Money Hai Toh Honey Hai, directed by choreographer-turned-director Ganesh Acharya, is a comedy brimming with stars, including Govinda, Manoj Bajpai, Celina Jaitley, Aftab Shivdasani, Ravi Kishan, Upen Patel, Kim Sharma, Hansika Motwani and Isha Koppikar. Nitin Arora and Sony Chandy headed up the musical direction for the soundtrack, and Sameer penned the lyrics. The trend these days among composers seems to be to try something new; on some albums this has worked and on some albums it has not. For this film’s soundtrack, Arora and Chandy packed a very mixed bag with 2 straight-up Indian tracks, 2 western songs and the other four aspiring to be hip hop. The hip-hop songs definitely did not work, three others were pretty good, but only one was pure music! One must admire thinking outside the box, but as you listen to the album you wish that on a few songs they had not gone so far out! Let’s take a look at the great, the OK and the bad, and rate each song separately.
Nitz’N’Sony and Harshdeep Kaur performed the title track Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. It is very hard to describe – it’s one of those tracks where you wish they had stayed more within the lines. It starts off very oriental but gets a bit more odd because your hear an engine-start whining as part of the beat and some ear-drilling bird sound. It gets better when the percussion line joins in with its thumpin’ beat and some techno thrown in as well. If it were just this section you would think it was a pretty cool song and actually think the car sound is a cool addition, but then it changes again and becomes a jumble. The refrain is not too bad but it is repeated too many times. It had some OK sections, but I cannot say some of the sounds were music. It makes you wonder what were they thinking. I hope this song is not an indication of what the movie is going to be like. 1 star
Awaara Dil has a cast of singers almost as big as the cast of the actors. On the track you hear Adnan Sami, Shruti Pathak, Nitz’N’Sony, Arya, Bob, Ishq and Shantanu Hudlikar. Like the title song, the composer decided to add in an interesting sound, this time a creaking door. But besides that oddity, the back up music is great. There is a splendid piano and the back up beat just stomps. Of course, one always recognizes the brilliant Adnan Sami, and he makes the song worth listening to! There is also a rap section with a reggae flavor that is good, but they put too many sounds in one song along with too many different sections that did not fit together. There are high screaming notes and another loud rap as well as other voices. The ding da ding was another bit that was out of place in the song. They should have kept it simple – it is just a huge mess of a song. It was terrific vocally and musically but with so many varied sections. Overall, it just did not work. I would listen to it again for the Adnan parts and the back beat so I will give it a 2.5.
Labh Jhanjua & Sunidhi Chauhan sing the Indian-pulsed Chhuriyaan. They are both in good voice on the Punjabi flavored track. It has a bit of hip-hop but so little it is superfluous. It is a good song, and maybe I am listening top hard, but again there are some additional sounds that were just strange. Anything special? Nooo. Anything really wrong with it? Nooo… just OK! 2 stars
Ta Na Na with Kunal Ganjawala, Rekha Bhardwaj, Nitz’N’Sony, Earl E D & Arya is another “what were they thinking” song, and I would say the worst song on the album. It started off really groovy and when Kunal Ganjawala started singing I was excited, …but then the ‘ta na na whooooo’ part came in and was sung over and over: it just was overdone. The track was another bunch of little parts, none of which meshed, like they could not decide what type of song they wanted. Not worth a second listen. 0.5 stars, I am sad to say.
I have to admit that when I first heard Rangeeli Raat, I thought I had heard it before recently. But then I remembered that it was not a different album, I had heard it during part of Govinda’s performance at IIFA. A very Punjabi bhangra influenced dance track, it is jammin’ all the way through. Guaranteed to get you moving, it makes you want to join in dancing with the fab Chichi. Sung with pizzazz, Daler Mehndi keeps the pace going while the gorgeous voice of Sunidhi Chauhan adds some calmness that is great. An awesome track that redeems the album! 3 stars
No Big Deal by Suraj Jagan may not be everyone’s cup of chai, but if you like rock then you will love this song! I did! Suraj Jagan is a deep talent and sings smoothly, yet intensely. The music is brill: slow at first, then transforming to a full-on rock song with some orchestral backup. I didn’t mind the English lyrics for once, but some of you may because they are not exactly poetry. They fit the cadence well, and the inflection by Suraj was wonderful. Great music, great singer, what more could you want? I was ready to listen to it again right away but for some it may be too rocking. 3.5 leaning towards 4.
With Dance Master, we again have a “huh? What is this?”. There was some odd sound I could not identify in the beginning, and throughout the song there were grating noises and voices. The fast paced music was OK in parts, and Shaan and Sivamani sang the vocal line with energy. I did not care for the refrain at all. There was no direction to the song or even a single style, just a bit of this and a bit of that. I was ready for it to be over with still a minute forty left. Then all of a sudden at one minute to go, it became a completely different song for about 30 seconds… I have no idea why but it was jarring. Maybe this is one that will be explained when seen in the movie but I doubt it. 1.25.
With the last track on the album I was really hoping for a song that would really MAKE the album, and found it in an instrumental by Naveen and Mumbai Cine Strings. Hope is the BEST song on the album and one of the best tracks I have heard recently. The song reminds you of the new age artist Yanni. The music is simply superb. It is certainly not the average musical piece you hear in a movie, but something so much more. There are 2 outstanding flutes, as well as several other fantastic musical lines, all backed by a sensational orchestra. The music is played so well, it sings even without a singer. A brilliant composition, so full of sound it makes you feel like you are inside the music. My hope was granted; there was not a note out of place. It gets 5 stars all on its own from me! I will listen to this one again and again and again. They really got it so right with this one, and you wonder what happened on the rest of the album.
I do admire the effort by Nitin Arora and Sony Chandy to do something different, however they seemed to get lost on some of the songs with the style they were working in. It is fine to mix genres but you have to make sure the sections cohere into a track that the audience wants to put it on repeat, not one that makes them hit skip as soon as it starts. This album was quite a mixture, and it is very hard to come up with a final rating. Looking at the album as a whole, they went very wrong on three pieces, did average on three, one was great and Hope was a total triumph. So what is the final rating? 2.5 because when they were good, they were very good!