By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Now this one is supposed to be big. Really BIG! And why not? After all Jodhaa Akbar has:
a) Ashutosh Gowarikar's labor of love finally getting ready to be unveiled after going through grueling shooting schedules,
b) Hrithik and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan coming together again after Dhoom 2, albeit in a different avatar,
c) A.R. Rahman and Javed Akhtar saab collaborating with Ashutosh for the third straight time after Lagaan and Swades and
d) A true historical being brought to celluloid after ages.
No wonder, everything about this film is expected to be flawless and studied to the minutest details. This is why one looks at the music with great expectations. However, it all turns out to be anticipation in vain as Jodhaa Akbar turns out to be the first major disappointment of 2008.
In the praise of Shahenshah Akbar comes the opening track 'Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah'. High on orchestra, the track has ‘grand’ written all over it and deserves an opulent treatment to it. Crooned by Mohammed Aslam, Bonnie Chakraborty and Chorus, the track hails Akbar for creating an empire where there is peace, harmony, and great life all around. The song doesn't belong to the kind which could be sung around or played loud at home but would do well when seen on the big screen, provided the picturisation is as lavish as Rahman's efforts.
Javed Ali, who has been trying to make his mark over last 3-4 years, gets a big break in the form of 'Jashn-E-Bahaaraa'. Sounding quite close to Sonu Nigam, Javed does well in his rendition of this slow track that is in complete contrast to 'Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah' in its treatment. Javed Akhtar saab's poetry is in full flow for this love song which comes close to the style of 60’s in it's tune and flow.
However, one misses the kind of punch as expected from the first romantic song of the album and the final outcome turns out to be little lackluster with not much in the song pulling a listener for a repeat hearing. Towards the album's end, a 'Flute Instrumental' version of the song is heard as well, which works better as a core background piece which could be enjoyed with lights switched off.
Kashif written 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' is a devotional track, which is strictly for Rahman fans. Rendered by Rahman himself, it has the kind of arrangements as heard in 'Kehna Hi Kya' [Bombay]. With minimal instruments in play, 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' has its strength lying in it's lyrics but that too has minimal target audience due to the track's genre and setting. Overall, a situational piece that seems like an unlikely candidate to make much headway into current crop of audience. An 'Oboe Instrumental' piece for the same track comes at the album's end and yet again has the kind of treatment, which hardly promises a popular reach out.
'In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein' that comes later turns out to be most laidback of all and just doesn't ignite the kind of spark that one had been hunting for in this soundtrack so far. It's one thing to be slow and another to be just plain and simple drag (if boring is too harsh a word here)! By this time, one seriously starts wondering if Rahman was asked to work on the album really-really hard or did he actually finish the job in a jiffy? In spite of presence of Sonu Nigam and Madhushree, the song just doesn't click at all and in the end what one gets to hear is a number which fails to impress and ends without making any impression.
On the lines of 'O Paalan Haari' [Lagaan] (genre wise) comes 'Mann Mohanaa’, which is yet, another devotional track after 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja'. This time around, it is Bela Shinde's turn to sing a number for Lord Krishna as the character of Jodha played by Aishwarya Rai turns over to God. Just like the rest of the album, this one too doesn't go any further than being ordinary and ends without creating any place in the heart (or the music collection) of the listener.
Special attraction of the music album of Jodhaa Akbar is a bonus DVD that includes a 4-minute long theatrical trailer of the film along with a few posters, story and cast and crew details of the film
The album kicks off well with a high adrenalin title song but beyond that there isn't much to look forward to. Jodhaa Akbar would work with a miniscule segment of audience and that too only in certain big cities. It is expected to take a good start at the stands due to high credentials involved but a sustained stay at the charts may only be possible only if the film is a success.
Jodhaa Akbar disappoints, and how! Though the music of Lagaan was good (catching on more after the film's success), Swades was always a few steps behind. However, Jodhaa Akbar does not have much to cheer about and fails to go an extra distance.