The franchise has been illustrious indeed, even in the music department. Pritam has revealed that he quit Yash Raj Films' Ek Tha Tiger because he wanted to give Dhoom:3 preference, as Dhoom the franchise was his fiefdom. An Aamir Khan film for the first time with the composer is also a prestige issue. Also, the recent track-record of Pritam with the banner has been better than that of the company with other music makers. In short, expectations are high enough.
The lead track, 'Malang' (Siddharth Mahadevan-Shilpa Rao) sets the tone for the original tracks in the album. It is not just a love song, but a Sufi-ana number as well. Siddharth and Shilpa are made to sing in a welcome full-throated manner, and that is indeed a good change from Shilpa's trademark 'closed' vocals.
Any resemblance to Pritam's scores in Milan Luthria's OUATIM franchise is quickly diluted by the more resonant and trendy orchestration and a classical-meets-Sufi instrumental rendition of the franchise's theme hook, 'Dhoom machale dhoom', which emerges as the highlight of this track.
The lyrics (Sameer Anjaan) are serviceable and familiar, but a shade disappointing for those wanting good lyrics. Like his less-skilful juniors, Sameer panders to contemporary misuse of Urdu words for enhancing phonetics, like the overdone and usually inaccurate mannaton / jannaton / chaahaton and raahaton.
Sunidhi Chauhan, whose growth seemed to have reached a plateau till last year and who has suddenly begun evolving from this year (especially under Pritam) is superlative in 'Kamli' , another Sufi-meets-romantic song. Its orchestration alone is worth a long study that is outside the scope of this review, so nuanced and meticulously innovative it is. The part-familiar and part-incomprehensible Punjabi and Urdu terms can be forgiven here as we experience the sheer power of evocative vocals and the lethal combination of the composition and sparkling arrangements.
Mohit Chauhan accomplishes one of his finest feats in a rapidly increasing repertoire of excellent singing in 'Tu hi junoon', which follows the Sufi-and-love pattern of the score. The Western-heavy interludes impart a lustrous sheen to this lovely number, which leads the score in excellence, even if 'Kamli' leads in mass-appeal. Kausar Munir's lyrics are what is known as par for the course, but a Pritam characteristic is that the strength of his music overpowers even ordinary lyrics and singers.
What remains to be heard is the franchise's anthem, which Sunidhi Chauhan sang so powerfully in Dhoom (with an appealing English version by Tata Young) and which was ingeniously tweaked by the composer in Dhoom:2 to go on the hero.
Here again, we again see two versions. But Aditi Singh Sharma just does not measure up and neither does the shockingly cacophonous orchestration in the Hindi version. Despite almost mimicking Sunidhi, Aditi falls woefully short in imparting the necessary zing to the song. So we wonder why the composer, who has often diluted the impact of good compositions with below-par voices, has not chosen Sunidhi again.
The lyrics (Sameer Anjaan) have to be secondary to the tweaked tune and are largely functional. And in fact the Arabic version by Naya, an Oriental singer, appeals more. Pritam also scores the instrumental track 'Dhoom tap' which as taps goes is very energetic in pace. Julius Packiam, who so far has done background scores for films like Kabul Express and some more YRF movies, composes a 'Dhoom 3' overture and also a sing-song composition 'Bande hain hum usske' (Shivam Mahdevan-Anish Sharma), an inspirational song in which Kausar Munir has written predictable songs. It has a definite resemblance in its mukhda to the 1993 'Dil mein sanam ki soorat' from Anu Malik's Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Ayee but is nevertheless a pleasant listen.
The children have a crystal-clear timbre and sing with ease. Packiam's sensibility keeps the orchestra gentle, and lets the singers have a clear field. Wish so many music makers of today had similar acumen and judgement in sound!
Happily, unlike some of his other tech-savvy contemporaries, the composer relies (usually) on entire songs rather than hooks to appeal, and also alters his style and orchestration as per the needs of a film and the vision of the director.
This is the USP of Pritam, always has been. But we wish that his music also had the instant appeal of his pre-2012 songs, even as they also had lasting appeal. This is a soundtrack in which the better tracks will have to rely on the film's performance to really remain on the charts.
Malang, Kamli, Tu Hi Junoon
Music: PRITAM & JULIUS PACKIAM
Lyrics: SAMEER ANJAAN, AMITABH BHATTACHARYA, KAUSAR MUNIR & VIJAY KRISHNA ACHARYA
Music Label: YASH RAJ MUSIC