Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Will You Cross the Skies For Me) was one of the biggest hits in the Tamil cinema arena in recent years and it has gone on to attain a cult status among Tamil film followers- prompting Gautham Menon to finally make his long-awaited second attempt at directing a Hindi film. His first, a remake of his debut hit film with Madhavan, ‘Minnale’ didn’t turn out to be that much of a sweet affair. Probably keeping that in mind, Gautham produced ‘Ek Deewana Tha’ (There was a Crazy Guy), VTV’s Hindi remake, himself- to avoid the complications he faced with ‘Rehna To Teri Dil Mein’ producers.
VTV’s music, which represented Gautham’s first collaboration with AR Rahman, also attained a cult status and thus anticipations run high for the Hindi version of its music. The album has 12 tracks, including some famous, sought-after BGM scores that were missing in VTV and also one additional song to existing copyblock album of VTV.
Kya Hai Mohabbat (AR Rahman)
The album begins with an additional song that did not feature in the Tamil or Telugu albums of the same film. With delectable lyrics from Javed Akhtar, AR Rahman takes the mic to render a song that described the ambiguity of love itself. This song definitely will not have a picturization bestowed upon it- it sounds more or less like a song that would run on the background, or title credits. The song has a breezy jazzy touch upon it, similar to the composition of ‘Tu Bole Main Boloon’ from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. This will probably not become a hit on its own, but for those who have a good ear for slow music with excellent lyrics- this will be a gem. A good candidate for those slow mornings in which you would feel appreciating ambiguity itself.
Dost Hai (Naresh Iyer, Jaspreet Jasz)
As a reviewer, first I would need to take the standpoint of a neutral when reviewing this song. ‘Dost Hai’ is meant to portray the angst and frustration of a man who’s advances are constantly pushed away by a girl who shows her interest in him in spurts. Naresh Iyer’s vocals are good, the lyrics flow well, the music puts the emotions right at the forefront, and there is a generous dose of English strewn in the middle. This a good number. But sadly it could have been way better. ‘Kannukul Kannai’ the Tamil version of this song, was by mile a better composition, mainly due to the fact that the song was not interfered by any unnecessary rapping and mainly involved only its Tamil lyrics. What prompted ARR and Gautham to come up with a version that sounds like a club mix of the original composition, I would never know. Hindi listeners might still enjoy it, but those who have heard the Tamil version are in for a letdown here. There are also some techno sounds so generously added into the song.
Aromale (Alphonse Joseph)
‘Aromalae’ is a classic. There probably was not a single composition similar to it in the past decade or so in Tamil cinema. Aromale was about a man’s trance while writing a script and was fully sung using Malayalam verses- representing the heroine’s character. My understanding is that Amy Jackson also plays a Nasrani, similar to Samantha and Trisha’s protrayals in the movie’s Tamil and Telugu versions. Keeping that in mind, Aromalae could have been left untouched, but probably not wanting to repeat themselves, ARR and Gautham went for a twist for having Javed Akhtar write Hindi lyrics and make it a ‘Hindi’ song. The interludes in the middle also uses different Sanskrit versions compared to the ones used in the original ‘Aromalae’. This is a composition that will hopefully be appreciated in Bollywood as well, but for obvious reasons, the Malayali lyrics, though not understood, provided more feel to the song rather than Hindi lyrics. Not to take anything away from it though, Aromale is just as good as other Aromalaes. It’s just that, in my opinion, Alphonse’s voice did not have the same passion that it had in the Malayali version.
Hosanna (Leon D’Souza, Suzzane, Blaaze)
Ah. The delight of thousands of music lovers down south in 2010. Probably one of the most romantic songs in recent times, it succeeded immensely in both Tamil and Telugu. Now the Hindi version has arrived. And as if making up for the disappointment of Dost Hai, Hosanna seemed to have upped an inch in this Hindi version. The new addition here is the singer Leon D’Souza- who gives a very delectable twist to the listening experience of this Hosanna. The English interlude in the middle sees Leon chipping in as well, and the pronunciation is clearer and slower to Blaaze’s quickfix in Tamil and Telugu. In this Hosanna, you can almost hear every word that is being sung in the song- making it more melodious to the other versions- which I don’t think is an easy task. Javed’s lyrics fit the tone perfectly, in fact they sound more in tune with ARR’s musical notes rather than Thamarai’s lyrics in Tamil. Brilliant.
Pholoon Jaisi (Clinton Cerejo, Kalyani Menon)
Another beautiful romantic composition that was already made extremely famous down South. But again, ARR seems to notch it up a little with this Hindi version by bringing in a different singer- Clinton Cerejo. I did have a small problem with the Tamil version of Omanna Penne, where I felt Benny Dayal’s voice did not fit the song completely. But the popularity of the music video and the movie almost made the whole thing seem natural, but Pholoon Jaisi sounds natural as a composition itself thanks to Clinton’s voice. His pronunciation is clearer, as was the case with Hosanna, and this adds value to the song. Excellent.
Sharminda Hoon (AR Rahman, Madushree)
To be honest, ‘Manipaaya’ sounded a little awakward when I first heard it. There were some great moments of singing by Shreya Ghosal but the overall feel was a little awkward due to, as I said, the first time combination between Thamarai and ARR. But with Javed, ARR seems more comfortable in this Hindi version. His voice has more clarity, and doesn’t seem to struggle with jumping notes. The flow of the lyrics suit well with the composition, which again makes it more ‘natural’. I would natural prefer Shreya to have kept her place and not replace her with Madushree, by the effect is not much judging by the overall feel of the song. A slow romantic ballad that made Kerala look so beautiful (Allepey to be precise). Very Good.
Sunlo Zara (Rashid Ali, Shreya Ghosal)
Anbil Avan found its takers as a happy wedding song celebrating the union of a couple. The song is given a slight melodious twist in Hindi thanks to Shreya Ghosal’s female voice and also Rashid Ali’s soothing involvement. The choice of singers is spot on for this song, recreating the same affect the original created in its own breezy way. The traditional marriage instruments at the interlude have also been tweaked with, in a good way.
Zohra-Jabeen (Javed Ali)
I have mentioned in my music review of VTV itself that this song is a gem. It is the title track in its Tamil version, and the same magic exists here as well with Javed Ali crooning (the original was Karthik). Slow, melodious, and full of soul- this a brilliant song and here’s hoping it doesn’t become as underrated as the Tamil version became.
There are three instrumentals included in the album. The first one is ‘Broken Promises’, where you hear the voice of Shreya Ghosal humming a sadder version of Aromalae. This is as good as a BGM gets. Shreya’s Cranatic influenced singing shows her vocalistic slyllables without as much as uttering a word apart from ‘Aromalae’. The music is slow, simple, and similar to Aromalae. VTV had one of the best BGM I had heard in a Tamil film, and one of those that will linger on after credits is the ‘Moments in Kerala’, a great BGM that appears when the Sachien visits Jessie in Allepey and they share some special moments together. This is followed by the composition that was ringtone for sometime, ‘Jessie’s Land’. I took pains to get hold of this number after watching VTV, but thankfully it was made available through the album itself in Hindi. This will appear at the title credits in all probability, and will set the tone for the rest of the album. ‘Jessie’s Been Driving Me Crazy’ will drive you crazy after you have watched the movie. It is a rather a full blown composition in Hindi, so it’s just simply awesome.
All in all, this is a great album- if you can stop comparing, and even if you want to compare, it still has improvised tracks- which makes it still a very good album.
With that said, Wait for Jessie!