While I’ve, predictably, hated most of Karan Johar movies, I more or less enjoyed their music. But then again, it was never spectacular either. Couple of good tracks, and in general formulaic. My Name is Khan soundtrack is no different, either. It’s a decent soundtrack, but stops just there. Just a notch above mediocre, if at all. But, this one leaves you thinking more could have been done with some numbers. A letdown, coming from SEL.
Of the tracks, two are noteworthy:
Sajda — a sufiyana song/quawaali with a little modern instrumentation thrown in — is sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Richa Sharma, and Shankar Mahadevan. The rhythm reminds of the upbeat streams in Mitwa, and is indeed quite an upbeat number. However, RFAK seems to be severely underused here. And the sufiyana soul of the song is smothered by the pop like treatment. The thin catwalk between soul and rhythm that Mitwaa managed has gone wrong here — heavily in favor of rhythm, to my personal dislike.
Allah Hi Raheem — as the name suggests — is another predominantly sufiyana number (Curiously, while Sajda is set on the same rhythm as Mitwaa, this one is set on the same rhythm as Kabhi Alvidaa … although that one dragged, this one doesn’t) sung beautiful by Ustad Rashid Khan — who steps down, in a way, from his serious classical genre, but does the job absolutely competently. The song starts with a LOT of promise, but then kind of suddenly ends, without delivering on that promise — especially with Ustad at disposal!
The theme track is okay too. Maybe, in the context of film, it might reach better.
Noor e Khuda is neither here nor there. Reminds me a bit of this and that song. It is pleasant, and the kind of song I won’t switch radio stations to avoid while driving, but hardly the one I will sit down and listen to. ESL seem sliding down into their comfort zones, rehashing from the past.
Tere Naina has quite banal lyrics. I guess too much has been said about tere (and mere) naina already. Okayish number — just the kind that you would expect would be a big hit because of its banal lyrics, and stereotypical music. Shafaqut tries to put in some jaan into it, but too gheesa-peeta to do much with it.
Rang De is the rock-ish track that reminds strongly of Rock On. But that’s about it. Rock On’s USP was its newness. Not greatness. And Rang De can’t claim either.
All in all, this looks like a ‘job’ done well. Par for the course. Reminds too much of too many things from the past. Lacks freshness or soul or character. A pity really, for it could have had all three.