Please don't compare it to the original
By MovieTalkies.com, 02 October 2006
Remaking a classic always entails comparisons to the original and with director Farhan Akhtar’s decision to have music directors Shankar Ehsaan Loy retain two songs from the original Don, two songs which are still remembered and loved by all, one’s expectations from this album are immense. “Duniye mein logon ne dil apne phir thaamen. Aaya hoon lekar mein ph-ir kitne hungaame”... these opening lyrics from the title tack conveys the message clearly that Don is back, in a totally new package and ensures to create “hungama” on the music charts. However one must keep in mind that this is an album which may actually disappoint on its first hearing; its only after hearing the songs a few times does the listener really begin to appreciate the music and drift away from comparisons to the original Don which had unforgettable songs. This album needs to be listened to objectively without comparisons to the original else one will never enjoy these songs.
This album has one extremely unique quality which deserves to be mentioned; although only 2 of the songs have been retained from the original, namely Khaike Paan Banaras Wala and Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Diwana, even two of the original compositions give the listener a slight nostaligic feel of other songs from the original, in spite of these composition by Shankar Ehsaan Loy being completely original. Here the trick is that the songs have kept the situations clearly in mind and hence although the music and lyrics are new, there is a certain feeling which links the listener to the original – credit here has to be given to Farhan, Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyricist Javed Akhtar, because the synergy and understanding between all three is what makes these songs work.
The music of Don goes to show that it is possible to combine melody, with advanced technology and electronic sounds to create great music where there is a melody in each track and where the lyrics of the songs are not droned out by heavy electronic arrangements. Each song seems to be telling a story, but again one has to refrain from comparisons to the original, because although the music of the new Don is enjoyable, it is in comparison to the original.
The album opens with Main Hoon Don, which is a completely different composition from the original (although the name of the song is the same). The song starts with a haunting music which one clearly will become the theme music of the film. The music builds up with the tune be repeated and more instruments being added to give a huge build-up just before Shaan takes over and the music levels is slightly suppressed. Shaan is absolutely perfect in his rendition and reminds the listener that he is one of the most under-rated singers in the industry. The percussions are used very interestingly in this feel in order to establish a mysterious feel and the song ends with the same interlude as it begins with.
Yeh Mera Dil, starts exactly like the original but then immediately gets into a newer version in terms of the beats and percussions and then gets back to the song. The problem with this song is that there have been so many remixes already heard, that this too sounds like another remix, although one of the better remixes of the song. Sunidhi’s rendition is soothing and seductive yet there is something lacking due to the lower pitch of the song. It clearly pails in comparison to Ashaji’s rendition. The flavour of the song remains but this is clearly a composition for today’s generation. The lyrics remain the same reminding the listeners that songs truly do tell a story and move the narrative ahead when good lyrics are rendered.
After all of the electronic instrumental, we come to Moriya Re which uses more traditional Indian instruments. In terms of comparisons to the original, this song will probably take the place of Yeh Hai Bambai Nagariya. Different from the previous 2 tracks, a more dhol and symbols song makes you want to get up and start dancing and will be a hit during this ganpati festival. The strings are very effectively used and Shankar Mahedvan is effective for this type of song. There is nothing earth-shattering about this song, but it serves a purpose and establishes the character of Vijay, Don’s lookalike . The song has a very fun, racing finale which again will make it a hit during Ganpati.
Khaike Paan Banaras Wala starts of with Udit Narayan rattling off lyrics which are not from the original but establishes the fun mood to the song although the listener will prefer the original beginning. Here’s a classic where the melody remains the same, and techno beats have been added, making it more contemporary. One can imagine this song becoming a craze at the discs because it just makes you want to get up and dance. However, this song seems like it is a bit trapped between the original and an attempt to make it more racy and because the original is so popular, this song may not go down to well with listeners. Udit is the perfect voice for the song. The surprise element of the song is a special poetry rendition by SRK in the middle of the song. But overall this one is a bit of a disappointment.
Aaj Ki Raat, although an original composition, as you get into the song, it reminds you of Jiska Mujhe Tha Intezar from the original. The tone and mood established by the lyrics makes it clear that the song is picturized in a similar situation ; “Aaj Ki Raat, hone hai kya, paana hai kya, khona hai kya”. It starts with the drums being used in a manner we don’t normally hear in Hindi songs with music being added around the drums. It is the perfect lounge song and the theme music can be heard lightly. Alisha Chinoy gets the mood of the song perfectly and her voice suits Priyanka to the tee. Mahalxmi and Sonu Nigam provide able support and you feel as though this song captures the emotions of Priyanka and Isha Koppikar both vying for Don’s affections. A song for today, but with a sprinkling of music from yesteryears, this song grows on you with every listen and is by far the best from the alum.
Don The Theme is a very international style background score. Great musical composition which captures the mood of the film and gives just enough of a mysterious element. Combination of instruments, the constant drum beats and the police siren in the background all make this track worth repeating.
Don Revisited, another instrumental track which will probably form a part of the background, is an extension of Don the Theme, but here we also here the music of the title track of the original Don along with SRK’s voice saying “Don” in the background along with dialogues like “Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin na mumkin hai” and “Don ke dushman ki sabse badi galti ke woh Don ka dushman hai”.
Post Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Shankar Ehsaan Loy join hands with Javed Akhtar again to create an enjoyable listen. The problem with this album is that it will be dragged down by comparisons to the original and the fact the Ye Mera Dil and Khaike Paan Banaraswala just do not match up to the original at all, although Aaj Ki Raat is a great composition and a sure fire hit.