Rajkumar Hirani’s films have music that complements the theme of the film very well but as a standalone album does not really have enough material to excite a music connoisseur. The music of each of his films got very popular after the release and the subsequent success that the films had at the box office. The appropriate use of the songs in the context of the various situations in the film helped the viewers establish a connection with the music. The question is – whether PK has music that will help the film ensure better visibility for itself or as is the case with all of Hirani’s films, piggyback on the commercial success of the film?
The album opens with guest composers Ajay Atul’s “Tharki Chokro”. Ajay Atul are known for music that has a very Indian sound to it. Most of the songs they have done, both in Hindi and Marathi films, are characterized by elaborate orchestration consisting of Indian instruments. They get to do something similar with their only song in the album. However, this time it’s Rajasthani folk and not Marathi folk music that they are dealing with. The song captures the essence of Rajasthani folk music effectively with instruments like dhol, dholak, khartaal, shehnai and manjeera. Swaroop Khan is a folk singer from Rajasthan and had participated in a music reality show. His rustic vocals work brilliantly for the song and he sings with the appropriate accent and intonations. Although Ajay Atul’s tune is good, it reminds one of the many folk songs one has heard from the state. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics are fun and at the same time, depicts the bond shred by the two characters played by Aamir Khan and Sanjay Dutt respectively.
The title of the second track in the album, “Nanga Punga Dost”, reminds one of Aamir Khan’s look in the first poster of the film. The song, where Jagat Janini (Anushka Sharma) talks about her impression of PK (Aamir Khan), almost feels like a nursery rhyme. Swanand writes some rib-tickling lines like ‘Ek Boond Bhi Usne Naa Pee, Par PK Woh Kehlaya Hai’, giving the listeners a brief idea of the character that Aamir plays in the film. The song has a very good rhythm accompanied with the sound of guitars, violin and percussions. Having said that, it’s a situational number that one would probably enjoy while watching the film.
‘Bin Poochhe Mera Naam Aur Pata, Rasmon Ko Rakhke Pare,
Chaar Kadam, Bas Chaar Kadam, Chal Do Na Saath Mere’
Swanand Kirkire’s lines, characterized by romantic imagery, set the tone for “Chaar Kadam” that aims to replicate the sound and innocent charm of the love songs from the ’50s. The song is modelled on western classical music and brings back memories of the soundtracks of the Hollywood movies from the ’50s and ’60s. The song is pleasant but sounds over familiar. In fact, on careful listening, one finds similarities with ‘Pal Pal Har Pal’ (Lage Raho Munnabhai), another Shantanu Moitra composed number.
“Love Is A Waste Of Time”, with its predictable tune and western classical influences, comes across as an extended version of ‘Chaar Kadam’. However, while ‘Chaar Kadam’ is a love song, this one is a fun number. While Shreya had Shaan for company in the former, she has Sonu Nigam joining her behind the mike here. In this song, the protagonist describes as to how love is a waste of time but still, he would like to experience love and waste his time! The concept of the song brings a smile to one’s face and kudos to Amitabh Verma for writing some really sweet and extremely likeable lyrics that does complete justice to the situation here. As Aamir speaks Bhojpuri in the film, the song has a couple of Bhojpuri lines thrown in for authenticity. Shantanu Moitra’s music is functional and with this song, he completes his triumvirate of songs that sound similar. ‘Nanga Punga Dost’, ‘Chaar Kadam’ and ‘Love Is A Waste Of Time’ seem to be distant cousins!
“Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu” sounds like an alternate version of ‘Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe’ (3 Idiots) and one wonders whether the makers decided to use this leftover tune in this film. The song, in all probability, will be heard in an important juncture in the film and the highly dramatic arrangements might work well for a specific sequence in the film. Shantanu Moitra, with this superficial tune, tries hard to evoke emotions in the listener but fails. Sonu Nigam lends some substance to this song with his expressive singing, though.
“PK Dance Theme” is a neatly done instrumental piece that captures the joyful spirit of PK. The tune has a very positive feel to it and has the accordion and the violin used to create a lively music piece.
“Dil Darbadar” proves that Ankit Tiwari needs to reinvent himself as a composer. The song has a theme, similar to ‘Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu’, in the sense that PK talks about his grievances against God. However, that’s the only similarity as Ankit’s style of composing is vastly different from that of Shantanu’s. The music is outrageously dated and boring. After display his wizardry as a lyricist with his songs from ‘Ek Villain’, Manoj Muntashir, writes some poignant lines here. Alas! His poetry gets wasted in a lifeless tune. Ankit’s auto-tuned voice adds to the listener’s woes. The outdated tune, the inappropriate techno arrangements (barring the wonderful use of oud) – nothing works here. Why is almost every new composer trying to merge a dated tune with techno arrangements?
One is sure that the music of PK will, effortlessly, gel with the content of the film. That has been the case with all of Hirani’s films. Shantanu Moitra’s songs carry a familiar sound – the kind that one heard in the last two Rajkumar Hirani’s films. The makers tried to bring some variety to the album by roping in Ajay Atul and Ankit Tiwari for a song each. While Ajay Atul did well by creating a reasonably catchy song, Ankit failed miserably with ‘Dil Darbadar’. The popularity of the album depends completely on the success of the film. One understands that Rajkumar Hirani asks his composers to create music that would suit the film, but wouldn’t it be nice if he adds that extra zing to the music, which would give the listeners their money’s worth when they buy the album?