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Chords & Notes

The high point of ‘Aaja nachle’ is the earthiness of its music – the shehnai and the percussion work magic for the song.

Aaja NachleYRF Music, CD (price not mentioned)With a title like that, honestly, I was expecting an overdose of bhangra and bhangra-pop, which is thankfully absent from the album. No item numbers either. Aaja Nachle marks Madhuri Dixit’s return to the stage, complete with her ghungroos. So one does expect music directors Salim-Sulaiman to create nothing short of a complete dance-track, not even a soundtrack!

In that sense only three of the numbers in the album live up to that mark. “Aaja nachle”, the catchy opening number and the title track, is a pure invitation to dance. Sunidhi Chauhan does a good job of providing a rousing invitation. The high point is the earthiness of its music – the shehnai and the percussion work magic for the song. The lyrics, though, are not fantastic.

It’s a film centred on dance, Madhuri is the crux, and the ghungroo every now and then makes its presence felt.

“Show me your jalwa” is a knockout number with Richa Sharma, Kailash Kher and Salim Merchant bringing their individual talents to the table. The song starts off at a good pace and Kailash Kher adds a new dimension with his soaring voice. Jaideep Sahni seems to have had a good time playing with the lyrics that are a queer mix of basic rhyme and rhythm, albeit with a vast vocabulary. The folksy twist that Salim-Sulaiman have given, along with the background and supporting vocals, improve the song.

The strength in both these songs lies in the fact that they are pro-active, something that Salim-Sulaiman proved they could do when they swept the nation with Chak De! India. These are three are in the same league, provoking participation, asking one to “join in” and be swept in the flow of things.

A celebration of youth, its moods, and its colours manifests itself in “Soniye mil ja meley mein”. A lusty song about youth and love, it has Madhuri Dixit doing a surprisingly good job of pitching in with the singing.

Lyrics by Piyush Mishra are catchy and bring in a mix of images of a colourful mela, complemented by a rustic beat and language that Sukhwinder Singh is comfortable with. One number in the track that isn’t peppy, but is the best of the album is “O re piya”. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s soulful rendition transports you to a rhythmic world of Sufiana and qawwali genres of music, but obviously with a more modern weave (presumably to retain the attention of the average listener).

It’s a real long track — over six minutes — but worth the time. It’s really Rahat’s unique voice (that burst forth in “Jiya dhadak dhadak jaaye” from Kalyug) that takes you on a fantastic flight of music. And yes, comparisons are inevitable, even in the way his voice cracks when he raises it to a crescendo with the notations. He does sound like his phenomenal uncle and guru Nusrat Fateh Ali. It’s also the variations between the antara and mukhda that add to the beauty of the song.

“Ishq hua” is a slow, romantic number; quite average. In the same league and by the same artists Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal is “Is pal” – melodious and sweet (a Yash-Raj staple), but slows down the otherwise robust pace of the album.

In composing both these tracks somehow Salim-Sulaiman don’t seem to be convinced it needed to be there, and so am I. I’m also left feeling indifferent to “Koi patthar se na mare”. “Dance with me” is a surprise addition – an unnecessary English track reminiscent of soundtracks from the 80s — a “move it, shake it, show me how to do it” kind of number that spoils the mazaa the more earthy offerings bring.

BHUMIKA K.

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