Tashan (Music Review)

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Movie: Tashan, Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya, Producer: Aditya Chopra, Music: Vishal-Shekhar, Cast: Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor Tashan is truly the biggest and most awaited project of the season. And the reasons are aplenty reports Indiafm. a) This is the first Yash Raj Films project in 2008 and comes straight after double-bill disappointments in the form of Aaja Nachle and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. b) Vishal and Shekhar have a music release more than six months after 2007’s biggest success (both film-wise as well as musically) – Om Shanti Om. c) The film stars four top-line actors who have been having a great box office run – Akshay Kumar (5 successful films in a row), Saif Ali Khan (Race), Anil Kapoor (Race, Welcome) and Kareena Kapoor (Jab We Met). d) Last but definitely not the least – absolutely nothing is known about the film’s plot. No wonder, curiosity is simply killing!

Taking these factors into consideration (especially the last one), as a listener, you have absolutely no idea about what to expect from the soundtrack. Is it going to be a full-on rock album? Is it going to have ‘bhangra’ beats holding prominence since the word ‘tashan’ originates from North India?  Is it going to be full on ‘dhinchaak’ since Tashan has Vishal-Shekhar composing for a hardcore commercial project? Well, hold on to all the anticipation and expectation since the five songs which follow belong to the kind which give an altogether different dimension to a movie soundtrack.  Dil Haara is a unique composition all the way as one struggles to even describe the flow of the song from beginning till the end. It has Sukhwinder Singh giving a folkish beginning to it, is followed by the sound of rock and has a sufi flavor to it as the ‘mukhda’ reaches it’s peak. The arrangements which follow have an amalgamation of rock and folk sound which makes you sit up and wait to be surprised. Written by Piyush Mishra, expectedly, Dil Haara has lyrics which are truly different from what one normally expects from a Bollywood love song and have a certain ethnic/philosophical touch to them. Picturised on Saif Ali Khan, the song is a huge chartbuster on its way.  Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor get a couplet each for them as they talk about what ‘tashan’ means to them through Pooja Ka Tashan, Jimmy Ka Tashan, Bachchan Pande Ka Tashan and Bhaiyyaji Ka Tashan respectively. Wish this was longer though as the combined duration of each of these four tracks is barely 70 seconds!  Piyush Mishra gets behind the mike for a couple of lines (and repeats them towards the middle of the song) before Sunidhi Chauhan takes over the proceedings in Chhaliya. Chhaliya too isn’t linear in it’s format as it has a melodic beginning to it which changes course pretty quick with a Western sound imbibed into the proceedings. A number with a trademark Vishal-Shekhar stamp to it, Chhaliya is written by Anvita Dutt Guptan and has it’s rhythm coming from the line – Na Lada Na Lada, Tu Ankh Na Lada – which forms the major part of the song. A high on beats number which goes perfectly well with the perky on-screen image of Kareena Kapoor!  Sureshot massy entertainer of the album comes in the form of Dil Dance Maare which would definitely have been the riskiest and the most complex song to be created. Reason? When presented with lyrics like White Face Dekhe, Dilwa Beating Fast, Sasura Chance Maare Re; O Very Happy In My Heart, Dil Dance Maare Re, it doesn’t make a composer’s job easy. And when the lyricist is Vishal Dadlani himself, there is no one else to blame too!  Well, Vishal and Shekhar get into a full on ‘dhamaal’ mode here and go truly mad in giving a kind of sound which no song so far in a 21st century Bollywood song has carried! Getting inspired from Laxmikant-Pyaarelal school of music when songs belonging to this mood and style were in vogue during late 70s/early 80s, Dil Dance Maare (picturised on Akshay and Kareena) has a rooted appeal to it and turns out to be one of the most innovative works of Vishal-Shekhar.  While Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan are in great form, it is refreshing to hear Udit Narayan have a major song to his credit after long. The man certainly seems to be having fun and the rest aren’t far behind, especially with Vishal going truly ballistic with lyrics like – Tohre Dil Ke Theater Maan, Dil Deewana Booking Advance Maare Re! Are ‘bhojpuri’ film makers listening?  The composer duo get into Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy territory with Falak Tak which reminds of Chup Chup Ke [Bunty Aur Babli] and Bol Na Halke Halke [Jhoom Barabar Jhoom] when it comes to the romantic genre being explored. A duet by Udit Narayan & Mahalaxmi Iyer, Falak Tak completely turns around the mood of the album. From a ‘masti’ and ‘dhamaal’ time that a listener was having all this while, proceedings turn truly romantic with Falak Tak which boasts of some innovative poetic lyrics by Kausar Munir. A soothing number which is made special by its singers, especially Udit Narayan, Falak Tak is the only number in Tashan where you get a breather as a listener.  And this is because soon arrives the title track Tashan Mein which is based on the kind of music which one associates with Quentin Tarantino. Heard of background music from films like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction or the Kill Bill series? Tashan Mein has a guitar creating a similar sound which forms the initial base of the song. While Vishal and Saleem go about adding on to the haunting appeal of the song, it is only after around a minute that the song catches up pace with the sound of Tashan Mein, Tashan Mein. The song turns truly rock here as Piyush Mishra and Vishal weave lyrics which give the ‘style’ element to the film’s characters! A track which should come as a background piece at regular intervals in the film’s narrative.  Songs in Tashan excite, get on to you quickly and make you put them on a repeat mode. There is not a single dull moment in this entire album which has its tallest highpoints in Dil Dance Maare, Dil Haara and Falak Tak. YRF, Vishal and Shekhar can uncork a champagne bottle since Tashan is all set to record music sales which would be at par with the combined music sales of all of Yash Raj Films projects in 2007 (Ta Ra Rum Pum, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Chak De India, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag and Aaja Nachle).  

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