An A.R. Rahman soundtrack is an extraordinary event. An A.R. Rahman soundtrack for a period film, with Javed Akhtar penning the lyrics, is an even bigger event. I was looking forward to the music release of Jodhaa Akbar. And it was worth looking forward to! It absolutely increases my curiosity for the film, releasing over the next week. A few musings on the soundtrack:
1. Jashn-e-Bahaara is a classic love song that is extremely well-composed and well-written. The lyrical and musical appeal of the song is typical to the combination of Javed Akhtar and A.R. Rahman. Javed Ali as a new singer does very well. But how I wish Sonu Nigam had sung this instead. The vocals are the only element that prevent this very very good song from being an excellent song.
2. In Lamhon ke Daaman Mein is the pick of the lot. I humbly disagree with most of the 'expert' reviewers out there who are quick to dismiss this track. I think it is wonderful. Sonu Nigam and Madhushree provide excellent vocals, and the lyrics and music combine for a collective effect that is anything but ordinary. Excellent!
3. Khwaaja Mere Khwaaja is a traditional qawwali. As someone who is familiar with and a fan of Urdu devotional poetry, I can attest to the relevance and significance of this song. Well sing by A.R. Rahman. Man Mohanaa is a good devotional track, this one sung by Bela Shinde. Azeem o Shaan Shehanshah speaks to emperor Akbar's greatness, and while I am confident that the track will fit in well with the film, it does not do much for the soundtrack.
My rating: ***1/2 (very good)
Overall, I think this soundtrack needs to be assessed after one has seen the film and paid attention to the integration of its music. Typical to an A.R. Rahman soundtrack, seems like this is one that we will enjoy more as we move forward and listen to more often, especially having seen the film.