Ok Jaanu album: Can’t compare to the original

January 05, 2017 11:59 pm | Updated January 06, 2017 09:32 am IST

After three movies featuring music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and lyrics by Gulzar, Shaad Ali has come full circle, enlisting A.R. Rahman and Gulzar for his upcoming film, OK Jaanu .

This time, too, it’s for the remake of a Mani Ratnam movie: the 2015 hit O Kaadhal Kanmani (OKK), which featured the musical combination of Rahman-Gulzar. For most part, though, Ali has succumbed to the current multi-composer/remix trend in Bollywood.

The non-Rahman-Gulzar part of OK Jaanu ’s soundtrack comes in the form of Badshah (Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia) and Tanishk Bagchi’s recreation of Rahman’s ‘ Humma Humma ’. I belong to the small minority that enjoyed the remix. Thankfully, the composers don’t add the cacophony that is the norm for remixes these days. They just retain samples of the original shehnai portions and let the melody take centre-stage. Singers Jubin Nautiyal and Shashaa Tirupati deliver competent results.

Since the traditional sufi piece ‘ Maula Wa Sallim ’ was non-Tamil to begin with, Rahman reuses the song as is in OK Jaanu , delivered in his son A.R. Ameen’s voice. ‘ Mental Manadhil ’ from OKK becomes the title track in Hindi, with Srinidhi Venkatesh playing chorus; Rahman does away with the female version. Like it did in Tamil, the track works for its trippy quality, despite average lyrics and singing. ‘ Kaara Fankaara ’, too, retains the craziness from its original, except the lyrics including the rap shift from Tamil to Hindi and English. Hard Kaur joins Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam on the rap, while Shashaa, Paroma Dasgupta and Ashima Mahajan lend their voice to the melody. It is probably owing to the common occurrence of raag Darbari in Hindustani music as well that ‘ Saajan Aayo Re ’ (which has shades of the raag) retains its original melody and arrangement. And here too, it works as beautifully, highlighted by that frenzied harp-like rhythm and the use of percussion. Jonita Gandhi is good with her rendition (though not as good as Tirupati) with the able support of Nakash Aziz. Tirupati gets the pick of this soundtrack. ‘ Malargal Kettaen ’ from the Tamil version was composed in the Carnatic style, so it was expected that Rahman would go for a different song here. ‘ Sunn Bhavra ’ is composed the Hindustani way, but conforms to ‘ Malargal ’ otherwise; its arrangement is minimal, the singing exquisite and even the raag sounds similar. Arijit Singh’s ‘ Enna Sona ’ is a passable melody that could have fit right into a Mahesh Bhatt film, but is disappointing when you consider that it is a Rahman-Gulzar product. Naveen Kumar’s flute does improve proceedings, but the song is still underwhelming overall. Finally, ‘ Jee Lein ’ follows the arrangement of ‘ Theera Ulaa ’ for most part. The original Carnatic vocals are replaced with a melancholic filmy melody sung by Neeti Mohan.

OK Jaanu is a well-made soundtrack, but is unable to recreate the magic of the original except on a couple of occasions.


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