The new-age Dharma Productions movies may have refreshingly broken away from the traditions of the early Karan Johar films, but music wise, they have degenerated from the legacy of solid albums that we’ve got from films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and even the relatively newer ones like Wake Up Sid , Dostana and 2 States.

This is, of course, holds true for the general state of things in Hindi film music, where the increasing songlessness of films have brought about an unprecedented distance between a film and its music.

Some of these new Dharma films—Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania, Kapoor & Sons, and now Baar Baar Dekho—have created some sort of a formula for an album. Throw in a mellow Punjabi number with an indie vibe, some Sufi-influenced songs, and at least two party numbers, one of which could be a remix of a previous hit (Saturday Saturday, Kar Gayi Chull). They give a semblance of being connected to the film, covering the emotional graph of the lead characters, but are often in fact disparate showpieces by various composers. Some of these songs may even be pretty good. Baar Baar Dekho’s best song is the first one, Kho Gaye Hum Kaha, an unusual, indie-folkish but also very easy-on-the-ears composition by Jasleen Royal, sung by her and Prateek Kuhad. But from it, I don’t get a feeling of the film. Every song sounds like they could be from any other film, or any one of the Dharma films. Similarly, the happy techno-pop vibes of Sau Aasmaan is part of the same song Amaal Mallik seems to be composing again and again. Composers recycling their own hits with slight variations, owing to demands of greedy music labels, is a common thing. But with this one, Malik has practically used the same hook thrice, after Sooraj Dooba Hai and Buddhu Sa Mann.

Arko delivers a song along the sufi pop-rock lines of Saathi Re from Kapoor & Sons, a fairly likeable if generic song. Oddly, the rather loud and boisterous Nachde Ne Saare is perhaps the only song that feels in sync with the spirit of the film—perhaps accentuated by this enjoyable wedding song video

and the casual edge brought by the voices of Siddharth Mahadevan and Royal, who has also composed it. Teri Khair Mangdi sounds like the latest from a Mahesh Bhatt production’s attempt to launch a Pakistani singing sensation in Bollywood. Turns out, it is by Pakistani pop-star Bilal Saeed. The less said about the hideous Baadshah remix of 90s bhangra hit Kaala Chashma, the better. Using the original, I’d say, would have been more effective.

Perhaps the prevalent strategy of releasing songs, one at a time as singles works best for albums such as Baar Baar Dekho. You may like a song or two; my picks are Kho Gaye Hum Kaha and Nachde ne Saare. But by no means do they add up to something that can be called a film album.

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