Here are my thoughts on the songs:
1. Taare Zameen Par -- sung by Shankar Mahadevan, and with supporting vocals by Bugs Bhargava, Dominique Cerejo, Vivinenne Pocha -- the title track (lyrics to which I transcribed at this link), works wonders. Mellow, thought-provoking, and subtle but classy, the lyrics to this song will completely blow you away. Sapne mein mil jaaye farishta sa koi; Yeh to anbiyaa ki khushboo hain baaghon se beh chale, the list of outstanding wordsmith-ism does not stop. Enthralling. These are not your standard lyrics. In an era in which mediocre soundtracks make all the noise, the greatness of Taare Zameen Par's soundtrack shines through. Beautiful.
2. Kholo Kholo, sung by Raman Mahadevan, is the most inspiring song I have heard since one in Rang De Basanti (2006). The trailer to this is riveting. It is poetry, or art, in motion. Literally. Again, the lyrics are fantastic. And I might add that this song is relevant not only to children, but to adults as well. And it certainly has the potential to inspire everyone. Yours truly included! A heck of an urban feel to the song only adds to its aura.
Tu dhoop hai, cham se nikal, tu hai nadi oh bekhabar, beh chal kahin, ud chal kahin, Dil khush jahaan teri to manzil hai waheen!
3. Bum Bum Bole, sung by Shaan, also features a few stints by Aamir Khan. Shah Rukh Khan can try all he wants to sing something like the intro to Bum Bum Bole and the interim piece, but it never comes this good. Aamir has mastered his vocal appearances in songs, and this song is a clear example of this. More praise for Bum Bum Bole, for the lyrics are again excellent, and given that it is a children's song (with children singing in chorus), it has an amazingly catchy tune to it. Compare this Shaan song pictured on Aamir Khan to Chaand Sifaarish featuring the same duo from Fanaa (2006). What a difference, but what a splendid variety?!
Aisi rangon bhari apni duniya hai kyon? Socho to, socho na... ...Jo itni sundar hai apni duniya, oopar wala kya koi kalakaar hai?
4. Jame Raho, sung by Vishal Dadlani, is another track with inspiration written all over it. The lyrics are excellent yet again. Dare I say that it would fit right in as a prequel to Apni to Paathshaala from Rang De Basanti (2006)!
Yeh omelette par hi jeete hain, yeh tonic saare peete hain, Waqt pe sote waqt pe khaate taan ke seena chalte jaate!
5. Maa, sung by Shankar Mahadevan, is a special track which I would, as a very proud Aamir Khan fan, devote to all the mothers out there. This song will make the listener cry tears of joy, such is its power. It arouses the kind of sentiment that cannot be expressed in words.
Tujhe sab hai pataa hai na maa? Tujhe sab hai pataa meri maa...
6. Bheja Kum, a shorter track sung by several singers, is indicative of the troubled noise and tension that a school-going child goes through. The song is probably meant to reflect the tension in a child's brain come exam/report card time, but that is mere speculation on my part.
Kya hai problem, kyon tera bheja kam?
7. Mera Jahaan, sung by Adnan Sami Khan, is another bit of lyrical, musical and vocal genius. Nice finish to the album (this is the last track featuring lyrics), and beautifully sung too. The sounds and vocals will haunt you well after you have listened to it. Fantastic.
Udne ko sau pankh diye hain, Chadhne ko khula aasmaan.
8. Finally, Ishaan's Theme is a Western classical piece which is an extremely well defined concerto per anyone's standards, including Hollywood's. It is the icing on the cake, and brings the album to a deservingly positive close. As I write this while listening to the track, I am sitting in my veranda as I hear the crickets outside and spot a slight drizzle through the moonlight -- it makes for a perfect setting to hear Ishaan's Theme.
Overall, the music to Taare Zameen Par is extremely well made -- lyrical, musical, creative and vocal genius are in ample supply here. No forced songs, and none out of place. My expectation will be that it will fit like hand in glove with the film's theme, for it seems to be an excellent representation or precursor of things to follow come December 21.
My Music Rating: **** (EXCELLENT!)
Verdict: Album of the year. Absolutely makes me look forward to the film even more! Here is a good preview. Enjoy!