Mudassar Aziz’s Dulha Mil Gaya has been long in the making. Dogged by shooting delays and rumors, it seemed as if the film would never make it to theatres. Thankfully for all involved, the film, which stars Sushmita Sen, Fardeen Khan, and Shah Rukh Khan, is releasing in January 2010. Music director Lalit Pandit (formerly of Jatin-Lalit) used the long production schedule to good ends and has crafted a soundtrack album packed full of easy, breezy pop songs that meld traditional film song structure with the updated sounds of the 21st century film music.
Adnan Sami and former Viva girl Anushka Manchanda open with a duet called Akela Dil . Adnan and Anushka have fun with the light-hearted lyrics. The song is hung on a pounding rhythmic hook and backed by sparse instrumentation, which Adnan cheekily comments on in the lyrics. The remix loses the organic feel of the original, but is still a fun listen.
Moving from contemporary pop to a more traditionally filmi sound, Aaja Aaja Mere Rajhna is a pretty song in the style of Jatin-Lalit wedding and celebration songs from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and
Anushka shows off her vocal flexibility once again in Magar Meri Jaan. Her voice handles the quick-changing syllables as well as Sunidhi Chauhan would have and Lalit Pandit makes the good choice to keep her vocals front and center, adding the occasional burst of Latin brass or saxophone.
Things seem like they are going to slow down with To Jo Jaan Le. The song begins with the crooning vocals of that master of ballads, Sonu Nigam. He gently leads us through the first verse but rather than a soaring chorus, wailing guitars kick in! Half ballad and half-power ballad, the strings and electric guitars trade on and off through the song. While it may seem like an odd mixture, the result has a fun 1970s rock opera feel to it and Sonu sounds like he is having a blast with the material.
Rang Diya Dil is a masterful Shreya Ghoshal number. Her enunciation is beautiful, as always, and she’s backed by a fusion of traditional and electronic elements – synthesizers and drum loops underneath trilling flutes.
Puncturing the breezy mood is the energetic title song, Dulha Mil Gaya. Dalher Mendhi sings and the track showcases his trademark mixture of dance and bhangra, as previously heard in Rang De Basanti. A funny little guitar solo adds a bit of variety. The remix speeds things up and should be a hit at the clubs.
Dilrubaon Ke Jalwe is a fun take on filmi qawwalis. A driving guitar hook and some DJ sounds backs up the traditional song structure. Like ‘To Jo Jaan Le’, Lalit Pandit cleverly manages to wed the diverse elements making the qawwali sound contemporary and fresh. Amit Kumar’s rich baritone is a pleasure to listen to. The remix flattens the natural flow of the qawwali but isn’t bad — just mediocre.
The last original track, Shiri Farhad Tu Meri Shiri is deceptively simple. A number of different samples are looped underneath a vocal track. The verses build to the glorious release of the chorus and a rap interlude comprises the bridge. It’s all very straightforward but the devil is in the details. The samples and various percussion and drums and are layered extremely intricately but never overwhelm the vocal line. Little touches like a splash symbol over the hits on the bridge, make this a track you could listen to multiple times and always hear something new.
Lalit Pandit has crafted a clever album for Dulha Mil Gaya; and it’s all the more so because it was so unexpected. While he hasn’t done anything groundbreaking, he has given a new lease on life for such venerable song forms as the qawwali, the Sonu Nigam ballad, and the wedding song.