Who can forget that iconic theme tune to the Dhoom series, and it’s fully reloaded with Vijay Krishna Acharya helming the third instalment of the franchise. He’s recruited a sterling cast with Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif as the lead baddies, and brought Pritam in for the soundtrack. Pritam is definitely one of the most creative and canniest music directors around. He has a surefire knack for utilizing the best trends from Southie beats in R…Rajkumar to retro charm with Barfi. However, he is severely inconsistent when it comes to delivering a complete album of good songs that don’t coast on the success of those most played on the radio, and TV. Dhoom 3 once again is an album like that with two chartbusters, and a middling bunch thrown in as well.
The album starts off well with Malang, which is being pushed as the most expensive song ever due to hiring professional acrobats and trapeze artists! The song begins with that Arabic feel with the horns and goblet drums kicking off, but it’s that chorus that hooks you in. Siddharth Mahadevan has a fantastic voice and makes sure that you’ll be singing Malang malang right after the song’s ended. Shilpa Rao also lends him great support with her verses. While it has certain echoes in its arrangements to Jhoom from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, the song is a standout, because the composition is engaging. There is a special moment where the male chorus start doing their ragas in the form of the theme tune, which is just splendid. Keep this one repeat!
One of the more boring numbers is Kamli, which seems to fill the Punjabi referencing quota for a Yashraj film. The lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya are actually quite good but don’t seem to suit Sunidhi Chauhan’s usual slinky delivery, it’s almost like she’s rushing through the verses. The arrangements are okay, with the tablas kicking in around the chorus and meshing with the electro beats lacing the track. However, the song saves its salvaging moment near the end with a fantastic guitar and sitar – sounds like Asad Khan – have a stunning jugalbandi.
Another misfire is Tu Hi Junoon, which after valiant efforts by Mohit Chauhan to salvage it sounds messy and disjointed by all the arrangements. Unfortunately after the strong acoustic opening, the song segues into a very cheesy jazzy rock number with the characteristic trumpets and choir making it sound like a Broadway tune. There’s nothing wrong with going big and Broadway, but Pritam seems to go for the cheesy variety where you can just imagine certain interludes for jazz hands! Avoid it!
My absolute favourite is Dhoom Machale Dhoom, which opens with brass band version of the song before turning into a hypnotic club track. The original melody is addictive in this new redo, with Aditi Singh Sharma taking the vocals. Sharma is simply fantastic in her slinky rendition and not letting all the arrangements overpower her verses. The brass band sound comes back intermittently in the song, alongside the dubstep and razor-sharp electro beats. While it can seem repetitive to some, there’s much to enjoy with this track since the pacing is perfect and makes you want to start dancing!
Bande Hain Hum Uske is quite a haunting and interesting song with young singers Shivam Mahadevan and Anish Sharma. The song will likely give be picturised on the young Aamir’s character to give us him more of a backstory than we’ve gotten from the trailer, so this song strictly works as a situational one. Even still, the song showcases these young kids with big and strong voices who could go far in their careers too.
Next up are the instrumentals, the Dhoom Tap already looks a tiny bit hilarious from the promos but the music is good and doesn’t let the tap sounds do all the work. There’s the addictive guitar riffs in the usual Dhoom melody along with a shouty chorus who keep things energetic. The Dhoom 3: Overture is just really an instrumental of Bande Hain Hum Uske, which adds more violins and a more sombre appeal, which makes it boring. The song zooms into energetic territory by the end where we hear the guitar riffs from the initial trailer along with some wicked use of dubstep and trap sounds. Maybe just forward till you get to that part of the song!
Dhoom 3 is another Pritam special: two or three usual standouts and a lazy bunch of other tunes that cannot muster up much energy or long-term appeal after the movie’s release. This is a bit of a disappointing album considering the expectations, and that Pritam has been composing for the franchise all these years.