Music Review: Welcome

By Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

Akshay Kumar has reached a stage where currently Shah Rukh Khan is. No matter who is his leading lady, no matter which production house he works with, no matter what the film's genre is, no matter who directs the film and no matter who composes for his films - the fact remains that he is audience's darling and would hit gold in each of his films. His great run in last few years is a testimony to that!

This is the reason why even with names like Anees Bazmee (No Entry), Firoz Nadiadwala (Hera Pheri, Phir Hera Pheri), Anil Kapoor, Firoz Khan, Nana Patekar, Katrina Kaif and Mallika Sherawat involved, Welcome would go down as an Akshay Kumar release. With multiple composers like Anand Raaj Anand, Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid-Wajid involved, it only promises to be an added advantage. However, in case of Welcome, it turns out to be a major disadvantage as the music turns out to be way below the mark.

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The start of the album is good. Bring out the trumpets and lay down the red carpet - the celebrations have begun and party is on with the arrival of title song 'Welcome'. The music has a distinct David Dhawan touch to it with the title song of Partner (composed by Sajid-Wajid again) coming closest. Composed as a Western track with a distinct party feel to it, 'Welcome' is a high on orchestra number which has Wajid giving a voiceover and Shaan and Soumya Raoh pairing up to croon the major part of the song. Even though the intermediate portions of the number aren't any great shakes as they turn out to be a routine fare, the music woven around the opening lines if a killer and ensures that there is no dull moment.

It's fast becoming a trend (a healthy one though) to see one composer crooning for a fellow composer. Vishal Dadlani has been doing it for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Anand Raaj Anand has done it for Pritam, Shankar Mahadevan has done this for Vishal-Shekhar and others and now he has done it again for Anand Raaj Anand for the number 'Hoth Rasiley'. Surprisingly, the song turns out to be very ordinary as it is excess of sound and fury which kills the impact.

The tune takes numerous twists and turns and a minute into the song, one tends to loose interest into the proceedings. Shankar comes along with Anand Raaj Anand and Shreya Ghoshal to croon this celebration number with an extremely loud Punjabi celebration setting to it. The only thing which can save the number from being a total disappointment is it's picturisation/choreography which may be done in a comic setting.

With Anand Raaj Anand playing the dual role of a composer as well as a singer for this song with Shweta Pandit joining in, 'Tera Sarafa' again belongs completely to the David Dhawan school of music. Nothing surprising here since Anees Bazmee has been a script/screenplay writer for numerous Dhawan movies in the past.

Coming back to the song, 'Tera Sarafa' again follows an unapologetic 'masti-dhamaal' mode with a focus mainly on getting foot tapping beats and keeping the heat on for fast paced proceedings. The USP of the song is Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar shaking a leg with Mallika Sherawat, though one wonders if the song would have gone any further distance if not for this unique pairing! Ultimately 'Tera Sarafa' is the kind which is heard today, enjoyed mainly due to choreography and forgotten the moment film is off the screens!

Oops, now what's that!? By the time an elaborate 30 second saxophone piece is through and one settles down to hear something soothing, the 90s style arrangements start scaring a listener. If this is not enough, what follows next truly catches you by surprise as Himesh Reshammiya (doubling up as a composer and singer) croons the word 'Insha Allah' in the highest possible pitch!

Heavy arrangements, as has been the hallmark of the album so far, doesn't spare a listener here as well even as Shaan and Akruti Kakkar come together with Krishna to croon some of the most ordinary/pedestrian lyrics from a music album of 2007. Just hear this one - 'Ab Jism o Jaan Mein, Dil Ke Jahaan Mein, Hai Tera Welcome, Aa Bhi Jaa'! Aided by 'dhol' beats, 'Insha Allah' turns out to be a routine 'masala' number which work more visually (that too due to Akshay's presence) than audio-wise!

'Kola Laka Vellari' - Now this is yet another number where one exclaims - Oops, now what's that!? Frankly, one can't actually comprehend what exactly 'Kola Laka Vellari' stands for. In fact even Google doesn't! The only good thing about this song is that Himesh Reshammiya is far subdued while crooning this one. A moderately paced song, the song has a mix of Western and Indian arrangements though in a trademark Reshammiya setting that made him a household name in last couple of years. A love song with sad undertones to it, 'Kola Laka Vellari' is barely decent but that's about it.

Anand Raaj Anand returns after a couple of tunes by Himesh Reshammiya and creates 'Uncha Lamba', the opening tune of which lifts has it's references in 'Makhna' [Bade Miyan Chote Miyan]. A number which could well find references in number of Punjabi-fusion-folk tracks, 'Uncha Lamba' has predominant Western arrangements which go well with the current on-screen image of Akshay Kumar. With Kalpana as his duet partner, Anand Raaj Anand gets into a romantic mode with this yet another 'masala' track which barely sustains itself for the situation and that's about it.

With great power comes great responsibilities - This can well be true for Akshay Kumar now as well! As mentioned at the very beginning, any film starring Akshay Kumar today is THE Akshay Kumar film. Whatever good or bad, it is attributed mainly to the superstar than anyone else. This is why even the music of Welcome, which is extremely ordinary in any case, will be termed as nothing less than disappointing due to high standards set for an Akshay Kumar film. Though thankfully the film seems to be highly interesting, Akshay fans would have to wait for Tashan and Singh Is Kinng in anticipation of some good music.

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