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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Music review: SRK's RA.One

Nikhil Hemrajani, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 22, 2011
First Published: 19:13 IST(22/9/2011) | Last Updated: 16:31 IST(23/9/2011)

Film: RA.One
Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: Atahar Panchi, Vishal Dadlani and Kumaar.
Rating: ***1/2

RA.One’s music has been in the news for well over a year. That its music directors, Vishal-Shekhar, were collaborating with Senegalese pop artiste Akon for a couple of songs ensured expectations were high. And the fruit of their effort comes in the form of the album opener Chammak Challo…which Akon sings in Hindi both capably and with feeling. The funny part of this large-than-life East-meets-West crossover piece is that Akon’s articulation is better than many Hindi singers around. Vishal-Shekhar have come up with a infectious piece that’s good to dance to and sing out loud.

But consistency is what differentiates a good album from a great one. The first track may have you humming its tune often but the same can’t be said about the rest of the album, which alternates between score, hard rock and electronic. Dildara…a desi take on Ben E King’s Stand By Me… is over before you know (it’s 1.5 minutes in length) and Right By Your Side… that features indie vocalist Siddharth Coutto is a bit overzealous in its attempt to be peppy. Akon’s second collaboration in the album is the more traditionally arranged Criminal… that has a more clichéd rhythm. Dadlani does a duet with Akon but his voice is highly pitch-corrected and sounds out of place. For the lack of a better explanation, some parts of the song seem too electronic; it’s almost as if the composers wanted to throw in effects just to fit the film’s digital premise.

Bhare Naina… starts like a Gregorian Chants number, but changes into a dark, slow-paced and distortion-laden piece. Although Nandini Shrikar is a talented singer and exercises mastery over the vocals, the rest of the song just can’t keep up with her voice.

Harking back to 60s spy thrillers, Raftaarein… mixes suspense with Wild West surprising well. Its street-band percussion is perfectly in sync with the electronic beats, and sounds innovative. A dance remix of the number could have made sense but the music directors only decided to do remixes of Akon’s tracks.There are three instrumental tracks that form a part of the film’s background score and a few remixes of Akon’s two songs. The only one worth mentioning is the international version of Chammak Challo... that does away with singer Hamsika Iyer’s parts in the original, leaving you with unadulterated Akon.

RA.One’s soundtrack has its moments of charm. When it’s good, as with Chammak Challo... and the chase-sequence like Raftaarein..., it’s pretty good. And when it’s bad, it’s passable. Take from that what you will.

What we don’tlike
The score parts could have been left out

What we like
Raftaarein… is a catchy song that showcases the music directors versatility

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