Race, in theatres on March 21st, has a high quotient of excitement surrounding it. The film stars Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Sameera Reddy and is directed by Abbas – Mustan. There was, of course, a lot of anticipation before the soundtrack of the film dropped into the musical scene as well. With music by Pritam, one of the hottest composers around, lyrics by Sameer, and some of the greatest singers in Bollywood the soundtrack was expected to be outstanding. The soundtrack consists of 2 CDs, one with 6 songs and then another CD full of remixes. So does the soundtrack meet the expectations? Yes and no: it is a good album, with some very good songs, but it is not a groundbreaking collection. Let’s take a closer look at each song.
‘Race Saanson Ki’ is a rocking song that begins with a hard rock guitar section and then moves on to a section that reminds of you of Don. The track then transforms into a song that has intoxicating beats and you can feel the energy of the Race. Sunidhi Chauhan and Neeraj, whose voices compliment the dynamic beat, sing the song skillfully. It has some very hot lyrics, both Hindi and English that fit well with the rock song. One of the best parts is a brilliantly sung section with the lyrics ‘Allah Duhai Hai’. The track has been used for promos, and looks like it will showcase in the film. The remix is fine but if you like the original, stick with that one.
‘Race Is On My Mind’ is basically the same song as ‘Race Saanson Ki’ but with some English lyrics and a bit more hip hop added in. The remix is a quicker version with more electronica thrown in but by the time you get to that you are sick of the song. Four versions are a bit of overkill.
The ‘Race Theme’ is an instrumental track with a few vocals thrown in. It has a very stirring and cool instrumental section that really stands out. The rest of the song consists of samples taken from ‘Race Saanson Ki’. An interesting mix of music and vocals that is well done. No remix for this one.
‘Pehli Nazar Mein’ sung by Atif Aslam is by far the best track on the album. Sung brilliantly by Atif, his voice successfully evokes feelings of love. He sings with emotion and every note seems to reach you. The music to back up his beautiful crooning voice is very good. The acoustic guitar adds to the song and the rock guitar gives the song an extra punch. Bipasha Basu was completely right when she said, ”So when I heard about the track Jaan-e-Jana in Race, I knew only Atif could render it.” This one is sure to be a hit, and sure to be played over and over again. The club mix and the lounge mix are fine, but you will surely prefer the original. Of note, the added English lyrics of the Lounge mix do work and have a nice quality but still not as preferable. It should be noted the song is a translation of the Korean song “Sarang Haeyo”, (which means “I love you”, by the way) sung by Kim Hyung Sup.
The combined voices of KK, Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan are featured in ‘Dekho Nashe Mein’. The original version has all ready been used as a song promo and shows the entire cast looking hot. A quick number that has a very club feel to it. The back beat will get your head dancing but overall not a spectacular song: it is forgettable even with those great singers working so hard. It does have a mixture of English and Hindi lyrics that are pretty basic: ”Ooh Baby Rock the dance floor . . . ”. I actually prefer one of the remixes. It begins with a Spanish guitar that is outstanding and with the added drumbeats it just takes the song out of, “yea it’s good” to “this is a great song”. The second remix is called Latin Fiesta remix but by the time you have heard first two it is just too much. I would stick with the Remix but the original has a good beat to move with.
‘Mujh Pe To Jadoo’s’ beginning has a definite reggae feel to it that transforms to Punjabi beats. It also is a mix of slow soft sections that goes to a faster tempo with the Punjabi flavor. It has some great rap from Apache Indian and is sung very nicely by Taz. Sunidhi Chauhan does add to the song but her part is very small. The song seems to get lost somewhere and it falls short of being a chartbuster. The remix is just a faster version that could be skipped.
Monali singing ‘Zara Zara Touch Me’ is another great track. Hard to classify, it has a style of its own, and boy, is it hot! It begins with a very cool percussion section and then on to piano and strong male vocals. When Monali joins in the song gets even better. Monali is indeed a talent and she sings this song with spice, precision, and beautiful tone. There are some harmonies that really are great. Best part of the song is when she sings:
Zara Zara Touch me, Touch me, Touch me
Zara Zara Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Zara Zara Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me
Zara Zara oh oh oh ooooohhh
Garam! There are 2 remixes to this song which really weren’t needed, both are too fast and take away from the essence of her voice, so it is best to just replay the original.
With a composer like Pritam one expects incredible, and this one ends up being unremarkable. The album does have some stand out songs like ‘Pehli Nazar Mein’ and ‘Zara Zara Touch Me’ and rocking songs like ‘Race Saanson Ki’ but overall it is not an album that will set the charts on fire.