Every time Ashutosh Gowariker and A. R. Rahman come together, one gets a great soundtrack. ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, all these films had some terrific music to boast of. The music of Gowariker’s last two films was scored by Sohail Sen and the young composer lived up to the faith put in him by the director as he delivered some highly respectable music for ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ and ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’. Now, with Rahman and Gowarikar joining hands for ‘Mohenjo Daro’ and with Javed Akhtar, who wrote the songs for each of the three films they collaborated on, joining them, one looks forward to a soundtrack that would do justice to the bygone era which the film is set in.
“Mohenjo Mohenjo” adheres to the sound that one associates with tribal folk songs in Hindi films. While the opening lines of the track might remind you of some songs in a similar genre, as you go deeper you realize that A. R. Rahman has managed to incorporate a highly engaging tune in an otherwise familiar template. Arijit Singh and Sanah Moidutty, with some support from A. R. Rahman, Bela Shende and the chorus, lead the song with their powering voices. The song succeeds in familiarising you with the setup and the era which the film is based in.
“Sindhu Ma” sets the tone for “Tu Hai” and serves as a wonderful prelude for the latter which also appears in the album as a standalone track. “Tu Hai” is a breezy romantic number that has Rahman’s stamp all over it. Even though Rahman is in good form as a composer, he does not seem to be the brightest choice for the male vocalist. He has been guilty of doing severe injustice to Hindi (a language he is not comfortable with) lyrics in the past and he does that here too. What makes matter worse is that his voice does not really suit the song. On the other hand, Sanah Moidutty, who has impressed listeners with her videos on YouTube in the recent past, does a fabulous job and brings the emotions out of every word written by Javed Akhtar.
“The Shimmer Of Sindhu”, the instrumental version of the song, is led by a fantastic guitar piece by Keba Jeramiah.
“Sarsariya”, sung by Shashwat Singh and Shashaa Tirupati, has a partly sensual, partly innocent feel similar to that of “San Sanana” (‘Asoka’). Unlike “Tu Hai”, which had a fairly contemporary sound to it, “Sarsariya” is adorned with arrangements consisting of Indian instruments that helps one relate the song to the era the film is set in. Backed by Shashaa Tirupati’s honeyed voice and Shashwat Singh’s equally effective rendition, the song makes an impression in the very first listening. The composition gets etched in your mind in no time, making you go for the replay button several times in a row. Apart from the inherently beautiful tune of “Sarsariya”, “Lakh Lakh Tora” stands out because of Tapas Roy’s spellbinding work on the mandolin.
The haunting and highly evocative sound of “Whispers Of The Mind” and “Whispers Of The Heart” gets some effective support from Arjun Chandy’s sonorous voice. While “Whispers Of The Mind” rests heavily on Arjun Chandy’s voice to create a haunting impact, the latter is backed by choral vocals and some percussion based arrangements. Both tracks have an amount of intrigue in them and it is hard to not take attention of the highly enkindling sounds they carry.
‘Mohenjo Daro’ is another winner of an album by the A. R. Rahman – Javed Akhtar – Ashutosh Gowariker combination. It is not an easy album to like and most of the songs will take their own sweet time to grow on you. The earlier three soundtracks that Rahman put together for Ashutosh Gowariker were path-breaking in their own right and grew on the listeners in a very less time. This soundtrack is faithful to the theme of the film and has some commendable songs/music pieces that would grow on listeners with patient hearing.