Who else but Pritam would you ask to write the songs for the film that reunites the comedy team of Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal, and director Priyadarshan? De Dana Dan is a light-hearted comedy about a couple of zeros – Akshay and Suniel – who need to earn big bank in order to elope with their rich girlfriends. Pritam captures the lighthearted feel of the film in his songs, which go down like popcorn – maybe they aren’t very filling but sometimes a treat is all you need!
The album opens with Rishte Naate, a mid-tempo love song sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. While the vocals are charming and the instrumentation sweet, with just a hint of Spanish guitar and bagpipe, the relentless drum beat is distracting. The song never fully gets a chance to breathe and Rahat Fatah Ali Khan’s beautiful performance has to fight to be heard. Rishte Naate – Remix buries the vocals further under some massively revered synthesizers and can be skipped.
Paisa is the standout track and one that should be heard in the clubs! Produced by RDB, ‘Paisa’ cranks up the hip-hop beats that have become a trademark of recent Akshay Kumar films and sets them free. Thankfully, Akshay leaves the rapping to the professionals this time and the Punajabi flavored lyrics add a bit of fun. There is a Paisa – Club Remix, by DJ A. Myth, which exchanges the heavy hip-hop feel for a lighter European techno beat. If you prefer a lighter touch, you might enjoy it.
Moving from the clubs to the beach, Gale Lag Ja is a light and breezy song that floats along over a light string section. Banjyotsana and Javed Ali’s vocals mesh well in this sweet duet. The sweet feeling remains despite the driving tempo thanks to the top-heavy rhythm section; there is no bass to muddy the mix. Gale Lag Ja (Version 2) is a muddled affair. It picks up the tempo further but loses something of the original feel of song in the process without replacing it with anything.
Pritam seems to have picked up a liking for the sounds of Carnival and he continues the party started in ‘You are My Love’ from All the Best with Baamulaiza. The reggae-lite feel and the silly English lyrics make this a party that is probably best enjoyed after a couple of rum drinks, but in that rare soundtrack occurrence, Baamulaiza – Ragga Mix, done by DJ Chetas and DJ Nyk, is actually an improvement on ‘Baamulaiza’ and I recommend you go with it instead of the original.
Hotty Naughty, on the other hand, should hook you on the first listen. After a sizzling opening with some guitar licks, the drums kick in and whip you up in a delicious frenzy. Sunidhi Chauhan shows off her cabaret chops and effortlessly keeps up the demanding pace of the lyrics. Pritam borrows a bit from ‘Hat Ja Tau Pacche Ne’ but it’s all in good fun, as Sunidhi should have you jumping up and down and singing “Ooo laa laa” along with her. Hotty Naughty – Remix is pointless and adds an odd level of ominous synthesizers to Sunidhi’s lighthearted vocals.
Closing things out is the title track De Dana Dan, which is a fun dance song produced by the Ad Boys. Much like the title of the film, the song just sort of spins around and around the main hook never really going anywhere. The hook is pretty catchy, so it doesn’t end up being a problem for the group and the high energy of the song should translate into an entertaining picturization.
Overall, while De Dana Dan won’t go down in the history books as a work of artistic genius, it is a fun soundtrack and the perfect backdrop to a party or just to put on while you’re doing the cleaning to keep your energy up.