For most Bollywood fanatics, December 12th is going to be a historic date. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi marks the return of Aditya Chopra as a director after a ridiculously long hiatus lasting eight years. Has there ever been such hype for a film by a director with only two films behind him? However, such grand expectations are warranted considering that Chopra is responsible for creating one of the most magical films in Hindi cinema’s history—Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Not to mention, Shahrukh Khan, who is notorious for being the loverboy of Hindi cinema, is venturing into a simplistic out-and-out romance after quite some time. These two personalities are enough to create the unbelievable buzz surrounding Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
You’d expect Chopra to stick with a “safe” composer for his directional comeback, but as always, he springs a surprise. In this film, he entrusts the great task of creating musical magic to unpredictable composer duo Salim-Suleiman. These two are responsible for some outstanding work, and some very average tunes. Does the composer jodi live up to the hype surrounded by the biggest album of their career?
If you were to judge solely based on the track Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai, then the answer is yes. Salim-Suleiman have created one of the most romantic tracks in ages. Jaideep Sahni’s lyrics are pitch-perfect and Roopkumar Rathod’s vocals are pitch-perfect and very refreshing. You’d normally expect a Sonu Nigam or Shaan to sing this type of track, but a different voice comes as a welcome change. The track itself has very simple beats, but that works perfectly because you never feel bombarded by too much sound. This is real music. However, I do have one complaint—the female version should have been far longer! Even in such a short duration, Shreya Ghoshal is awe-inspiring, making you wish there was more of her to listen to.
Haule Haule also has a very simplistic tune and doesn’t give you much to crib about. Sukhwinder Singh does justice to a very well-composed track that keeps you entertained. Though it’s great for the most part, it does get tedious and while listening to it you eagerly await something that will take the track from being good to extraordinary. Unfortunately, it’s missing that certain ‘zing’. But not to worry, it’s still an excellent piece of work that keeps you attentive throughout.
Unfortunately, the next track forces the album to take a bit of a nosedive. Dance Pe Chance is completely average and is neither lyrically nor musically special. Sunidhi Chauhan is so used to these upbeat tracks that she pulls the entire thing off with complete ease. The song is drastically different from what the album has presented thus far so it’s nice to hear something different but it’s not a track that you’d remember beyond the film’s release. Sahni’s lyrics are hardly creative but could work in the context of the film. Luckily, it isn’t downright horrible so you can easily listen to it and move on.
In the recent past, there have been several tracks that have been lifted from classics but Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte is the only one to merge several tracks so uniquely. Salim-Suleiman deliver what is one of their most creative compositions ever, effortlessly seaming together the lyrics of popular hits like ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’, ‘O Haseena Zulfon Waali’, ‘Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai’ and ‘Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua’ amongst several others. What’s so great about it is that Salim-Suleiman don’t simply re-make the songs, but they have re-arranged the tune completely. It would have been easy to make a song like this go haywire, but the composers keep everything together perfectly. Sonu Nigam is fantastic throughout the song and was the perfect choice. The track might not catch on immediately, but as soon as it hits screens with Bipasha, Preity, Rani, Lara and Kajol dancing away with SRK, I guarantee it will shoot straight up to number one.
The album concludes with Dancing Jodi which is instrumental for the most part and merges the tunes of several tracks in the album. It’s an interesting mix even though it’s nothing out of this world. This is fairly characteristic of Salim-Suleiman who are known more for their background scores than songs.
It’s hard to believe that an album we have been waiting for has already released and been judged by listeners around the world. Some are hailing it as the greatest album in years while others claim it is way below expectations. Of course, opinions will vary, but if we were to detach the tracks from the hype that they are associated with, there are several songs in the album which are truly extraordinary and others that are very average. For the most part, the music of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi has done the trick and Salim-Suleiman can breathe easy. Even if all the tracks won’t go down as classics, they can rest assured that there are at least a few gems in this album. As listeners, that’s really all we can ask for. It may not have that magical touch that Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge boasted of, but give this jodi [Salim-Suleiman] a chance and, like myself, you may just find these tracks on repeat sooner than you think!