One of the most iconic pairings of Bollywood of all time that took Bollywood films to the next level is back after a gap of over 15 years. This is not an on screen couple but rather the hit making director actor combination of Sooraj Barjatya and Salman Khan are back together for ��Prem Ratan Dhan Payo�۪. The trailers look larger than life and much bigger that what any of their previous film sets would have been for movies including ��Hum Saath Saath Hai�۪ (1999) or ��Hum Aapke Hain Kaun?�۪ (1994). Salman Khan as Prem stars opposite the gorgeous Sonam Kapoor in this massive film production with Neil Nitin Mukesh and Anupam Kher in the supporting cast. With the famous Ramlaxman not around, Himesh Reshammiya seems to be the odd choice by Rajshri to appoint as the music director for such a huge come back project with his peculiar style of Hisdustani compositions. But with Irshad Kamil by his side at least the lyrics should be something not to worry about.
The album starts off with a solo for Salman Khan with a song called Prem Leela in the voices of Himesh�۪s favourite two singers Aman Trikha and Vineet Singh of Hookah Bar fame. The composition is a typical Himesh arrangement with whistles and synthetic trumpets played to duff drum beats. This does not sound unique and resembles the sounds overused a lot by Himesh in 2012 for films including ��Bol Bachchan�۪ (2012) and ��OMG ��� Oh My God!�۪ (2012). But the vocals are well delivered by both the singers and they suit Salman well as seen in the video as he plays a Ram-Leela skit on stage. The extremely colourful video works well helping amplify this very traditional dance tune with playful lyrics of the love between Ram-Sita and Radha-Krishna. Overall a decent song but far from being unique in composition.
The extremely talented Palak Muchhal delivers the title song Prem Ratan Dhan Payo next in her gorgeous voice that is soft and charismatic. She is extremely talented and has not had her big break since her amazing vocal delivery in ��Aashiqui 2�۪ (2013). This song could well be that big hit she deserves. The deeply classical and 1990s style composition is perfect to let her vocals stand out and showcase her true talent. The typical Sooraj Barjatya style huge classical ensembles are the real musical characteristics of this song that Himesh delivers well with good instrumentation keeping it purely Hindustani giving Palak�۪s vocal a lot of breathing space. The lyrics are simple and reminiscent of the 1990s time of a Rajshri film that are meaningful and deep but simple in their poetic flow. This is a well done song that is a good job on all fronts and thus well suited for a title song of such a massive production.
Jalte Diye in the soulful sufi voice of Harshdeep Kaur has a gorgeous start in a gazal style that quickly gets a south Indian classical touch with the voice of Anweshaa along with Shabab Sabri and Vineet Singh. The lyrics are deeply romantic that are well spread out across the paragraphs as the emotions build and get stronger. His comparison of feelings to instruments and different lights sets the moods very well in each stanza. Shabab sounds a lot like Sonu Nigam in his rendition but is note perfect. Anweshaa sounds amazing too and carries through the female lead very well. This is quite a powerful song to listen to overall.
Aaj Unse Milna Hai features Shaan in a solo lead after a long time and he sounds evergreen as always in his prime days. As this film takes one back in time to the 90s era, Shaan�۪s vocals are true to his delivery style and flair from the good old days. But more than the romance of the song, it makes one hungry as the name calling of the dishes continues throughout. The lyrics are thus a bit disappointing as Irshad tries to keep this to a light side. The composition and music try to complement it on the light side too with a soft beat arrangement but it eventually lands up being an dull melody overall that fails to make an impact.
Jab Tum Chaho features Palak Muchhal in a different demeanour with a totally different tone and vocal rendition so much so she sounds like a different person. Supported by Darshan Raval and Mohammed Irfan who don�۪t have a major role in the song are barely heard. The slightly upbeat composition is in a very typical Himesh beat pattern that is a little more upbeat but lacks the class and lands up sounding a little like a street song even though it needs to retain the polish and character of this magnums royal style of the film. The lyrics are slightly cheesy at points and seem to be trying too hard at points. Other than the hook that Himesh has managed to nail to get stuck into a listener�۪s head, the song lacks quality. With a few good repeat listens some listeners might just about develop a liking for this song.
Aman Trikha goes solo next with Halo Re which is a non-commercial but quite an interesting song. The deep bass keyboards mixed with a dandiya Gujarati beat structure creates a good vibe overall ideal for the current dandiya season. Aman�۪s vocals are very smooth with a nice range to it throughout. The lyrics are representative of romantic moments between Krishan and Radha and well arranged with a nice poetic flow to it. This song will not be as big as Nagada Sang Dhol but it is a good track for the Garba season.
Tod Tadaiyya is next in the voices of Neeraj Shridhar and Neeti Mohan. A romantic song between the couple has a playful touch to its lyrics. Neeraj has been missing from the scene for some time now and it is good to hear his voice again. Neeti is strong and dynamic in her delivery as always. Himesh keeps the music simple here on a simple beat structure. The classical bridge in the song is quite typical for a Sooraj Barjatiya film that fills in the gaps. A mediocre song with nothing fancy or brilliant about it.
Himesh gets on the mic himself next with Bachpan Kahan. Starting with a large orchestration this is a soft lullaby song composed and arranged to the typical pattern for this genre. What doesn�۪t work is Himesh himself on the mic who gives it a 1970s rendition touch which is very weird. Only the film itself will explain why this song is the way it is and who is singing this to whom. This is definitely not something that will look good on Salman Khan. Lyrics are very simple with strong Hindi though for a lullaby style song.
Shaan delivers a short Murli Ki Taanon Si next which is a slow and sad version in the same arrangement as Aaj Unse Milna Hai with a lot of aaaaaaa�۪s to go with it. This is purely a background song with no commercial aspects to it for a standalone song in itself.
Yes another version of the earlier song, Aaj Unse Kehna Hai is more of a female version of Aaj Unse Milna Hai where she heads out to tell the guy how she feels. The song quickly transitions into the title song as if the confession has worked and it is all happy thereon. With vocals by Shaan, Palak Muchhal and Aishwarya Majumdar there is nothing new or different to go with in this short song.
One would expect from Sooraj Barjatya to come up with a grand score for his big new return project with Salman Khan but this is a big-Traditional score. There is no modern touch to it of 2015 which is a plus point but also a negative. One needs to really know Hindustani music to really appreciate the soundtrack of ��Prem Ratan Dhan Payo�۪ which is quite strong in that aspect. Lyrics by Irshad Kamil are the strongest aspect with a traditional touch to it. Himesh ironically does a very good job with the music compositions keeping the classical feel all through in sync with the film. A couple of good songs overall including Prem Leela, Halo Re and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo while the others are background songs or fillers. The album is quite similar to the previous Rajshri productions and thus it would worth seeing if it has a place and listenership in 2015 charts.
Overall Rating ��� 7.5/10