Naina, the tune also quite suggestive of the SEL handiwork. The song appeals nevertheless, mainly due to Shafqat Amanat Ali‘s prayer-like rendition. Ustad Rashid Khan debuts for SEL with the sufi Allah Hi Rahem. Compared to the songs so far though this one does not impress much, sounding pretty bland. If you are a fan of Rashid Khan’s singing you may want to listen to this, otherwise there is nothing much to the song. The guitar template for Rang De, sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Suraj Jagan, sounds straight off the Rock On rack, only a tad slower. But the trio add a twist in the tale with a sarangi springing up in the middle and another percussion instrument that sounded South Indian, to accompany Shankar’s sargam at the end. In spite of all this, I didn’t find this song very impressive, either because of that overpowering sense of deja vu in the arrangement or that in Shankar’s singing. Finally there is an instrumental theme, SEL building up to a grand orchestral mood starting with a piano loop. Having said that, the track sounds sort of forced, not something that will have you spellbound or anything. In my list it would rate below SEL’s previous themes for DCH and TZP.

Like I had said in my annual roundup of 2009, I was not quite looking forward to this SEL album, being a Karan Johar movie and all that. But SEL have really sprung a surprise with three wonderful compositions, and three other average songs, not quite the effect they might have wanted to produce after such a wonderful start.  Nevertheless, I would give My Name Is Khan a rating of 7.5/10, for those three songs.
Recommended tracks: (Quite obviously!) Noor-e-Khuda, Sajda, Tere Naina

rohit says:

Hi, For once we agree!! yey!

At best an average album this!

Peace and equanimity