A R Rahman made his debut, as a composer, with the Tamil film ‘Roja’. The music of the film was also released in Hindi and the songs became hugely popular throughout the country. One does not remember the last soundtrack, dubbed in Hindi, which had a pan-India appeal and made an impact across the length and breadth of the country. Lingaa has been directed by veteran Tamil film director K S Ravikumar, who made his Hindi film debut with ‘Policegiri’ (2013). Apart from Rahman’s presence, the fact that Gulzar has written the lyrics makes one slightly optimistic about the prospects of this album.
The album opens with “Ranga Ranga”, Rajnikanth’s introduction song in the film. The song, with its flamboyant sound, aims to capture the larger-than-life persona of the superstar. The song has elements of Middle Eastern music in it and offers some thumbing beats. Alas, Rahman’s composition is pretty ordinary and suffers from horribly dated arrangements. One could well imagine this song to have been part of a film from the 80s. S.P Balasubrahmanyam sings very well but one feels a younger voice would have suited the song better. Jaspreet Jasz performs the bizarre rap portions. The chorus portions (3:02 – 3:14) are similar to the chorus portions in ‘Main Albeli’ (Zubeidaa), another Rahman composed track. The song may look good on screen with Rajnikanth’s overpowering personality but it offers nothing as an audio track.
Though reminding one of many songs composed by A R Rahman, “Chalke Re” is a pleasant, melodious number that has a distinct Carnatic music flavour to it. Percussion instruments have been played very well by Arun Solanki and Aditya Paudwal. Aditi Paul, who was very impressive with her rendition of ‘Ang Laga De’ (Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ram-Leela’), sings the song extremely well. It’s a delight to see Srinivas singing a Hindi song after a while. The singer has not sung much in Hindi in the past decade and that reflects in his imperfect diction. Gulzar writes some mellifluous lines like ‘Chaand Pe Kaan Lagake Sunle, Akhiyon Se Mere Sapne Chun Le.’
“India Re” is a motivational song which urges the countrymen to assemble all their strength and come together for the welfare of the country. Javed Ali mouths the spirited lines written by Gulzar enthusiastically. Both these factors, apart from lending a patriotic feel to the song, salvage the song to some extent as Rahman’s tune does not make the desired impact. The arrangements are neat but it’s the tune that plays spoilsport.
The bizarrely titled “Mona Gasolina” tries to be a fun, quirky number but fails miserably. While Mano hams with his singing, Neeti Mohan sings in a gimmicky voice that sounds terrible. With some inane sounds, suggestive lyrics (‘Main Toh Baans Ki Baansuri Hoon, Honth Lage Toh Main Bolti Hun’) and the leading vocalists screaming at the top of their voices, ‘Mona Gasolina’ is a nightmare.
“Din Dooba Hai” is a melancholic song sung by Haricharan (not to be confused with Hariharan). The song has been arranged very well with instruments like dafli, flute, sarangi, ghatam and violins put to good use. The tune is strictly average. Being a situational song, ‘Din Dooba Hai’ should fit in with a specific sequence in the film.
Apart from ‘Chalke Re’, the album does not have any song that warrants a repeat listen. Some of the other tracks display a spark of brilliance in terms of lyrics, arrangements and vocals but as a unified whole, they fail. ‘Lingaa’ fails to break the jinx associated with dubbed soundtracks and turns out be yet another disappointment in the same space.