Frankly, one isn't over enthusiastic about the music of Department. After all, for last so many years, Ram Gopal Varma hasn't really been exploring the musical genre and the soundtrack is basically situational for most of his outings. Since Department too is meant to be a gritty dramatic thriller, one expects Ramu's ensemble of composers (Dharam-Sandeep, Bappa Lahiri, Vikram Nagi) along with lyricists (Shabbir Ahmed, Vayu, Sandip Singh) to come up with the kind of music that basically suits his storytelling style instead of something that is hardcore commercial. Of course there are good hopes from the much hyped item number picturised on Nathalia Kaur which is a major reason to be marginally excited about checking out the album.
It is indeed a fiery beginning with 'Dan Dan Cheeni Shoot Mix' which, despite its inspiration from a Rajinikanth hit down South, is a riot and brings you on your feet in the very first listening. Justifying all the hype associated with it, the song has the kind of beats, rhythm, pace and presentation which goes well with the high voltage treatment that one expects from Department. Dharam-Sandeep capture the essence of the film well and amalgamate the right sound to bring to fore an item number that should help peak the narrative. Naughty lyrics by Vayu are accentuated by Paroma P.Dasgupta's vocals who is well supported by Ravi and Sandeep Patil to come up with an electrifying track that deserves to cover a good distance.
What surprises though is the song 'Kammo' that follows next. Not quite known for bringing such genre of 'bhangra mix' tracks in his films, Ramu shifts gears with Department by accommodating a song like 'Kammo' which, despite its routine treatment, does well for its four minute duration due to its fast paced approach. One still feels that arrangements by Bappa Lahiri could have covered a greater distance in being better than routine since this Shabbir Ahmed written song doesn't quite rise over the 90s feel. Still, spirited rendition by Mika Singh and Sudesh Bhosale ensure that the celebratory mood is intact.
Dharam-Sandeep and Vayu return with 'Theme Of Department - Ek Do Teen Chaar' which exploits the vociferous mood of the film and acts as good track that should fit into the background score at various junctures in the film. A song which is quite high on orchestra, as a result of which Sandeep Patil's vocals come across as a little subdued, 'Theme of Department' has an out and out Western treatment to it and carries a sound similar to the kind that one often hears in dramatic thrillers by Ramu.
Vikram Nagi is the composer for Sandip Singh written 'Bad Boys' which has Ritu Pathak sounding like Sunidhi Chauhan at more than just one junctures. A club song where one can expect a story to be running in the forefront even as an item girl gyrates to the tune; 'Bad Boys' has a Western treatment to it. Though it isn't quite an item number that one would expect to become a rage in weeks to come, it does well in ensuring that there is a consistent sound maintained in Department.
Last to arrive is 'Mumbai Police' which is a homage being paid by the team of Department. Driven entirely by Sanjay Dutt who basically mouths dialogues than singing it here, 'Mumbai Police' by Bappa Lahiri is suspiciously close to 'Ganpat' (Shootout At Lokhandwala) in terms of lyrics, vocals, music and overall presentation. The overall treatment is 'tapori' too (which actually suits Sanjay Dutt's image) with Shabbir Ahmed's lyrics doing well for the genre. Farhad Bhiwandiwala takes the forefront when it comes to singing this one and does well for this situational track that should be fun if picturised effectively.
As stated earlier, one didn't quite expect an out and out commercial album for Department which would set the charts on fire. In that aspect, the music turns out to be just as per expectations since the songs basically go as per the film's genre and narrative. The bonus though is in the form of 'Dan Dan Dan' that should be the sole reason for all sales and downloads that Department would fetch.
Dan Dan Dan, Mumbai Police
Department Music Review