The Maestro – A. R. Rahman – and the Showman – Subhash Ghai – come together after eight long years in giving us the latesht Bollywood musical – Yuvvraaj. Their last collaboration – Taal – was a musical success, if not a commercial one and whose melodies are quintessential Rahman. Gulzar saab pens in the lyrics for Yuvvraaj, which ought be one poetic journey. And I hope the melody reigns yet again; almost a regular feat for Rahman, I should say.
Rahman’s svelte vocals create an impressive opening for Tu hi toh meri dost hai and newcomer Benny Dayal makes a good contribution though his opening rendition has an uncanny resemblance to Sonu Nigaam! Shreya Ghoshal lends admirable support with Rahman himself joining in later on. Salman Khan himself opens the Main Hoon Yuvvraaj track with the background of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which has been performed by the Chennai String Orchestra. There’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to bad boy, superstar and Jaanemann which leads me to think whether it was Salman’s own impromptu rendition! Zindagi Zindagi has Srinivas (he of the kaisi hae yeh rut fame from DCH) in soulful form and with some mellifluous lyrics, it comes across as a reminiscent track. The beats pick-up significantly in Shano Shano which also resurfaces as a remix (remix? and Rahman’s track? is that a first?) later on. My least liked track of the lot, its mish-mashy and quite haphazard, what with a bevy of singers at the helm led by Sonu Nigam.
Mast Mast Mastam is another lively but off-colour track. The lyrics seemed contrived with words like rustam and hastam added-in to rhyme with mastam! Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik are joined by Naresh Iyer and Benny Dayal in this madcaper of a song. The only duet in the album is Tu Muskura sung by Alka Yagnik and Javed Ali. I don’t quite think that Alka’s voice will be suited for Katrina Kaif & neither will Javed’s suit Salman but maybe the picturisation will prove me wrong. A ballad-like number, its easy on the ears and not as hummable as say tu hi toh. There are some heavy-duty classical vocals at the fag end which seem out of place in a duet. Manmohini morey, by Vijay Prakash is an out n’ out Indian Classical track, with violins playing tu muskura in the background. It ends quite abruptly and seems like an intro track for Katrina’s entry (maybe Salman spots her drying her hair, hence the lat uljhey in the lyrics!). The longest track of them all is Dil ka rishta which starts off with loud orchestra and classical vocals and is quite the Symphony of the album. English lyrics blend easily with Hindi ones as the track ebbs and flows. Roop Kumar Rathod starts off the vocals which are then picked up by Sonu Nigam later on and are joined-in by a bevy of singers including Rahman, Clinton Cerejo, Suzanne, Vivienne, Naresh, Benny & Blaaze providing the rap. Phew!
After Jodhaa Akbar’s period musicals & Jaane Tu’s feel-good and youth oriented music, Rahman turns on the melody and soul in Yuvvraaj and with Gulzar for company with the lyrics, its an impressive one at that. Though not all the tracks are of the blockbuster kind, there are at least three memorable ones that one will remember long after the CD has been ejected. With Subhash Ghai’s direction, Kabir Lal’s picturisation in the charming European locales, the suaveness of lead actors Salman Khan and Anil Kapoor and the beauty that is Katrina Kaif, I sincerely hope that the songs will be all the more visually appealing. Looking forward to this one quite eagerly…
My rating: 3/5
Pick of the lot: Tu hi toh meri dost hae, Zindagi & Dil ka rishta