"Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na" is the launch pad of Aamir Khan’s nephew Imraan and to play it safe, Aamir has roped in A.R. Rahman for the music. Set against a campus backdrop, the film’s music gives us an insight into the other side of the composer.
Newcomer Rashid Ali can thank Rahman for a great debut as he croons to "Kabhi kabhi aditi", a romantic fun piece. The track doesn’t sound much like a Rahman composition, but is nevertheless an enjoyable song as Rashid’s vocals gives it a youthful touch. Lyricist Abbas Tyrewala ensures sure his lyrics don’t disappoint either.
Putting a complete halt to the success of the previous track is "Pappu can’t dance". The title itself makes you wonder if it is worth hearing. Well, not really. It is a high paced number that comprises of bizarre thumping music with extra beats. The song may stick to its theme, but as an audio number, it doesn’t fare well. As far as singers go, Rahman usually picks good artistes for his albums, but his current bunch for ‘Pappu…’ does not impress at all.
"Jaane tu mera kya hai" helps the album pick up once again. This track has a repeat value and can pull anyone into its sombre mood. Sung by Runa Rizvi and written by Abbas, the sad and emotional number revolves around the female protagonist and will definitely find a place among listeners.
Sukhwinder Singh renders the second version of the track that revolves around the male protagonist. In spite of being a regular with these kind of songs, he doesn’t sound repetitive. Lyrics are touchy and poetic, courtesy Abbas.
Finally, we come across a typical Rahman number that doesn’t sound monotonous but is in fact one of the best songs of the album. "Nazrein milaana nazrein churaana" has an array of singers but doesn’t commit the same mistakes as ‘Pappu…’
The long list of newcomers that forms part of the album finally gives way to the composer himself. Rahman croons another very-unlike-himself track, "Tu Bole Main Boloon", yet the song doesn’t upset. It belongs to the genre of jazz with saxophones, violins and pianos thrown in. It carries with it a very contemporary, western feel.
Rahman dives into Indi-pop next for "Kahin to". Listeners get a breather in the form of Vasundhara Das, whose brilliant voice is being heard after a long gap. A slow paced number, the song also has Rashid’s voice and encompasses the ingredients of a slow-moving, romantic track. However, Abbas’s lyrics are not so impressive.
Rahman’s attempt at experimenting with new and different sounds for the album may not have resulted in chartbuster hits, but the attempt is worth hearing. Like Naresh Iyer in "Rang De Basanti", the surprise package of this album is Rashid.