The Subhash Ghai directed ‘Hero’ (1983) had a very popular soundtrack composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. “Lambi Judai” and “Tu Mera Hero” are songs that even the current generation is familiar with. The cult theme music (played on a flute in the original film) was recreated recently for ‘Heropanti’. Nikhil Advani is one director whose films, irrespective of their box office fate, have carried good music. While his first film ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ (2003) had a chartbusting soundtrack, his last film ‘D-Day’ (2013) too boasted of a good soundtrack which would have done better if promoted well. With Salman Khan and Subhash Ghai coming together as co-producers, the expectations from the music of ‘Hero’ are good.
A highly endearing composition (Amaal Mallik) is marred by Salman Khan’s heavily auto-tuned voice. Salman Khan coming behind the mic to sing “Main Hoon Hero Tera” for Sooraj Pancholi makes for great publicity but the softwares fail to hide the inability of the superstar to do justice to a track which required the services of a skilled vocalist. Thankfully, there is another version sung by Armaan Malik. Armaan sings the song passionately and his voice sounds a lot more mature as compared to the way it sounded in some of his last songs (“Auliya” from ‘Ungli’ and “Naina” from ‘Khoobsurat’). Amaal puts together a very good composition and embellishes it some interesting riffs that are heard many times. Kumaar’s lyrics are poetic and easy on the ears.
“Yadaan Teriyaan” is the equivalent of “Lambi Judaai” from the original. While it would be unfair to compare this Jassi Katyal’s number to the classic track sung by the late Reshma, one cannot help but draw parallels between the two songs as the mood is similar. Even though one has heard many sad songs with a bit of Punjabi lyrics in the past, “Yadaan Teriyaan” sounds completely fresh to the ears as the tune is unmistakably original. The tune has a strong Indian flavour to it and the arrangements are a good mix of Indian and rock sounds. While Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has a solo version to his credit, an equally enjoyable duet version is heard in the voices of Shipra Goyal and Dev Negi.
Meet Bros Anjjan are roped in to compose “Dance Ke Legend”, the only dance track in the soundtrack. The track which gives the two debutantes an opportunity to showcase their dancing skills, sounds like a Sajid-Wajid composition due to its 90’s sound. The tune sounds quite familiar but to give the credit where it’s due, the track does make you tap your foot. The arrangements do not offer anything new but are engaging. Meet Bros and Bhoomi Trivedi’s energetic rendition works for the track. Though a formulaic song, “Dance Ke Legend” turns out to be an entertaining affair.
A small chant like verse sung by Arpita Chakroborthy and Tanishkaa gives a good start to the very melodious “Khoya Khoya”. The song has a ‘pahari’ feel to it and Mohit Chauhan seems to be the perfect choice for this track as he has been associated with several songs in the past which had a sound that one associates with mountains. Priya Panchal’s icy voice is apt for the song. The track is quite filmy and one does not mind that as Sachin-Jigar’s tune, coupled with the sound of Indian instruments, sounds gorgeous. The ‘antara’ of the song is faintly similar to the Sachin-Jigar composed “Khamma Ghani” (‘Happy Ending’).
The sound of the lively accordion deceives one into believing that “O Khuda” is a peppy number. The track soon changes colours and turns out to be one which has a melancholic flavour to it. Amaal Mallik composes an evocative tune and is impressive as a singer as well. Palak Muchhal gives a good account of her as always. The theme music of the film plays sporadically throughout the song and helps in heightening the emotions. Kumaar’s lyrics are simple and heartfelt.
As one had expected, the song “Jab We Met” has a reference to the 2007 hit starring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan. The hook line sounds bears an uncanny resemblance to “Uden Jab Jab” (‘Naya Daur’). Niranjan Iyengar writes some playful lyrics that gel with the mood of the song. The track has a very urban sound to it with some bits of Punjabi music thrown in. This is not a song that will be remembered for long but makes for a decent listen nevertheless.
A film starring newcomers always benefits from hit music. Nikhil Advani, Salman Khan and Subhash Ghai ensure that Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty get a very good soundtrack for their first film. They play safe by sticking to a typical Bollywood sound but include carefully picked tunes from a bevy of composers that will play a crucial role in gathering some steam for ‘Hero’ before it hits theatres.