'What on earth do we make of the music in Farhan Akhtar's new eagerly awaited movie?
Not everything that the triumphant trio of Shankar, Ehsan and Loy did in 2003 was successful. But everything from the flop "Armaan" to the hit "Kal Ho Na Ho" was worthy of a second and third hearing.
I've been listening to "Lakshya" for a week now. I still don't know whether I like it or not. It's a very daringly unusual sound. Almost a show-off kind of innovativeness that comes to a creator who knows he has the chutzpah and the audience. And makes optimum use of both.
Farhan Akhtar first broke into the musical arena with a saucy newness in "Dil Chahta Hai". "Lakshya" scores in a different way. Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy are in a far more adventurous mood here. But the end-results aren't as ear-friendly as "Dil Chahta Hai".
Shaan's wizard of aw-shucks rendering of "Main Aisa Kyon Hoon is remarkably well arranged. The singer tries to match Hrithik's voice and the unpredictable pacing of the tune...an uphill task! The violins are trim and tight, as though to mock the lyrics by Javed Akhtar about stubborn aimlessness.
The love duet "Agar Main Kahoon" introduces an element of humor to filmy romance. Watch out for the splendid harmonica passages in this unusually cadenced duet-to-me-baby track. I love Javed's use of the phrase "ghuma phira ke" to mock and celebrate the traditional Hindi film lyric.
Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam's "Kitni Baatein" is disappointingly turgid at heart. The tune doesn't seem to jell with the poets' vision, the skilful singing and the expert arrangement.
Shankar Mahadevan's title song is bewilderingly pedestrian.
The inspirational "Kandhon Se Milte Hain Kandhe" again has a sensational line up of singers. But the soldier's song compares rather poorly with, say, "Tu Kahin Bhi Rahe" in "LOC".
The three instrumental pieces that end the album impart an air of classy conviction to the album. But somewhere we miss that grab-by-the-collar quality that we expected from the Shankar, Ehsan & Loy/Farhan team.