'Huge' is the way to describe in one word the expectations that one has from the music of Rowdy Rathore. There are so many factors involved due to which one expects nothing less than an out and out chartbuster outing. First and foremost is the 'masala' genre of the film which means the stage is set to go all out in a holds-no-bar approach. Secondly the film sees the coming together of Prabhu Deva and Akshay Kumar, a combination which is as commercial as it gets. Thirdly, the musical team at the helm of affairs are Sajid-Wajid and Sameer who certainly know a thing or two about composing 'masala' soundtracks. Last but definitely not the least, one looks forward to how Sanjay Leela Bhansali adapts his sensibilities to back the kind of music here which one couldn't have imagined even in the wildest dreams.
The album peaks high from the word 'go' with 'Dhadang Dhang' bringing to fore a song that reminds one of the 90s era gone by. That was the time when songs belonging to this genre were picturised in dozens on the likes of Akshay Kumar (Tu Ru Ru - Kahan Se Karoon Main Pyaar Shuru), Govinda (Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare), Salman Khan (Dhadke Dil Baar Baar) and their ilk. The revival of the 90s masala has now reflected in the music of Rowdy Rathore as well and 'Dhadang Dhang' is just the powerful start that one wanted at the very beginning of the album.
What also makes this song a sure-shot chartbuster is the way Wajid and Shreya Ghoshal sing this one in the manner that Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik excelled in the era gone by. No wonder, Faiz Anwar is the guest lyricist roped in for the job and his lyrics interspersed with a bit of English only make the song all the more fun.
What follows next is the anthem track of Rowdy Rathore - 'Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita' - which has never failed to impress in all the languages that it has appeared so far. Rights are procured by Sajid-Wajid to capture the hook here and they do complete justice to this fun track which is all set to appear at various junctures in the film. The song has such an addictive beat to it that just one listening is good enough for it to be playing in your mind for hours at stretch. Mika Singh is just the right man roped in for the job though one wonders how Neeraj Sridhar would have fared had he been the man for the job. Nevertheless, this fun track (which also has Wajid singing the middle portions) is a chartbuster that would only gain further popularity once the film would be out there in theatres.
What totally catches your attention though is 'Aa Re Pritam Pyaare' which comes to the point in 18 seconds flat and never looks back from that point on. In fact such is the amalgamation of beats, rhythm and melody (with a liberal does of risque lyrics too - courtesy Sameer) in this song that one is enticed to play it in repeat mode even before checking out what the rest of the album has to offer. Sajid-Wajid stay on to be 'desi' in this song that has it's opening sound similar to that of a Prabhu Deva chartbuster from down South but comes on its own soon after.
Also, the way various instruments come together for this song and the kind of arrangement that goes along with it, one is reminded of many such songs that Laxmikant-Pyaarelal used to compose in the 80s. Mamta Sharma is superb here with good support coming from Sarosh Sami and with the score reading three out of three at this point in the album, one is already content with the 'paisa vasool' impact that Rowdy Rathore manages so far.
Thankfully the album doesn't let go of the momentum and sustains a 'desi' feel to it that defines the essence of Rowdy Rathore. 'Chamak Challo Chel Chabeli' is the title of this naughty love song that has Shreya Ghoshal kick-starting the proceedings in exactly the same style as that of Alka Yagnik. What further makes matters interesting is the comeback of Kumar Sanu who - despite making an entry only after three minutes - only makes one wonder why he has stayed away from the mike for so long now. Kumar Sanu sings like he had never left and together, he and Shreya keep the 90s flag high yet again. Credit again to lyricist Faiz Anwar and composers Sajid-Wajid who pay a homage of sorts to music that has never failed when it comes to Bollywood and surprisingly had been ignored in favour of so-called 'new age sound' for years!
No wonder, it is time to remember Illayaraja and Anand-Milind (who were inspired more often than not from the maestro) as Sajid-Wajid create 'Tera Ishq Bada Teekha'. With the kind of rhythm that had kept the pace up for songs like 'Roop Suhaana Lagta Hai' (Gentleman), 'Chaa Raha Hai Pyaar Ka Nasha' (Chandramukhi) or 'Dil Mera Churane Laga' (Angrakshak), even 'Tera Ishq Bada Teekha' follows the Beat One-Beat Two approach and has a leisurely pace to it.
However, it is doubtful that it would manage to gain the popularity of the aforementioned songs as it takes a relatively subtle approach in comparison. Having said that, in a standalone manner, even this Javed Ali (sounding again like Sonu Nigam) and Shreya Ghoshal song isn't a bad hear. However what is rather odd is the placement of word 'chumban' here which seems out of character when one looks at the film's setting and its characters.
There is a lullaby that follows next which brings a certain 'thehrav' in the album and keeps it all serene, melodic and nice for the four minutes that follow. 'Chandaniya (Lori Lori)' has a situational appeal to it and while it is quite integral to the film's plot, it does require a few listening before making a place in your heart. Sameer's lyrics are just the kind that flow with the genre and the way Shreya Ghoshal sings this one; it only consolidates her position in the industry who can fit into any mode as per the demand of the situation.
The album concludes with 'Rowdy Mix' which is in the mode that has been made popular by South directors like Prabhu Deva (Wanted) and Siddique (Bodyguard) in recent times. This one too has Akshay Kumar's dialogues interspersed in an out and out pacy outing which establishes the characterisation of Rowdy Rathore. The first track in the album that has Western arrangements taking it forward, 'Rowdy Mix' also has Sarosh Sami taking care of the singing part. All in all a track which is basically for the Akshay Kumar fan-base and would be fun to watch if complimented by a music video a la Wanted.
Rowdy Rathore is undoubtedly a terrific offering for those who vouch for 'masala' soundtracks. This one doesn't promise to define anything new by charting a new path. Instead, it redefines the genre that had surprisingly been ignored for over a decade but is now making a comeback with a vengeance. It won't be wrong to say that Sajid-Wajid go one up when compared to their own work in Wanted and Dabangg and live up to the promise of scoring chartbuster soundtracks for non-Salman Khan starrers as well. As for Prabhu Deva and Akshay Kumar, they can now well expect who hearted approval from masses for this one.
Aa Re Pritam Pyaare, Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita, Dhadang Dhang, Chamak Challo Chel Chabeli
Rowdy Rathore Music Review