It was a little over four years back when A.R. Rahman and Gulzar had come together to create music for Jab Tak Hai Jaan . Now that the duo is back with OK Jaanu, one expects something magical from the combo. Since the film is a remake of Mani Ratnam's OK Kanmani, there are further high expectations. For this Shaad Ali remake, Rahman retains around half the tunes from the Tamil flick and then also creates a few fresh ones to cater to the taste of pan-India audience.
A.R. Rahman brings himself on board as a singer for the title track OK Jaanu which has Srinidhi Venkatesh as his singing parter. A peppy track, it boasts of some good camaraderie between Rahman and Srinidhi behind the mike that ensures that you do tap your feet as the song plays on. In fact what is further remarkable is the fact that Srinidhi is sound engineer at Rahman's studio and here she excels as a singer too.
Meanwhile, an experienced singer in the form of Arijit Singh comes on board for Enna Sona. The very title instantly reminds one of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's Kinna Sona Tenu Rabb Ne Banaya. However, the song is altogether different as Arijit croons to a new tune by Rahman who maintains the ethnicity of Punjabi flavor and yet treats it in a contemporary manner so as to appeal to the current generation. Well done!
As for those looking for some signature Rahman composition, there is Jee Lein. The composer gives this one an unconventional treatment and it is remarkable to see how he along with Gulzar bring in so many variations to this piece. The manner in which Savithri R Prithvi, Arjun Chandy and Neeti Mohan come together for this feel-good track is pretty seamless and one almost visualizes a road trip in motion here.
Talking of road trips, you could well be happy playing Kaara Fankaara on a high volume. It has a trippy feel to it and Rahman makes it as different and unconventional as a film setting allows. He had first created this composition for OK Kanmani and with Gulzar, he comes up with an equally powerful Hindi version with Paroma Das Gupta, Shashaa Tirupati, Hard Kaur, ADK, Kaly and Ashima Mahajan leading the charge.
Meanwhile, for those waiting for some songs with a quintessential Indian classical feel to them, there are 'raga' based 'Saajan Aayo Re' and 'Sunn Bhavara'. Former has Rahman's protégée Jonita Gandhi leading the show. While she expectedly gives a good account of herself, one is almost surprised to see Nakash Aziz, the man behind a couple of massy chartbusters, sharing stage with her. While both of them justify their inclusion, it is also interesting to see how youngster Shashaa Tirupati takes it upon her to lead the show for 'Sunn Bhavara'. She shows her versatility after 'Kaara Fankaara' and makes her presence felt.
Another youngster who makes his presence felt is A.R. Rahman's son A.R. Ameen. He had crooned an Arabic devotional track Maula Wa Sallim in OK Kanmani and it is good to see the track been retained for OK Jaanu now. The song is the kind that deserves to be played in absolute silence since there is certain purity around it which has to be experienced. If you are in for some quiet times, this is the one to be played.
On the other hand if you want some fun-n-frolic around you, it is time to put The Humma Song on full blast. Many years ago Sonali Bendre had gyrated to the tune of Humma Humma [Bombay] even as Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala had their own game on in the background. Well, Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor have all the action for the camera in 2017 even as Tanishk Bagchi, Jubin Nautiyal and Shashaa Tirupati (with her third song in the album) get into the groove with Badshah chipping in with his rap portions.
Music of OK Jaanu is classy with good mass elements added to it as well. Rahman and Gulzar work together as a combo for this Karan Johar production and deliver a winner soundtrack.
Our picks: Enna Sona, Ok Jaanu, The Humma Song, Maula Wa Sallim