Director Shyam Bengal’s latest film Well Done Abba is the humorous story of Armaan Ali, a driver for a big shot in the city. Armaan takes off work for a trip to his home village to find a husband for his daughter but when he comes back, he finds that his boss is not willing to take him back! Armaan Ali then spins a yarn about what happened to him during that fateful trip in the hopes that his boss will rehire him. The film stars Boman Irani, Minnisha Lamba, Ila Arun, and Sonali Kulkarni among others.
The soundtrack to the film was composed by Shantanu Moitra, who also composed 3 Idiots, but unlike that blockbuster about urban life, Well Done Abba has a more folksy feel to it. And the addition of non-filmi singers like Ila Arun and Raja Hasan only adds to the different sound of Well Done Abba.
The soundtrack kicks off with Meri Banno Hoshiyar a funky wedding song sung by the great Ila Arun and female chorus. The Shantanu Moitra touch is felt with the addition of the Western-style drum kit along with traditional Indian drums, but for the most part the song is a satisfactory wedding song and will no doubt be a fun picturization to watch.
Next up is Sandesa Sandesa, a romantic duet sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Rupankar. Again, there is a bit of a Western fusion element here with a schmaltzy piano and synth string section weighing down the otherwise delicate sounding vocal performances. Shreya is pitch-perfect as always and sounds lovely opposite Rupankar. It’s just too bad the nice melody is hampered by the heavy instrumentation.
The satirical Hum Toh Apni Bawdi Lenge is a fun track sung by Mohit Chauhan that probably makes more sense in context of the film. Still, the catchy beat and the gleeful vocals should keep you listening.
Rahiman Ishq Ka Dhaga Re is a fairly straight forward Sufi-flavored number that sounds like a breath of fresh air after the fusion feel of the previous tracks. There is no Western drum kit or synthesizers, only the beautiful voice of Raja Hasan, a harmonium, and some traditional percussion. It’s a lovely song by any measure.
Finally, the album finishes off with Pani Ko Taraste, also sung by Raja Hasan with that fresh sounding voice. It’s another Sufi-flavored song but has a little more bite to it than ‘Rahiman Ishq Ka Dhaga Re’. These last two tracks are definitely the highlight of the album.
While Shantanu Moitra tries his best at creating a village feel for the songs, he cannot resist adding Western fusion elements, which are rather distracting. But, if one overlooks the unfortunate choices of instrumentation, the melodies and vocal performances are nice and the final two songs with the traditional Sufi sound are very enjoyable.