I have had an interesting experience with the music to Tashan. At first, I did not think it was too impressive. Yet, on a second and third listen, it has grown on me. To a point where once I combine it with the promos and movie artwork, I appreciate it a lot more now. For once, I find the inclusion of English lyrics within Hindi songs as not merely tolerable, but acceptable.
The album starts out with Dil Haara, with vocals by Sukhwinder Singh. Now, I have never been a huge fan of Mr. Singh. In fact, I still think his best tracks are Chaiyya Chaiyya (from Dil Se) and Ramta Jogi (from Taal), but in this track, he does a heck of a job showcasing the versatility of his vocal skills. An interesting track to say the least, with shades of sufi rock and South Asian folk music shining through. Uniqueness exemplified, especially with some elements of the middle eastern drums and hard rock with the guitar. Add to this that the lyrics are sensible, and you have the makings of a fine song that has a very catchy beat to it.
Chhaliya starts out sounding like a vulgar track but 20 seconds in one realizes that it is more than the typical item number. Of course, Sunidhi Chauhan has a lot to do with it, but so does the music. Here is one instance where I think English lyrics should have been avoided. Don't look at me like that Maahi; I am the noor, I am the hoor -- these just sound immature. Then again, I'm convinced that this trend of including English lyrics as a pre-requisite in some of our Hindi movie songs has to do with the film-makers trying to attract the younger audiences in the Western geographies. Chhaliya is a good track nevertheless, with Ms. Chauhan in fine form.
The next song -- Dil Dance Maare Re -- offers a surprise indeed, with Udit Narayan returning to the main stream after quite a while. The song also features Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan. Together, they serve up what I think is the best track in the album, one that is very creative, and quite unlike anything we have heard before. Here is one instance of effective integration of English in a Hindi song. Well done! The song starts out with 'White white face dekhe, dilwa beating fast sasura chance maare re, O very happy in my heart dil dance maare re', and includes lines like 'Tohra dil ka theater ma, dil deewana booking advance maare re' and 'Can't stop my feet, julamwa kare hain jaalim beat'. You might initially think it sounds less than decent, but it truly ends up being a good song.
Next, Udit Narayan does what he does better than most, if not all. Sing a romantic duet, this with Mahalaxmi Iyer. Falak Tak is the most conventional track of the album, but also the most well written. Falak tak chal saath mere. Waah!
The last song in the album, the title song Tashan Mein, is probably the weakest track of the album, which speaks volumes of the rest of the songs. There is nothing wrong with the track. It definitely has a heavy metal feel to it, and works well with the lyrics. Decently sung by Vishal Dadlani and Saleem. Should be fun to watch how this is choreographed.
Lastly, there are three tracks sprinkled across the soundtrack that contain snippets of verses from a poem, recited by Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, and Akshay Kumar. These appear in the form of Pooja Ka Tashan, Jimmy ka Tashan, and Bachchan Pandey ka Tashan respectively.
Overall, the soundtrack adds to the hype that surrounding the film, which is about all a film-maker can ask of a soundtrack. For us fans, it definitely makes us look forward to the film. I am going with three and a half stars for this soundtrack by Vishal-Shekhar. Very good!
Music Rating: ***1/2 (Very good!)