Sen shows he can successfully compete with the best in Bollywood.
Priya Mulji 2009
After director Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum opus of 2008, Jodhaa Akbar, comes What’s Your Raashee and its accompanying soundtrack. Labelled a romantic comedy, don’t expect a depth of emotion comparable to soundtracks to epics like Lagaan and Swades, each scored by A R Rahman, here. Instead, relative newcomer Sohail Sen has penned a much lighter, colourful affair, but a no less enjoyable one.
The title track is a jazz-based song with striking vocals by Sen himself. Sounding every inch as if it belongs in a New York jazz café, just as naturally as it does in this Bollywood picture, it is reminiscent of Tu Bole from Rahman’s 2008 soundtrack to Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na.
Sen sings again, this time alongside Tarrannum Malik, on the acoustic track Jao Na. It’s a lovely piece, subtle guitar strings and a crisp production conjuring images of long summer evenings filled with romance. Later, Su Chhe is a fun folk-toned track, mixing traditional Gujarati instruments and Hindi/Gujarati lyrics with Bela Shende’s mischievous vocals. It’s by no means a typical Gujarati song, the sort you might hear played at a Navarati festival, as it has a very contemporary feel – but it could well become synonymous with future Dandiya-Raas dances.
Bikhri Bikhri and Sau Janam are further tracks of note, particularly for their understated sweetness – the latter is a close cousin of Yeh Dil Sun Raha Hai from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 1996 film Khamoshi (as sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy), with soft drums creating a mellow yet upbeat mood.
What’s Your Raashee? is a long soundtrack and only falls down on the tracks that unadvisedly attempt to be Western in feel, but overall this collection proves difficult to resist. It might lack the magic of a Rahman soundtrack, and has not been produced on such a grand scale, but as a light-hearted, lovable score mirroring a story about star signs and romance it works brilliantly. Gowariker proves once again that he has an ear for good, simple music, and Sohail Sen shows he can successfully compete with the best in Bollywood.