Music to Jab We Met -- Refreshingly Contemporary

So I have been meaning to share my thoughts on the soundtrack to Jab We Met for a few days now. I have already discussed a couple of tracks, but a review and rating of the album was long overdue given the quality of the soundtrack here. Pritam's music has finally come to the forefront this year (he has delivered some good soundtracks in the not too distant past as well -- Chocolate (2005) is one such example). Before I listened to this, I did not know what to expect, which was a good thing in hindsight. But if you know Pritam soundtracks, you also know they could as easily be misses as hits. This one, fortunately, turns out to be the latter.

There is a bunch of very very solid songs in this one! Mauja Hi Mauja is easily among the best dance tracks of the year. Rather well sung by Mika. I like that the lyrics don't have many obvious English pieces to it, if at all. The Punjabi bit is quite authentic, believe it or not. Or I may be wrong -- if anyone of you speaks Punjabi, I would love a translation of the song in English or Hindi/Urdu. Watch the Mauja Hi Mauja promo, and you will notice that Kareena is there to light up the screen. And probably not as artificially in her last dance track from the film Kya Love Story Hai (what a dud that was -- the song was good, the video left a lot to be desired).

Two songs that are great to drive to (maybe I should have a rating field: Music Worth Driving To?): Aao Milo Chalo (Shaan) and Tum Se Hi (Mohit Chauhan). Both are excellent. The former has among the best fusion music I have heard in a Bollywood track in a long time, with a cameo by Ustaad Sultan Khan that blows the listener away. The latter is the best written song of the album (lyrics for the soundtrack are provided by Irshaad Kamil). Isn't Mohit Chauhan from the group Silk Route?

Another rather good track is the movie theme/instrumental. Of epic proportions (seriously, it is sure to remind you of the title song of a certain English movie that was based on a certain ship called the Titanic), it is clearly the best instrumental track to come out of any Bollywood soundtrack this year.

On to the next tier of tracks -- the good ones: Aaogey Jab Tum Saajna (Ustaad Rashid Khan) and Yeh Ishq (Shreya Ghosal) are other examples of good composition. It is quite surprising to see Yeh Ishq was sung by Ms. Ghosal, for she usually stays away from these peppy tracks. The song instantly reminds a listener of Maahiya (Awarapan) and Say Na Say Na (Bluffmaster (2005)), which is the only reason I did not think it was among the better songs of the album. It is good, nevertheless, and offers decent listening.

Lastly, the only track I find myself skipping is Nagada by Sonu Nigam. And quite surprisingly too, for Sonu is in my top three favorite male vocalists in Bollywood today. The only blemish in an otherwise rather unusually complete album (those seem scarce, do they not?).

Overall, I think the soundtrack to Jab We Met is very very good indeed. It has a nice blend of tracks that will keep fans of contemporary easy listening re-visiting the album often. One of the better soundtracks of the year that will make one look forward to the film. Along with soundtracks to Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, this is another welcome addition to Bollywood music collections. Now, if only I can learn of the Taare Zameen Par soundtrack to round up the fall...

Soundtrack Rating: ***1/2 (VERY VERY GOOD)

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