Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The first Bollywood rock track

For the last 2 weeks, I have been testing the hubbysaurus' patience by playing the same album over and over again. I'm talking about the soundtrack of Farhan Akhtar's debut 'Rock On!'. When I heard that Akhtar was making a movie about a rock band, my reaction was 'oh no, not again'. I mean, how many Hindi movies have we had where the hero/heroine is a 'rock star' who belts out standard Bollywood fare. Even Himesh Reshammiya was a 'rock star' for Chrissake. So I just wrote it off. Till I caught 'Pichle Saat Dinon Mein' on TV- a neat little rock number that kindled my interest. I downloaded the album online and loved it. Bought the CD a couple of days later and have been listening to it ever since!

Rock On! is a great effort by trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy (more on their music here and here). Even though it is watered down to suit Bollywood, the soundtrack is true to the spirit of rock. Ehsaan goes wild with his guitar, there are some great chords in this set. I love 'Zehreeley', a rocking number that one can freely headbang to. But the award of best track goes to 'Sinbad the Sailor' - a lovely, peppy number that gets me charged up every time I listen to it. Heck, most of the songs in the album do that to me, but 'Sinbad the Sailor' is my favourite.

The primary drawback to this album (other than the bad sound quality on the CD) is Javed Akhtar's lyrics. While Javed Akhtar (Farhan's father) is supposed to have written some of the best Hindi/Urdu lyrics in Bollywood, he is no rock lyricst! Give him a headbanger like 'Zehreelay' and what do you get? - some silly stuff about snakes, and all things being kaalay, neelay, peelay. The other tracks are uneven at best, 'Pichle Saat Dinon Mein' talks about sunglasses and match passes - give me a break! He is better in the slow paced ballads 'Phir Dekhiye' and 'Ye Tumari Meri Baatein'. The only saving grace is 'Sinbad the Sailor', a sweet number about following one's dreams, no matter what comes in the way. 'Socha Hai', with its wide eyed exuberance, is not bad either.

Farhan Akhtar has sung most of the tracks himself, and he's not too bad. He is like Jon Bon Jovi - he can sing alright, but I can't decide if he's good at it or not. The guy on 'Zehreelay' is pretty good.

Verdict - Great effort, love it!

PS: Love the way Arjun Rampal looks in the poster!

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