There was a time when Rajshri Productions was synonymous with good music. Things have changed now what with the music of their last few releases (‘Isi Life Mein’, ‘Love U…Mr. Kalakaar’, ‘Jaana Pehchaana’, ‘Samrat & Co.’) turning out to be lackluster. However, the music of the films directed by Sooraj Barjatya has never really disappointed. Yes, the soundtracks of his last two films (‘Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’, ‘Vivah’) did not have the everlasting quality as boasted by the music of his first three films but one still has good expectations from the music of ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ which has the lead actor Salman Khan’s favourite composer Himesh Reshammiya at the helm of affairs. What makes ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ a little more special is that Himesh collaborates with lyricist Irshad Kamil almost after a decade when they had joined hands for ‘Ahista Ahista’, which is arguably touted as one of the best works by the actor-singer-composer.
“Prem Leela” kicks off the proceedings, which is also the first song to be aired on television. As the song talks about the love between Lord Ram and Seeta and the video gives us an impression of a ‘Ramleela’ being staged, the title ‘Prem Leela’ seems apt for the song. The track has a devotional touch to it while being fun at the same time. The instruments used bring to the fore the festival-like feel of the song. With the kind of a setting the song has, Himesh could have opted for a more layered composition. However, he opts for a simple tune and one does not complain as it is catchy and easily likeable.
For those missing opulence and a ‘big’ sound in “Prem Leela”, “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” provides you with all of that. Yes, the title track is high on orchestral arrangements but is accompanied by a beautiful tune. Palak Mucchal’s saccharine voice works very well for Himesh’s dulcet composition. Irshad Kamil writes some beautiful lines in chaste Hindi which are easily understandable. A pure Indian sound, grand orchestration, enthusiastic choral vocals – the track sticks to the basics of Hindi cinema sound and emerges a winner.
“Jalte Diye” starts off on a wonderful note as Harshdeep Kaur renders some mellow lines in her mellisonant voice. At sharp 40 seconds, the track changes colour as Anweshaa comes into the picture and gives the track a filmy twist. Anweshaa who had sung “Ishq Mein Ruswaa” (‘Dangerous Ishq’) for Himesh in the past, goes into a similar mode. Vineet, who sounds dangerously close to Sonu Nigam here, gives her good company. The track is high on drama and is backed up by a highly engaging tune.
Shaan had sung most of the songs in Rajshri Productions’ ‘Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi’. Late composer Ravindra Jain had successfully brought out the singer’s semi-classical side to render his compositions. Shaan did very well in bringing a side to him which one get glimpses of (“Chaand Sifaarish” – ‘Fanaa’, “Jab Se Tere Naina” – ‘Saawariya’) in the past. After listening to “Aaj Unse Milna Hai”, one feels as if this track was part of ‘Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi’. The track (a very pleasant number) sounds like one of the many songs Ravindra Jain had composed for ‘Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi’. Irshad Kamil does some amazing wordplay and comes up with lines that are heartfelt and fun at the same time. The track has two more versions – “Aaj Unse Kehna Hai” and “Murli Ki Taanon” (the sad version) which sound equally pleasant.
“Jab Tum Chaho” throws a surprise as the love song has a slightly naughty feel to it. The singers (Palak Muchhal, Mohammed Irfan and Darshan Raval) indulge in some playful banter and do justice to the flavour of the song. Though the track sounds a little dated because of the arrangements, the fact remains that it is a supremely catchy number. The track, apart from the R. D. Burman sound, reminds one of Sunita Rao’s indipop number “Pari Hoon Main”. All the singers do well but Palak (sounding husky for some reason) steals the show with her expressive rendition.
After “Prem Leela”, Aman Trikha gets another solo track to his credit in “Halo Re”. Just like the former, the track too has a devotional-cum-festive feel to it. But, the tune is different enough to distinguish it from “Prem Leela”. Though Himesh gets the sound right, the tune comes as generic. This is the reason why one does not feel compelled to hit the repeat button too many times. Given the heavy orchestration and feel of the song, one expects it to have been shot on a lavish scale.
As Neeti Mohan says ‘Ouch!’ at the beginning of the track, one feels that even Sooraj Barjatya got lured into incorporating an ‘item’ number in the film. That is not the case though as one eventually discovers that even “Tod Tadaiya” has a naughty feel to it, it is far from being raunchy. It would be blasphemous to compare it with “Didi Tera Devar Deewana” (‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!’) even the track is composed on similar lines. Not a great song by any standards, “Tod Tadaiya” has a familiar sound which is foot-tapping. While Neeti maintains the naughty feel with her voice, Neeraj Shridhar’s rendition is more subdued.
One finally hears Himesh’s voice on a track and one cannot help but wonder as to why he could not refrain himself from singing “Bachpan” as his voice does not suit the song at all. He sings mechanically which makes it harder for one to immerse in this emotional number. The music is no great shakes and it eventually settles down as a situational number.
‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ does not measure up to the standards of ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ or ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!’ but Himesh Reshammiya must be lauded for delivering a very good soundtrack which reflects Sooraj Barjatya’s sensibilities. It brings back the traditional Hindi film sound and is a treat for those who were longing for it.