For the music direction of his film Hello, Atul Agnihotri chose the duo of Sajid Wajid, with Jalees Sherwani penning the words to their beats. For this film, the pair used quite a range of genres of music. The album has rap, bhangra, club, rock and even a couple of ballads thrown in. When I listened to the soundtrack of Hello, it had me thinking about what it is that makes a good song. Is it the perfect combination of music, lyrics and vocals? But if two of those parts are great but one is not, is it still a good song? For example, what if the vocals are excellent, the music is very good, but the lyrics are quite bad? Does that make it a “bad song”? Sadly, on Hello, I had to decide if that were true on two and half of the tracks. The others, well, they fit into the ‘good’ to ‘all time fav’ categories.
The title track Hello was the song that had me pondering that question. The music is good, the singing is good, but the lyrics… what to say about the lyrics? Hello Hello Hello Hello… dring dring dring – you get the idea. Heard on the track are Wajid, Suzy Q, Ishq Bector, and Merlin D’Souza and they are good with what they had to work with. The music is not bad, a good beat to dance to, and I loved the beat box phrases that were thrown in. The rap had its OK parts and then some of it was not so OK. I am not sure how to rate this, but overall I did not want to listen to it again, so I guess that makes it a not so good song. There is also a Hello – Party Mix that I actually liked better because musically it was an improvement. But still, the monotonous ‘Hello Hello’ refrain was annoying. I definitely was not feelin’ either version.
Karle Baby Dance Wance with Daler Mehndi and Sunidhi Chauhan is the track that fit into the overall ‘good’ category. As you can possibly tell from the title, the lyrics are a bit lacking and repetitive. However, with the bhangra-flavoring and some synth beats thrown in, it is a fine song. Anything remarkable? No, we have heard this before, but it was fine.
Wajid put on his rock star avatar for Bang Bang Bang. The rock concert number is full of wailing electric guitars, jammin’ drums, a very cool bass line, and Wajid’s voice in full rock mode. This may not be everyone’s cup of chai, but I really liked the music and Wajid’s fantastic vocals. This one had two great parts and one not so great – it was the lyrics that let the song down. The bang bang bang refrain, though it had a fab sound and beat, was repeated way too many times. The rest of the lyrics did not fit a rock number, not hard edged enough, not right for the beat. “Take me Higher I’ll set you on Fire. I’m a Rock star Baby, I’m a Rock star”… really? So overall it gets thumbs up for the music and his vocals, one up one down for the refrain and 2 down for the lyrics.
Sonu Nigam, Zubin, and Sunidhi Chauhan are heard on Rab Ka Banda. This is the dance/club track on the album. The vocals on this one were super, with some terrific phrasing. The music was a bit too synthy to fit the vocal but still was pretty good. The music got better later in the track and by the end I had started to really like the beat. A fav? No, but can I see a dance floor full of people dancing to it? Indeed!
Mitwa Re features Shaan, Sadhana Sargam, and Wajid and is one of the best songs on the album. In fact, it is one of my favorite songs of the year so far. It is a beautiful ballad with a gorgeous opening guitar line that is joined by the always-wonderful vocals of Shaan. It takes you back to what you would call a classic Hindi film ballad. The orchestration is a delight!! Sadhana also sounds nice, but for me it was Shaan’s vocal that made the track. Everything worked: his voice, the music, and the lyrics. I could listen to this song over and over. It just makes you smile, and isn’t that what good music should do? It is because of songs like this and the next one, ‘Caravan’, that my iPod and iTunes are full of Hindi film songs. I could go on and on (in fact in my notes I did) but let’s move on.
Caravan with Shafqat Amanat Ali is the other outstanding song on the album. It is the perfect combination of brilliant vocal, music, and lyrics and the arrangement of the music is perfect for his voice. He sings with such deep feeling and his vocal quality is beautiful. The caravan refrain is noteworthy with the cool harmony they used, and I am dying to see what the picturization will be for this song. This, along with ‘Mitwa Re’, are both now on my all-time-fav-I-will-love-it-always Hindi song list. (I am sure you have one of those too, na?!)
So in the final analysis, it seems that there can be no weak links, a good song MUST have all three parts be up to par for it to be named a Great song. Keeping that in mind, this is not one of Sajid Wajid’s better albums, and one of the weakest lyrically. When I first wrote my notes I had 3 stars down as the final rating, however on the second listen, I decided that only ‘Mitwa Re’ and ‘Caravan’ are worth 3 stars or even 4, but the rest of the album is a 1.5 to 2. So in the end it rates only a 2.5, which is disappointing.