After the roaring success of Wanted, Salman is back in masaledaar style with Dabangg (English Translation: Fearless) which promises to be a your-money’s-worth kind of an entertainer with all the bells and whistles of romance, song ‘n’ dance, comedy and action.
Music has been composed by Sajid-Wajid who have collaborated on numerous Salman films, including Wanted. Lyrics have been penned by Jaleese Sherwani and Anwar Faaiz. The album is made up of 10 tracks and features the vocal talents of Sonu Nigam (‘Shukran Allah’ – Kurbaan), Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (‘Sajda’ – My Name is Khan and ‘Teri Ore’ – Singh is King), Shreya Ghosal (‘Teri Ore’ – Singh is King and ‘Bahara’ – I Hate Luv Storys), Master Salim (‘Maa Da Ladla’ – Dostana), Sukwinder Singh (‘Dhan Da Nan’ – Kaminey and ‘Chaiyaa Chaiyaa’ – Dil Se) and Wajid (‘Love Me’ – Wanted).
The film also stars debutante Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood, Arbaaz Khan and features a guest appearance by Malaika Arora Khan. Dabangg has been directed by Abhinav Kashyab, produced by Arbaaz Khan Productions Pvt Ltd and Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd and is slated for release on September 10th 2010.
The album commences with a soulful romantic number by Rahet Fateh Ali Khan titled Tere Mast Mast Do Nain. It is a moderately-paced desi or sufi-esque track that is wonderfully composed by Sajid-Wajid. The acoustic guitar interwoven with the desi music gives this traditional track a nice contemporary edge. Anwar has penned simple yet beautiful lyrics that are enhanced by Rahet’s mesmerising vocals. I personally believe that Rahet can never sing a bad song. The song also appears as a duet with brings the award-winning pair of Rahet and Shreya Ghosal from ‘Teri Ore’ (Singh is King) back together. Either way, both versions are beautiful. The remixed version of ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ by Designer Hippies vs Bombay Bounce is strictly okay since it does not butcher the number. That being said, ‘Teri Mast Mast Do Nain’ did not need to be remixed. It was perfect the way it was.
Next is Munni Badnaam, an item number picturised on Malaika Arora Khan. It features the new found vocal talents of Mamta Sharma and Aishwarya Nigam who were born to sing this number. ‘Munni Badnaam’ is the creation of guest composer Lalit Pandit who has also penned the track and he is done a fantastic job on both counts. Lyrics are not as arbitrary as heard in the usual item numbers and the music is relatively innovative. Mamta and Aishwarya’s fresh new energetic vocals add to the innovativeness of the song. The number is very desi with use of instruments such as the harmonium but there is also a subtle modern touch to it. From what I have seen of the song’s promo it is choreographed with as much gusto as it was composed with, and I can safely say that this number is well on its way to become one of the best item numbers of 2010. Since it is an item number, a remixed version is usually welcome. Thankfully, ‘Munni Badnaam’ is tastefully remixed DJ Megha. The remix provides a modern-techno alternative to the original desi one. It is definitely one of the best remixes I have heard in a long time.
The album slows down with Chori Kiya Re Jiya, a sweet romantic duet featuring Shreya Ghosal and Sonu Nigam. It is a melodious number, well composed by Sajid-Wajid and equally well written by Jalees Anwar. Anwar also gets props for writing the number in the U.P dialect that Sonakshi and Salman’s characters speak. Shreya and Sonu who have already given us some fantastic duets in recent times (‘Ishq Hi Hai Rab’ – Dil Bole Haddippa, ‘Shukran Allah’ – Kurbaan and ‘Don’t Say Alvida’ – Main Aur Mrs Khanna) have now added another number to that list. While it is not a ground breaking romantic number, it is easy on the ears and rendered by two brilliant artists who we love to listen to and that is the reason why it is not a total write off.
Hud Hud Dabangg appears next. One can say it is a somewhat loose amalgamation of Omkara’s title number and ‘Taali’ from Veer. It is well rendered by Sukwinder Singh and Wajid who do justice to Jalees’s well penned lyrics. The track basically maps out the characteristics of our fearless (dabangg) protagonist. It oozes machismo and strength and Sajid-Wajid have done a great job composing this number. Nonetheless, it is a situational title song with little to no chance of commercial success. Its purpose resides with the movie’s narrative rather than the music charts.
Next is Humka Peeni Hai, a drinking song but it can easily be an item number depending on its picturisation. It is well rendered by Wajid, Shabab Sabri and Master Salim. The trio compliment each other well but after a while it air tends to get filled with too much testosterone. Some female vocals would have definitely given the song the edge it needed to be a better number. It just lacks oomph at the end of the day; otherwise, it is a sound number, lyrically and musically. Also, drinking numbers all tend to sound the same and feature little to no innovation. Moreover, the album already has a rocking item number and adding a drinking song, which I think is closely related to the item song genre, is overkill. ‘Humka Peeni Hai’ also appears as a remix by Fried Brain Music.com who do a good job transforming the desi number into a club-like pumped up modern track.
The album draws to a close with the Dabangg Theme which is basically an audio rip of the theatrical trailer to the movie. The sounds of punches, kicks and gun shots are all there. It is simply dodgy work. The dialogues should have remained as with Wanted’s theme song but the other sounds should have been erased. It just screams album filler and that is highly unappealing.
In summary, Dabangg is a relatively good album. It is definitely not a Wanted. Wanted was loud and demanded attention while Dabangg’s soundtrack is has a more subtle appeal and is not accompanied by the bang many of us were expecting. Kudos to Sajid-Wajid for not creating a replica of Wanted but they also lose points for lack of oomph. That being said, the album has some great numbers. ‘Munni ‘as mention previously will be climbing the charts for sure whether she is infamous or famous, thanks to Lalit Pandit and Malaika Arora Khan. ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ is simply irresistible. It is unabashedly romantic and that is what makes it so lovable. ‘Chori Kiya Re Jiya’ may not have actually stolen hearts but has definitely broken and entered into some hearts with Sonu and Shreya’s enthralling vocals. If you liked Omkara’s title number, you will definitely like ‘Hud Hud Dabangg ‘but the extent of its appeal is definitely limited. ‘Humka Peeni Hai’s', though loud and fast paced, just does not hold the appeal that Munni Badnaam did and fact that it is a bit of a boys club may hinder its success. Having tasteful remixes definitely wins Dabangg points. It is definitely one of the first albums I have heard where I have nothing bad to say about the remixes. Since the tracks are so desi, the remixes gives the listeners the modern alternatives to the originals. Obviously, the ‘Dabangg Theme’ is the sore point of the album. The track just needed some editing and forgoing something that simple is just laziness. At the end of the day, Dabangg shows honest effort by Sajid-Wajid who just keep getting better with every album. The only criticism is that the music of Dabangg just needs a louder and more powerful bang!