Dec 16, 2013

Christmas Special: Dhoom 3 Music Review


 
Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen, 2013 is coming to an end. Wait, you knew? Ok, I think you knew. But what cinema-goers and music lovers do not realize, is that the year has sadly come to an end for Bollywood.

We have had a bit of everything this year, to be honest. From a silly "Chennai Express" to a beautiful "Aashiqui 2". Eventually we also had "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", but we also had an undeserving "Grand Masti".

Thankfully, the year ends with a BANG. Got the joke? No? Let me try again. "2013 will end with a DHOOM". Is that fine now? I think so...

Anyway, keeping aside the various puns and jokes worthy of an Aamir Khan movie, let me just say that Pritam has given us a "feasty buffet" to participate in. We have a bit of 'Malang', we have some Arabic Dhoom Machale as well. The dessert is also very tasty with Julius Packiam's instrumental.

And that will be the point of this music review. It is as good as a satisfying evening at a 5-Star hotel. It may not be Pritam's best album. But he gives us something worthy of a "Dhoom" film.




Eventually the songs take time to grow on you, but once they do, you cannot separate yourself from them. I have my personal favorites, but I will leave that for the end. But if this introduction made you curious, have fun reading this review. (Comments are most welcome, at the end of this post) 



Detailed review of each song


Malang (Saavn link listen here)


It is very interesting to see that the line-up starts with my favorite song of the entire album. Pritam goes into a different zone, and he may have wanted to put this across to all his critics. Well "your ball just entered the goal", Mr. Chakraborty.

Eventually, 'Malang' will grow on you like "hair on a bald person". It may sound funny, but that is what happened to me. I am not proud of it, because I accused the song of many things before I could grab the real essence from it. (But hey! I blame that few-seconds-long promo on Youtube. Does not give importance to the song, only to the visuals. Which seemed far more beautiful than the song, but the song is in reality just as good as those visuals)

Eventually those vocals by Siddharth Mahadevan and the in-form Shilpa Rao are what gives this song a really nice feel to it. The orchestration is way too complex for me to describe it. But eventually, I can describe the following: "This song sounds nice!" I do not know all the instruments used, but I frankly do not care. Because this song grows on you so much, that at some point you will understand how to relate to it.

Eventually, Pritam "starts the innings with a SIX". But can he "complete the century"?

But then what is in store for us after the "best track of the album"? Let us proceed to the next item please.


Kamli (Saavn link listen here )

I like the fact that they did not promote this as an "item song". The quality of this composition is far better than a "Fevicol Se" or even a "Sheila Ki Jawani".


But what am I doing. Sunidhi Chauhan sang SKJ for Katrina, and now she does a Kamli. Great comeback by Sunidhi Chauhan. I honestly cannot think of any good song she sang off late. But this one eventually ends up being very catchy, due to Sunidhi's convincingly powerful vocals. Not really up to the mark of the previous song of this album's line-up, but still a pretty good composition on its own.

To be honest, I look forward to Katrina's acrobatic acts more than the song. But I do not want to bring down Sunidhi Chauhan's efforts. She did her best in a very long time.

Tu Hi Junoon (Saavn link listen here )

Pritam just gives us a very different song with 'Tu Hi Junoon'. 
Even Mohit Chauhan's impeccable pitching does not help this song sink in for a attentive listener like me.

Something just does not work for me, and to be honest I just cannot put my finger on it. The use of trumpets (I think?) and a strong arrangement are the plus points, but it is just too mellow for the listener in me to understand what is "great" about this one. Maybe, it is the more subtle feel to it just before the end portions ("Aasmaan siyaah ghulne laga sa hai") that makes me realize that it is not all that bad eventually. But in my assessment, this sticks out like a flower pot in a jewellery store. Beautiful, but somewhat not "what I came here for".

Thankfully, Pritam comes to the rescue, saving us from his own "flawed composition". In comes "Track Number 4 of the album".

Dhoom Machale Dhoom (Saavn link: listen here )

So the song starts in a very subtle and "bizarre" way. I mean, to get the pun of the "100 Years of Hindi cinema" took me some time frankly. But eventually what saves it from being a "Pritam outing" is Aditi Singh Sharma's vocals. (Regarding the first half of what I just mentioned, I don't mean anything against Pritam. His music is just evolving very differently, if you compare it to a Vishal-Shekhar or an Amit Trivedi)


Eventually, the "Go Crazy" bits (which reminds me of that silly PBN track from the UK) gets you addicted to the catchy beats of this one. Watch out for the song just when it is about to end. That bit when Aditi sings "Zindagi hai bas do pal ki", is when you suddenly realize that "this track is way beyond you expected". To be honest, apart from Aditi's strong and confident rendition of the title track, what makes it sound so attractive is the nearly flawless usage of the Dhol. So subtle, so understated, but when you start noticing you eventually start nodding your head to the beat of this song. Once you figure out "how this song works for you", you will love it. That is what happened to me, honestly.

(Note: even my pet cockatiel Kuku started dancing to the beat of this song. That's when I realized "There must something more than just the awesome vocals" Eventually I figured what Kuku liked: the beats. He was dancing to the same beat. Simple.)

In short, Aditi Singh Sharma provides Pritam with her best work in Bollywood till date (better than 'Dilli Dilli' from 'No One Killed Jessica', her brief appearance in 'Dhat Teri Ki' from 'Gori Tere Pyaar Mein', and even better than her personal "previous best", which for me was her version of 'Raabta' in 'Agent Vinod') And please do not go for the video, as your benchmark. Let us be fair here, she had a lot to live up to, after people like Sunidhi and Vishal Dadlani had given their renditions of this one. I am just glad she could pull this one off, even better than the predecessors. Yes, I just implied that this is my favorite version among the three Dhoom Machale's. Though, it will be tough to convince all music lovers with this, true. Yet, I really cannot say that I hate this track.

Bande Hain Hum Uske (Saavn link: listen here )

If I speak of "things that stand out oddly", then I must also mention how this one "stands on a podium like a winner".


Shivam's singing sounds way too mature for a child. And that is what strikes me the most in this song. Pritam can bring out such power and such passion in a mere child (who may be related to Shankar Mahadevan, I believe?) and that itself gives me the "Dhoom" effect.

It is not something peppy, it is not a track that would fit in Dhoom or Dhoom 2. But let us be fair, he gives us something very sincere through this track. The arrangments and lyrics that surround this show, gives us eventually something we can remember. 

Dhoom Tap (Saavn link: listen here )

Will not make this one very long, because it is a very "simple track". Not simple in its arrangements, mind you. But it can convey a very good feel through all that tapping. And if some tapping can make you feel thrilled, then you know this track is awesome.


Eventually, all that tapping makes you feel like you're in rollercoaster. It takes you through a lot of "twists and turns", and makes you "land where you want to land". It feels brilliant to hear this song.

Dhoom:3 Overture (Instrumental) (Saavn link: listen here )

If 'Malang' was the Top Track of the Album, this one falls just behind. An "instrumental"?

No. This one is a story. It takes you through the entire Dhoom story, and you may not have even seen the movie, if you know what I mean. You can build a story around the track, and that is what instrumentals should do. Eventually if Dhoom 3 has a huge collection, I will attribute a lot of success to this track.

It may seem silly, but hey, please give some credit Julius Packiam. The guy gives us such amazing music, and he is doing it like an invisible hand. I do not see him a "guest composer" this time, I see him as an "intergral part of Dhoom 3".

To be very frank, I thought this would be a boring one, when I first heard of it. But wait for the screen to show "3:00". After the three-minutes mark, you know you're in for SUCH a thrill, that eventually you cannot help but love this song.

Let me be fair here. This may be a music review, but I could visualize a mischievous and vendetta-seeking Aamir when I heard this song.

(One last analogy featuring Kuku: he slept really well when he heard this song. He may have gotten scared of those beats towards the end, but when he figured out how the track works, he felt more relaxed in my second and third plays. Henceforth, he sleeps or "feels more relaxed" whenever I play this track.)

Dhoom Machale Dhoom (Arabic) (Saavn link: listen here )

In my opinion the album should have ended with the previous track. Anyway, despite this being a review of the entire, I see this one as a Bonus Track.

A very good rendition of Aditi's Dhoom. May feel slightly unnecessary, but in no way bad. Arabic is a beautiful language, but cannot fit in Hindi movies, not just yet. We will need to evolve a little bit more. I see AR Rahman bringing that change in Hindi movies.

All that said, Pritam does a very nice attempt in involving Naya (the vocalist of the Arab version), and she gives us something to "think over" eventually.

At the end of the first listen of the entire soundtrack, I was honestly a bit perplexed. "Is this album really that good? Is it something Pritam worked hard for?"

I gave it a second listen, and eventually when the playlist reached to this version, I said "YES". Pritam gives us something different for all the songs, but even for this one! It may have been unnecessary but my point is, Naya's version gives us the feel that "This is not a bad album after all."

Personal Picks

(i.e. my choice for Dhoom 3's "best tracks")

Dhoom Machale Dhoom, Dhoom Tap, Malang, Dhoom:3 Overture


Final Rating

(8.5 out of 10)


Final Word

Go for this one. Not everybody will agree with this, but I feel Pritam "completed his century" with this. As simple as that.

It may not be "love at first sight" for this Pritam outing, but hey, when it's love after only one more hearing of the album, you know that Pritam has worked hard in 2013.

2014 will be an epic year for Bollywood music. And to be honest, I have no fear to say the following: Pritam has been at his best this year.

He may not have given us a 'Tum Hi Ho', but his efforts are genuine. And Dhoom:3 just gives us that flavour. It may not be perfect, but it is just as awesome as the word "Dhoom". I hope that Pritam will "Dhoom Machale" in 2014 as well!


Listen to Dhoom 3 only on Saavn.com


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