To start with, Vishal-Shekhar have tried to created an album as international as possible. Out of the fifteen tracks, there are a number of themes, and some four of the songs have good amount of English.
The album starts with Chhammak Chhallo, about which I don’t think I need to write much as the song has been there for long now. The only two things I’d say are, one, Akon’s pronunciation of Hindi words is quite impressive, and two, love the song or hate it, it’s addictive. Highly so.
The second song, Dildara Dildara, based on Ben King’s Stand by me, is nice. Shafqat’s rendition of the song makes it a regular but very much lovable song. May sound templated on Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s patterns, but it’s great to listen to anyway.
The third track, Criminal, sung by Akon again, with Shruti Pathak and Vishal Dadlani, is addictive as papappap, as well as dhinna dhinna. Addictive again, though the album seems to be getting a bit repetitive here.
And so, there comes, bhare naina, sung by Nandini Srikar, for a much required break. The song, which is a nice composition and goes mostly on Nandini’s vocals supported by Tabla in the beginning, gets a bit into Jogi Mahi’s ‘dil thame hue’ mode, but surprises with English lyrics in that background. Interesting for sure. But either way, it’s Nandini’s song who beats almost anything else with the rendition of this soulful tune.
Sid Coutto’s Right by your side seems like yet another repeat of jaane kyun dil chahta hai in the beginning, but then turns away a little and comes up a not-so-fresh, but a lovely and a little addictive number. Nice, but I feel that Vishal-Shekhar probably could do a little more different.
Raftaarein credited to Vishal and Shekhar deliberately reminds you of ‘Duniya mein logon ko,’ and then turns into a full fledged background song for the superhero. Not really a musical thing to listen to until the video comes, but I hope the song would get much more meaning with the movie.
The last ‘song’ Jiya mora ghabraaye brings the much searched-for name of Sukhwinder Singh (at least for me, in Vishal-Shekhar and Vishal Bharadwaj’s albums especially) and while his singing is as impeccable as ever, I do not know how many of fans would like the more of music, a little rap and more of alaap by Sukhwinder. Not upto the mark for me.
As far as the themes are concerned, didn’t find anything too attractive in Comes the Light, while IM On looks like good ringtone material because people are already familiar with the track as background theme. Song of the end is effective, though it sounds like a typical ‘end’ tune of movies, a little older ones I’d say.
Chhammak Chhallo’s Club mix is quite nice and likable while the Punjabi mix does not seem too different from the original once Akon starts singing. Criminal’s remix is so very very typical Akon. In the Chhammak Chhallo international version, there was not much difference, except that I couldn’t find Shruti Pathak there. The ‘remix’ after so much is strictly for dance floors.
Overall, Ra.One is not something usual. If you’re looking for a regular, nice album with melodious numbers from Vishal-Shekhar, you may be in for a disappointment. But then I don’t think that was the aim of the album or the movie from the very start. It’s more of an experiment with at least some amount of English in every song, even the very Indian bhare naina. And as an experiment, I think it’s quite successful, as many of the songs are definitely going to be addictive, and hence popular.