There are immense expectations from the music of Don 2 and there are quite a few reasons for that:
- This is one of the most anticipated sequels of the current times and actually takes the story forward, hence almost warranting that good music would be the soul here
- Music of Don - The Chase Begins is still playing, courtesy 'Aaj Ki Raat' which is popular despite being heard first half a decade ago
- Music coming from the house of Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani always promises a certain degree of class
- Whenever Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Javed Akhtar have come together, they have seldom failed
With such factors raising one's expectations to a real high, nothing less than fantabulous is acceptable for the music of Don 2.
Shah Rukh Khan's begins the album with a 35 second long monologue where he hints of his arrival all over again. In the current scenario, this could well be a statement from him to all his detractors (in real life as well) where he conveys the point loud and clear that he would never fade away in oblivion and it's a matter of time that 'he is back'.
Next to arrive is the title song which goes as 'Zaraa Dil Ko Thaam Lo'. This track basically picks thread from 'Aaj Ki Raat' and aims at bringing back the sound of the early 80s though in a fresh new presentation with clear inspiration from James Bond flicks. Nothing wrong with that as it actually goes well with the film's genre and it creates the kind of mood which is expected from the genre to which Don 2 belongs. While Anusha Mani begins the proceedings, it is Vishal Dadlani who arrives a little later in the day with the quartet of Raman Mahadevan, Mani Mahadevan, Siddharth Mahadevan and Kshitij Wagh coming together for a chorus. Not the kind that you would hum around the streets, this one is basically a theme track that should take the story forward.
What catches your attention though is 'Hai Ye Maya' which fuses the action genre of late 70s/early 80s well with the contemporary sound hence fully justifying it's inclusion in Don 2. Expect the song to play at various junctures in the film as and when there is a thrilling encounter involving Shah Rukh Khan. Though in last few years Usha Uthup has come behind the mike for many a Bollywood tracks, it is 'Hai Ye Maya' which turns out to be her best in ages. It is remarkable to see the lady doing exceedingly well and holding her own in the times when dozens of youngsters have come and gone. Add to this the kind of composition that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have managed here and there is all the more reason to grab the 'remix version' with both ears!
Listening to 'Dushman Mera' reminds of many a cabaret sequences from the 70s that had the likes of Helen, Padma Khanna or Bindu gyrating to a fast paced tune in a villain's den. The song in question has a female protagonist hunting for her 'dushman' with the man of the moment having his own score to settle with his enemies. While Sunitha Sarathi is an unconventional choice as a singer here, she still does well. However what is surprising is to hear Shankar Mahadevan sounding so differently from his usual self. Also, one wonders why there wasn't another singer roped in for the job as Shankar seems a bit out of place here.
Thankfully fun is restored soon after with 'The King Is Back - Theme'. A four minute long piece that takes forward the anthem of 'Don' that has been popular for over three decades now, this one is an absolute killer with Sunitha Sarathi justifying her inclusion as the singer here. She has a few words to mouth though in this musical piece which acts as a wonderful background score, so much so that one can't have enough of it despite hearing it repeatedly.
Shaan's version of 'Main Hoon Don' from Don - The Chase Begins Again is presented again in Don 2 as 'Mujhko Pehchaanlo'. This time around the man who has been entrusted with the responsibility of being the voice of 'Don' is K.K. who comes up with a full throated rendition. Surprisingly though, the zing of the original is missing here what with neither the voice nor the overall arrangements really cutting the ice. Lyrics are different this time around and though yet again it's the call of the central protagonist for his enemies to be aware of his second coming, the thrill is missing here as well as in the 'remix version'.
Last to arrive is 'The 'Don' Waltz' and while it may go along well with the film's narrative, the only exciting portion for the listener here is the point where Caralisa Monteiro brings back the theme sound of Don.
As mentioned at the very beginning, nothing less than a rocking album was expected from Don 2. However, what one gets to hear is a soundtrack which is pretty much a mixed bag. At places it works while at points, it just doesn't make you jump with joy. Also, there isn't anything which comes across as memorable enough to be played a few months down the line, leave aside a few years. Eventually what you get is a soundtrack that would go along with the narrative and acts as a good situational ingredient but that's about it.
Hai Ye Maya, The King Is Back - Theme, Zaraa Dil Ko Thaam Lo