Directed by Farah Khan, Tees Maar Khan, is a comic caper, which stars Akshay Kumar as a con man and Katrina Kaif as an aspiring actress. From the first notes heard on the Tees Maar Khan website, fans have been clamoring to hear the OST. Those first cool like notes were written by Shirish Kunder, and the rest of the songs that make up the Tees Maar Khan track list were composed by the great team of Vishal-Shekhar. With such an interesting story and with the intriguing start to the TMK title track, I could not wait to listen in. With 5 tracks and an overabundance of remixes, the album was not what I was expecting. There are some highs and some lows, read on to see which tracks hit the right notes.
For the title track Tees Maar Khan, Shirish Kunder, with his composer hat on, decided to make a theme song ala James Bond or Austin Powers. Not your classic title track, this one is a song that whenever you hear those beats you will think of the character and the movie. Kunder wanted it to be cool, classy and also have a funny layer. He certainly accomplished all three and more. The track starts of with a really groovy Bond-ish but better sound with the dun dun dun dun dun dun TMK (yes…it is singing in my head), which I really, really like. Sung by Sonu Niigaam and Sonu Niigaam and Sonu Nigaam plus back up singing by Sonu Niigaam, and 50 other different voices, Sonu’s vocals on the track are a mix of smooth, high, low, deep and even squeaky but they all work. It has got a little quirkiness in some of the vocals, but that is added to show the flavor of TMK is funny. A cool effect is the refrain, ‘Catch me if you can. Catch me if you can’, which seems to run around you. The song is full of many different musical sections as well and each is good. I really liked the percussion section and the brass layers too. The underlying beat is great and I danced around my office listening to it. I love how it builds and comes together towards the end. You can be sure nothing like this has been heard in Bollywood before. Be sure and check it out but remember it is a theme song not a title track! There is also a Tees Maar Khan (Remix), which transforms the basics of the theme song into a club mix. It feels a bit to fast, honestly but the beat is very cool. Why it is needed I don’t know but you can give it a try. I liked it, but parts did make me cringe so I will let you decide. I prefer the original.
About Katrina’s item number Sheila Ki Jawani, director Farah Khan said, “‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ is a special item number with a never before seen feel to it. There are six different set-ups in the song and Katrina will be seen in 6 different looks. In the last sequence of the song, I wanted a rustic bar setting where you’ll see Katrina surrounded by men holding beer-mugs and splashing water on her something similar to the famous ‘Jumma Chumma’ song in Hum. Another part of the song is a tribute the musical Chicago. The song itself is a mix of Bhojpuri meets Bob Fosse if you can imagine what I am saying.” To hold its own and live up to that concept, Vishal and Shekhar had to come up with THE “item song” song. With a beat very strong on percussion, the track is very staccato, peppy and steamy. The outstanding Sunidhi Chauhan sings with a spicy and garamy flavor that makes the song. Vishal and the male vocals add that extra deep layer the song needs. I am not sure about the English, it is such an essential part of the song and they do make the mix of the two work… mostly. It does not distract most of the time, and sometimes it is very good, but some of the English lyrics stick out, sound ridiculous and take the song down a notch. Overall, a very cool mix of beats and vocals and each time I listen to the track I love it more. I can’t wait to see the whole number! There is a remix version too, which is a totally different song. According to the lyrics, this one is for all the guys. I actually like it, it takes out some of the depth of the original, but it is still a good track. The English lyrics work in this version better, def leave this one on your playlist!
Next is Wallah Re Wallah sung by Shekhar, Shreya Ghosal, Kamal Khan, and Raja Hasan. It is a classic Indian song with shoulder shaking, foot tapping beats and terrific vocals. The sway and intertwining of the music and the vocals is brill. I love songs like this, traditional in underlying percussion and instrumentation, but with a sparkle of a bit of modern flavor here and there. The songs goes through moods and tempos and by the end is a rapid race with a mix of all the great vocals. An enjoyable song and I can’t wait to see what will happen on screen… I can’t imagine! Seems remixes are the tone of the day and the track has one as well. 4 words…stay with the original.
I have been waiting for the song that would blow me away and Badey Dilwala Jo Khole did that. Again the track has an Indian flavor in phrasing and beat. Sukhwinder Singh is at his wailing best, and that is a very good thing! Shreya Ghosal shows a new side and infuses the music with shimmer and a few winks too. Love the male chorus stanzas; the tone grounds the song to the percussion. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have a but then for this song, but then there is this odd little English section about naughty and freaky, but fortunately it is very short and goes away quickly. The rest of the song is full of great. The combination of Sukhwinder’s strong vocals be it slow or fast, with Shreya’s light groove and then the layers of music makes for the highlight song of the album. That freaky naughty section starts of the Badey Dilwala (Remix) and it continues on with a fast beat and the standard remix additions. The coolness and what made the original song so good is totally lost and smothered. Skip this one too.
Happy Ending starts off with a very alternative rock vibe which I liked and hoped the song would continue on that way, however the overlaying instrumental does not match. The song transforms to a nice pop song, which is well nice. However, I am not sure what this song is supposed to be. I really liked the vocal parts but the some of the musical refrains really confused me. If they had left that off and kept it to the basic line of the song with the simple vocals I would say it is a nice (yes, again) if a bit bland song. I really liked the Happy Ending refrain. But with all that extraneous confusing additions of styles and instruments I am going to say try it but be prepared to say huh? Once again maybe in context the huh will change to oh I like. We will have to wait and see.
‘Badey Dilwala’ and the Theme song are by far the highlights on an album full of songs that are good but not “oh my gosh” outstanding. If you add in that half of it is remixes, the album ends up being a bit disappointing. Perhaps because it is a comic caper once seen in the film the notes will make sense. For now, I will go with a low 3, (ignoring the remixes) and hope it will grow later.