Critic's Rating: 3/5
Wednesday 05 March 2008
Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Baus, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy
Most successful composer of 2007, Pritam, returns to big arena with Race. After super successful soundtracks in films like Life In A...Metro, Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Jab We Met behind him, anything with a tag of Pritam comes with high expectations. This is why when something as pedestrian as a My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves or a Speed arrives, a listener is bound to be disappointed.
However, when entities like TIPS, Abbas Mustan, Sameer and a huge star cast of Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor and Sameera Reddy come together, the project is bound to be big! Expectations from the soundtrack here are also reasonably big, never mind the action genre of Race which somehow restrict the boundaries for a popular score. But then Dhoom is a case study to look back at! 'Can Pritam do it again', is the question? Yes, he does it. And he has a couple of potential chartbusters up his sleeves which would only aid in creating an exhilarating 'race'!
The music album comes in a twin CD pack with the first one comprising of original numbers by Pritam and the second having remix versions of each of the songs by DJ Suketu.
It's the sound of electronic guitar, which begins the Race - pun intended! Soon kick starts the signature tune of any bona fide thriller, a la Mission Impossible or many a James Bond flick, and you know that it's going to be one adrenalin ride from this point on. Though the song has a title Race Saanson Ki, the punch comes with Allah Duhai Hai, which brings the necessary rhythm into the proceedings. Sunidhi Chauhan gets the club feel on with her spunky singing while Neeraj compliments her just fine.
A theme number, which is bound to make its presence felt in a big way in the background score of the film, Race Saanson Ki is also, heard in one more version - Race Is On My Mind - which has lines alternatively in Hindi and English. Further to this, there are 'remix versions' of both Race Saanson Ki and Race Is On My Mind and the final outcome is that by the time the album is over, you are hooked on to the sound of Race Saanson Ki. Ok, so you may not end up singing this number on the streets but when it's edgy music video (featuring the entire cast) is on the air or the song is playing in the clubs or the discotheques, it would be hard to resist yourself from jumping on to the dance floor!
After exhausting all the energy in dancing to the beats of Race Saanson Ki, it is time to relax on the couch and get into some sweet talk with your love while listening to Pehli Nazar Mein. A soft rock number which is set in a mode similar to the genre of songs which became a rage in Life In A? Metro, Pehli Nazar Mein is special since it brings Pakistan sensation Atif Aslam (Tere Bin - Bas Ek Pal) with Pritam.
The song is a complete departure from the arrangements of the title song since this time around there are minimum instruments in the background with pure melody coming into the forefront. The song has a Western styling but its base lies in melody from the sub-continent which makes this immensely romantic number a must hear.
A sure shot winner, it also comes in a Lounge Mix and Club Mix version. Does this take away from the beauty of the original version? Or do these two versions add on to the impact created by Atif in the first listening itself? It is definitely the latter as one hearing of these versions and as a listener, you are dead sure that in the next visit to an up-market lounge, pub or a club, you would certainly find the song being played hard. Atif and Pritam can assure themselves of a sure shot concert hit here!
An instrumental Race Theme, which comes in the end, is the one which should make it to the title credits. Reason being that this slow moving two minute version has an intrinsic intriguing/haunting quality to it, which compliments the genre of films that Abbas Mustan have been known for years.
The rhythm of Salaame [Dhoom] is back in action with Dekho Nashe Mein. After hearing a good (Race Saanson Ki) and a superb (Pehli Nazar Mein) number in quick succession, Dekho Nashe Mein turns out to be a just-about-decent offering from Pritam. The composer sets the song in a mood similar to that of It's The Time To Disco [Kal Ho Na Ho] and Where's The Party Tonight [Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna] while creating a far lesser impact.
Average lyrics by Sameer do not help the cause either and the song risks being disappeared as an also-ran until and unless the usual suspects - choreography and picturisation - come to the rescue! In fact, the song's antara turns out to be a better hear than the mukhda since the former takes it's melody from one of the most underrated/neglected songs of Pritam - 'Ek Pal Mein' [Hat Trick]! The song also appears in a Latin Fiesta and a 'remix version' but even repeated listening to the song doesn't stop you from dropping everything and going back to Pehli Nazar Mein - the best of the enterprise so far!
Taz, who had made a splash with his track Thoda Daaru Vich Pyaar Mila De in Tum Bin years back, returns to sing Mujh Pe To Jadoo. The song is more fun than romantic as it fuses the beach celebration flavor with romance and intersperses rap elements, courtesy Apache Indian, who sings for a Bollywood flick after a hiatus. Sunidhi Chauhan is the only female voice in this fast moving track, which is yet another average sounding track after Dekho Nashe Mein. Ok, so it is inevitable not to find your feet tapping to the 'bhangra' beats here, especially in the 'remix version', but in entirety the song doesn't have a retention value, something which one expects from Pritam after some superb work he did in 2007.
An instant hit though comes in the form of Zara Zara Touch Me which hooks you in the very first hearing. Sound of seduction combined with a naughty call for love makers Zara Zara Touch Me a must-play in lounges. Sung by newcomer Monali, the song has a fresh appeal to it and promises to steam up the proceedings once it is on the screen. Said to be picturised on Katrina with Saif in tow, Zara Zara moves slowly and has a certain 'anticipation' flavor to it, which brings a different feel to the proceedings.
With an intrinsic Western feel to it, with a sound similar to the numbers played on MTV or Channel V in late night slots, Zara Zara comes in an original, 'Asian RnB Mix' and a 'remix version'. Never mind the rendition of words like 'dum da dum dum' interspersed into the song, this one is bound to showcase Katrina in a different light and only increase her fan base.
Race has two very good songs (Pehli Nazar Mein, Zara Zara), a good number (Race Sanson Ki) and two average tracks (Dekho Nashe Mein, Mujh Pe To Jadoo) which makes it an overall entertaining album. A remix CD only works towards the retention value of the album as it adds on to the range of presenting tracks that can be played in clubs and lounges as well. Will it be remembered the same way as a Life In? A Metro or a Jab We Met? Not really as it doesn't have a timeless feel to it, but then for a racy outing like Race, it is definitely worth a play (on a high volume of course) when in mood to hang out and let your hair down!
Sufiyum Sujatayum has a few good moments but gives the feeling that with so much potential, this one could have been a better watch
Bajpayee essays a near-silent role, for Bhonsle is a man of few words. The subject of Bhonsle has been attempted in Hindi cinema, but no one has dared directly mention ethnic identities