Chandni Chowk to China

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Posted on December 6th, 2008 in Music Reviews

With the intriguing story-line of a cook from Chandni Chowk who goes to China and is mistaken for a martial arts expert, I really was not sure what to expect from the soundtrack for Chandni Chowk to China. The album also boasts four different musical directors, each with their own contribution: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for 2 tracks, Kalish Kher brings two songs, then Bappi Lahiri, Bappa Lahri for one and finally a hip-hop track by Bohemia. With such a mix I wondered how they would all fit together, so after listening to the album was I ready to give it a big star rating or was it a disappointment? Read on to find out!

The title song was composed by the master trio Shankar Ehsaan and Loy with Neeraj Shridhar, Anushka Manchanda & Shankar Mahadevan laying down the vocals. The track has a very Oriental flavor to it in the beginning that transforms into a more Western rhythm with a fantastic vocal line. All the voices are wonderful on the track, with the Chandni Chowk stanza really standing out because of the cool sound. The first time it switched to the more Indian flavored refrain it was a bit jarring, but then the song smoothed back out. The Indian line returns, much better the second time, and continues to really add a fab note to the track. Some of the extraneous sounds were a bit too much. Overall it is a great song that you will want to hear again and then again and again – it is awesome. If this is indicative of the movie, it is going to be a very interesting and fun flick. The remix, with more of a dance beat, is also worth a listen.

S.I.D.H.U was composed by Naresh and Paresh, as well as Kalish Kher, who also lent his voice to the song. It has a very strong Bhangra drum beat that will get your shoulders dancing. It is Kher’s awesome vocal that make the track so good. The S.I.D.H.U. cheer is a bit cheesy but may make sense in the film. Overall it seems to be a situational track that will play well on screen. Another winner.

I am not sure what to write about India Se Aaya Tera Dost. Bappa Lahri and Bappi Lahiri were the musical directors with Bappi Lahiri playing double duty as singer along with Ravi K Tripathi. The basic song is the chartbuster ‘Bombay Se Aaya Mera Dost’ from the 1997 movie Aap Ki Khatir, but with a lot of new elements. There are about five or more different musical sections, including a female chorus singing in a very Oriental style, a strong percussion section, a bit of R&B, and one of the singers has definitely been imbibing a sharab. When the stanzas of the original song are heard it is very good, but the extra sounds are just too much. This conglomeration is probably one that will make more sense within the context of the film and may be perfect for the scene. However, listening to it there are just too many sounds coming at you, and you either want to turn it down or turn it off. Wait for the movie for this one!

My favorite track on the album is Tere Naina, composed by SEL. It is sung brilliantly by Shankar Mahadevan & Shreya Ghoshal. These two have such amazing voices that are shown off well on the track, and the music has a wonderful layered sound. It does have a unique feel in parts of the music and vocal, especially in the quicker refrain sung by Shreya. It is just a gorgeous track that I have on replay. Since there are some different sounds incorporated into the song, some may not like it at first, but give it a chance and you will hear how it is just “more”. One to add to your playlist right away!

Kailsh Kher returns as composer and singer on Chak Lein De. The beginning is full-on electronica but there is also a smooth flute melody that is heard throughout the track. The song has an interesting sound because while it has a very strong vocal by Kher mixed with a bit of rock flavor in parts of the background music, there is also a thumpin’ hard percussion line that comes in and out. Then in the middle, it changes to a lighter section that has a pulse-driven instrumental with the smooth flute as a balance. There are a lot of different rhythms and beats and tones and you would not think they would fit together, but in fact they do. Kher’s voice is excellent on the track and he makes the song. It will be very interesting to see how this is picturized in the film. The remix version is a full-on dance track that sounds totally different. It has some terrific music and with Kher’s vocal it make for a very good remix. So don’t skip!

Finally, CC2C will blow you away. Why? Because of Akshay Kumar. He takes the mic and throws down a wicked rap! He should get cred in the rap world for this jammin’ track. Bohemia composed the song and is also heard on the killer song. The music is fab and the refrain is brill. I could go through and break it down for you but I think this is one you just need to go hear over and over and over again. It jams!

I have written in previous reviews that many times you hear a soundtrack and you really like it, but it takes a few listens, as well as seeing the songs in the context of the film, for it to really wow you. Chandni Chowk to China is one of those albums. It is such a mix of sounds, beats and styles that on a first listen you think okay this works – wanna hear it again, you do and the okay becomes I likes but I imagine once seen in the splendor of the film and with Akki and Deepika on in full technicolor it will become a Wow, cool. I love this soundtrack – be sure to check it out for yourself!

Our Rating:

Kuch Toh Bolo!

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