The biggest surprise about Rajdhani Express is that it actually has songs in it. One would have expected this thriller-drama to be a song-less affair but the makers have actually taken an initiative to bring on a full fledged album with as many as seven tracks in it. While Ritesh Nalini is the prime composer, Lahu-Madhav also pitch in with a single. Various lyricists contribute to this album which is releasing just days before the film hits the screens, and hence doesn't carry much weight to make a dent at the stands.
Another surprise that one gets is to see none other than Mirza Ghalib on the credits. It is his words that are put to tune in 'Koi Umeed', first by Lahu-Madhav and later by Ritesh Nalini, for a Western and Indian version respectively. The one that arrives first is the Western version by newcomer Hitesh Prasad who does a rather good job in this light rock outing with a touch of fusion to it. A well tuned composition which could well have been grabbed by Emraan Hashmi with both hands and reminds one of the kind of songs that make the likes of Awarapan and Jannat, it deserves to be promoted pronto!
In fact one just goes with the flow of the song for long before realizing that it lasts for an astonishing 10 odd minutes. One just hopes that this finds a good placement in the background score of the film. Meanwhile there is also an 'Indian version' which is sung by Shahid Mallya and this time around 'Koi Umeed' takes a much more traditional format, what with this version too lasting a 7 seven minutes. Set as a 'ghazal', this is remarkably different from the Western version heard before and though it does manage to stand on its own, one is tempted to go back to the one heard before.
Ritesh Nalini's compositions are the ones that are heard for the rest of the album and it's a prayer that comes next in the form of 'Main Hoon Pathit' which perhaps had its eye on turning into another 'Itni Shakti Humein Dena Deta' [Ankush]. However that doesn't really turn out to be the case and even though there is a minute long prelude before the chorus comes into action, the end result doesn't quite make you jump on to this one and pick it up as a regular inclusion in the morning rituals.
Rameez is the lyricist for 'Karte Hain Dil Se' which has Udit Narayan at the helm of affairs. The song is surprisingly way too 'early 90s' and just doesn't cut ice. The arrangements are ordinary, the composition flat and Udit Narayan's efforts, despite put in the right spirit, not quite generating the expected results. One of those rare songs where even simplistic melody can't really save the day.
'Tera Zikr' comes next and whether in terms of structure, content or the context, it is entirely different from the namesake song from 'Guzaarish'. This one is a mere extension of 'Karte Hain Dil Se' and further goes decades back by setting itself in the 60s. In the name of being laidback, it only ends up testing your patience due to its old world format that hardly brings on any charm. Whether it is Suresh Wadkar's male version or the female version by Madhusmita that follows, 'Tera Zikr', which is put to words by BRB, doesn't quite make you return to it.
Shaan is roped in for Rameez's written 'Armaan Jagati Hain' and by this time you are not really surprised when the end result is hardly ear catching. Yet again the song is set in some era gone by and you just move on from the album while realizing that the makers had actually done the right thing to rope in Lahu-Madhav for a special Western version of 'Koi Umeed'.
While one didn't have many expectations from the music of Rajdhani Express, the end results don't quite make you change your opinion. The song that stays with you is 'Koi Umeed (Western)' but one wonders that without promotion, whether it would manage to cover any distance whatsoever.
Koi Umeed (Western)