“China” in the movie title and an integral part of the story, so I expected lotsa ‘oriental’ sounds in the soundtrack…something on the lines of chin mini chin choo from Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja. And like in RKRCKR, Chandni Chowk To China (CC2C) also has that one track that is totally oriental in nature, the title track – Chandni Chowk to China. Neeraj Shridhar is fast becoming the one-song-trump-card for several music directors (Ticket to Bollywood in JBJ, Hare Ram in Bhool Bhulaiya, Ishq ka Kalma in Goal) and he does a swell job in this madcaper of a song, providing the vocals for Akshay Kumar whilst Anushka sings for Deepika and Shankar Mahadevan popping in to add a fizzy by-line. The Remix version is much more better than the original with DJ Amyth adding in electrical and drum sounds and taking the song to quite another level. The only discordant notes are the intermittent sounds of “haiyya”!
Kailash Kher, Naresh and Paresh contribute two songs in this ensemble album, one an introductory song for Akshay and the second, a motivational song. Naam hai Sidhu is Akshay’s entry song, set in the bylanes of Chandni Chowk and tracing his dreams and ambitions…and also his stagnation as a plain cook. The Harmonium and Tabla dominate the music and though not in a qawwali-esque style, its pretty traditional. Chak Lain De is a motivational song, set as in China as Akshay prepares for battle with the local foes in trying to protect the village whose re-incarnated warrior he is believed to be. The Sitar and Flute set the tone here. It reappears as a Remix version – by DJ Amyth again – and is listenable though not a great value addition.
The weakest and least-favourite song of the lot comes from Bappi and Bappa Lahiri, who rework the yesteryear song bambai se aaya mera dost into India se aaya tera dost. With some incomprehensible lyrics at the start (presumably Chinese!) and some other inane lyrics (such as Seena to rhyme with China!), it is a put-off from the beginning and makes you skip to the next song. Thankfully, melody and romance returns in the form of a delectable Tere Naina. Shankar Mahadevan’s slow rendition is ably supported by a slightly fast-paced rendition from Shreya Ghoshal and that is what I like in this song. The album is rounded off by a Joker-in-the-pack track (one that probably isn’t part of the movie narrative but is placed at either the opening or closing credits) titled CC2C which is composed by the Punjabi Rapper Bohemia and is sung by Akshay Kumar himself. The lyrics are more to do with Akshay himself than his character in the movie, hinted by the Bangkok-to-Delhi lyrics innit. There’s a heady fun-quotient in the song both at the start and the end as Akshay raps in his own imitable style. Overall, its a fun album with four good songs and two that will probably go onto become blockbusters. The remix version of Chandni Chowk To China, Tere Naina, CC2C and Naam hai Sidhu are my personal picks, in that order.