One has very good expectations from Ekk Deewana Tha. The reason is simple - A.R. Rahman has composed some fantastic tunes for the original Tamil film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa as well and there is no reason why the remake should be lagging behind. However, since unlike Rockstar there hasn't been much hype created around the musical score so far, one is also a tad apprehensive if the soundtrack would indeed meet these massive expectations. Thankfully though, all such doubts are laid to rest once you are through listening to this musically heavy album (with as many as 12 songs - all written by Javed Akhtar).
Ekk Deewana Tha incidentally starts with the weakest song of the enterprise, what with 'Kya Hai Mohabbat' hardly sounding like an A.R. Rahman composition. A song that questions the mystery called 'love' and almost comes across as a sad track instead of something far more passionate (which could well have been its original intent), it sees Rahman coming behind the mike himself. Sadly though, the song just fails to make any impact whatsoever.
Thankfully though there is immediate redemption in the form of a tremendous composition 'Dost Hai (Girl I Loved You)'. A perfectly paced love song with Western arrangements that has a good choice of singers in the form of Naresh Iyer, Jaspreet Jasz and Arya, this one is a Gen X number that hooks you on in the very first listening and makes you look forward to the kind of picturisation it fetches for itself. A melodic track that continues to haunt you long after it is played; it just sets Ekk Deewana Tha in the right direction.
There is a shift in mood immediately after with Alphonse crooning 'Aromale (My Beloved)', a love song which totally belongs to A.R. Rahman planet. The kind of song that he would have loved to gift to his Hollywood counterparts, it is an ideal fusion track that just gets sensibilities of Indian and Western classical together and results in a smooth flowing track. Unconventional, unpredictable and overtly smooth, 'Aromale (My Beloved)' is the kind of song that has to left in a repeat mode and forgotten.
No wonder, it is repeated as 'Broken Promises', which basically stands for the situation in the film. This one is far more rooted in appeal and with Shreya Ghoshal at the helm of affairs, you can't help but admire her form being the same girl who was singing 'Chikni Chameli' and 'Ooh Laa Laa' till very recently. Simply superb!
Ekk Deewana Tha continues to see an elevation in its 'likeability' graph with 'Hosanna' following next. A kind of number that deserves to see good popularity coming its way, 'Hosanna' reminds one of A.R. Rahman from the late 90s, early 2000s with Leon D'souza giving a very good account of himself. Boasting of some real smooth vocals, he should be heard more often in the Bollywood scheme of things. Suzanne D'mello is heard as a backup vocalists and she does her bit too to elevate the song's prospects. A beautiful love song which could well have been placed at the very beginning of the album.
Choice of unconventional vocalists continues with 'Phoolon Jaisi', what with Clinton Cerejo and Kalyani Menon as the chosen ones. A romantic number where the young boy can't help but admire beauty of the woman he loves most, it has Javed Akhtar in his elements and weaving his poetic magic. A song that flows smoothly and makes one pretty much relate to the feelings of this boy whose heart is beating for his beloved, 'Phoolon Jaisi' may not be the next hit in the offering but suits the flow of the album quite well.
Madhushree kick-starts 'Sharminda Hoon', a song about the girl feeling guilty of seeing the boy so much in love with her and pretty much in a helpless state. Yet another situational number that acts as a story telling device, its strength lies in its lyrics. Also, Rahman sounds much better as a singer in this song (when compared to Kya Hai Mohabbat) and aids in the narrative.
After a couple of situational tracks comes 'Sunlo Zara' which is the first (and only) song that has a Bollywood-ish feel to it, especially in the way it is paced and sung, especially by Shreya Ghoshal. The young woman sounds totally different from the way she did in the female version of 'Aromale' and is quite spirited in her rendition. She gets good company from Rashid Ali and Timmy (as the backup vocalist), hence ensuring that 'Sunlo Zara' comes across as just the kind of happy romantic number that one wanted by this time around.
It is back to a soft-n-smooth outing all over again with 'Zohra-Jabeen'. A soulful number that makes one totally surrender to Ekk Deewana Tha by this time, this is a Javed Ali song where the protagonist is longing for his beloved to be reunited with him. With minimal instruments in the background and the song depending entirely on Javed's control and variation as a singer, 'Zohra-Jabeen' is yet another addition to the good collection that the album has boasted of so far. What turns out to be an icing on the cake is a 150 seconds musical piece 'Moments In Kerala' which makes for a good musical interlude.
Couple of tracks that follow next are basically centred on Jessie (the name of the female character in the film). First to come is 'Jessie's Land' which is basically a three minute long humming piece by Megha who does quite well in supporting Rahman's background piece. On the other hand Sanjeev Thomas and Timmy get fast-n-ferocious with 'Jessie's Driving Me Crazy' which is an Hinglish piece where Rahman establishes the lead protagonist's state of mind quite ably. In the process this song gives this album some good conclusion and only entices you to revisit it all over again.
Ekk Deewana Tha is a very good album and a wholesome musical experience. Except for 'Kya Hai Mohabbat' (which ironically arrives at the very beginning of the album), rest of the album is fantastic and is a must-hear for those who swear by Rahman's score and also those who may not necessarily be bowled over by each and every work of this. Since the film basically features newcomers, the buzz around the soundtrack hasn't quite hit the roof so far. However this is the kind of soundtrack that isn't dependent on a film's run and should see a constant rise for itself.
Dost Hai (Girl I Loved You), Hosanna, Aromale (My Beloved), Sunlo Zara, Zohra-Jabeen
Music review of Ekk Deewana Tha by Joginder Tuteja