Music Review: Aarakshan

Movie: Aarakshan
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi

Aarakshan is a serious film that hopes to adequately tackle the subject of reservation.
Given that premise, it’s not surprising to see that the film’s music is

also intense. But roping in music directors Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, otherwise known for their easy listening and feel-good work, may not have been the best choice.

The difference here is that lyricist Prasoon Joshi has also composed for the soundtrack and single-handedly managed to bring in a stalwart of classical singing, Pandit Chhanulal Mishra for two of the album’s tracks.

The good part is that thanks to Wayne Sharpe’s background music, this album is in equal parts score and soundtrack.

The bad part is that its intensity isn’t always for the better. For starters, SEL use too much pitch-correction in most of the songs.

This gives numbers like the opening track Achha Lagta Hain… or Mauka… a rather refined feel that may not suit the film’s rustic backdrop.

Singers Mohit Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal put up a good show in the former track but the use of Hinglish in lines like Seedhe point pe aao nah is a downer. Mauka tries to create a celebratory mood but, in its earnestness, goes all over the place instead.

The only real gems on the album are Kaun Si Dor… a duet by Pt Chhannulal Mishra and Shreya Ghoshal — composed by Prasoon Joshi — and its reprise Saans Albeli… featuring the genius of Pt Chhannulal. Both songs pack in excellent quality singing and a haunting tune.

The strong classical tone is a big departure from popular music, but the songs are deep and well layered.

Roshanee… sung by Shankar Mahadevan tries to be an anthem but fails.

But it’s the remix version of Mauka, the album’s last song that’s the real sore thumb. It’s a bog-standard electronica-infused piece that should really have been left out.

Overall, Aarakshan’s music is mediocre.

The only worthwhile listens are Kaun Si Dor… and Saans Albeli…. The others will disappear from your memory as easily as they entered it.

What we like
Singing in Kaun Si Dor…

What we don’t like
Pitch-correction and over-refinement in most of the tracks

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