In the clash of the biggies Raj Kumar Santoshi and Sunny Deol, Round one begins with the music release of the former`s version of the life story of the great freedom fighter BHAGAT SINGH in the form of `The Legend of Bhagat Singh`. Ajay Devgan enacts the role of Bhagat Singh who is having one of the best innings of his careers by getting rave reviews for Company from both classes and masses. Also in the pipeline are diverse roles in movies like Chori Chori and Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin. Much hype has surrounded the music of TLOBS directed by A.R.Rehman. How much of it is justified, let`s analyze that now.
Eight of the ten numbers (with the exception of `Mahive Mahive` and `Jogiya Jogiya`) walk the same path - PATRIOTISM. Sameer writes the lyrics. `Mera Rang De Basanti Chola` and `Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna` are the ones that we have been hearing since time immortal. Mera Rang De Basanti Chola by Sonu Nigam and Manmohan Waris has a Rahman touch inspite of it being set in the northern flavor. The song is soft and has a smooth flow. Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna features in the two versions - intense and a slow version. Sonu Nigam features in both whereas Hariharan joins in the slow version. The slow version is classical based and Hariharan excels in that but it is the fast version that stands a better chance. Though a very short track, `Shora So Pahchaniye` is the most intense in the entire album and makes a good impression. One has to listen very carefully to follow the rendering of Karthik, Raquib and Sukhwinder Singh in this number that concludes with cheers of Inquilab Zindabaad.
`Pagdi Sambhal Jatta` should be popular, at least among the North India audience because of its bhangra beats and Sukhwinder Singh`s singing. It is a pacy number, though aiming at only one thing - Patriotism. And one can`t really blame the director Raj Kumar Santoshi or A.R. Rehman for the lack of variety in TLOBS as the scope of the movie just doesn`t allow that. There are two romantic duets `Mahive Mahive` and `Jogiya Jogiya`, but they too seem to have been included in the album just to follow market dictats. It seems unlikely that both the numbers wll feature in their completeness in the movie. Both the duets are by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. `Mahive Mahive` is set in the mode of `Dheeme Dheeme` from Zubeidaa and may look good in the movie. But `Jogiya Jogiya` is a downer and doesn`t impress at all.
`Desh Mere Desh` too comes in three versions though the inlay card mentions that as three seperate tracks - one as `Desh Mere Desh` itself, second as `Dil Se Niklegi` and the third as `Kasam Tumko Watan`. A.R.Rehman reserves one of the best numbers (lyrically) for him and sings `Desh Mere Desh` in company with Sukhwinder Singh (who sings in all the three tracks). Well, other than the Rehman version there isn`t anything much to write about as they are all situational tracks that may go fine with the mood of the movie. Not the kinds that one may be playing on the stereo systems now and then.
The album is full of patriotic and traditional numbers and will appeal to only select audience. But for a routine audience, such numbers may be hard to digest. Even a few numbers of Lagaan were classical based but they could still appeal to wider audience as they were love songs. Don`t expect another period score like Lagaan from A. R. Rehman. The sales figures may reflect in the three phases - the initial phase when there will be tremendous sale due to A.R Rehman`s name and the hype surrounding the album, the second phase when there may be a lull because of the album content spreading through word-of-mouth and the third phase when the sales `MAY` pick up after movie`s release - probably due to the songs gelling well with the situations.
Chances are bleak that the music of TLOBS will really set the cash counters ringing.