When Madhuri Dixit calls out to you from a CD cover to dance, it’s not easy to resist the invitation. Go ahead, you won’t be disappointed. From desi folk to disco, the music is smartly packaged and presented in Yash Raj Film’s Aaja Nachle. Indeed, eight-film-young music duo Salim-Sulaiman’s skills are evidently maturing with the pleasant tracks on this CD.

An earful: Aaja Nachle’s soundtrack isn’t very challenging

Aaja Nachle lives up to the reputation of its prestigious banner with its hummable score. If the powerful Koi patthar se na maare and the emotive Is pal don’t stir you, then the romantic ballad O re pia by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan certainly will. The employment of expressive singers like Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal for most of the tracks pays off well on this neat pack of nine songs.

The music is easy on the ears. With Richa Sharma, Kailash Kher and Salim Merchant, Show me your jalwa tries to be folksy, and then there’s the charming 1970s disco feel of Dance with me, performed by Sonia Saigal (no relation to K.L. or Baba).

Most lyricists have a Gulzar hangover nowadays and Piyush Mishra and Jaideep Sahni, who is also the scriptwriter of the film, probably could not escape that benchmark. But, despite its Kajra re flavour, the rhythmic Soniyemil ja is likely to hit the charts this marriage season. The poetry and language of most of the songs are simple and dignified and very much in touch with the times. And doesn’t one love to hear time-tested nostalgic phrases such as Jhumka gira Bareilly ke bazaar mein?

The icing on this Yash Raj cake is easily the title song. Aaja Nachle’s likeable, nicely programmed, techno-rustic feel has your feet tapping instantaneously. It’s heartening to note that in these times of overkill, the instrumentation, arrangement and tonality of this recorded track are not overbearing or loud.

Wonder if this talented duo will keep up their Dor and Chak De! India legacy in future, too, and avoid the formulistic musical phrases and constructions which composers so naturally acquire. The CD is a good buy for Rs149.

Kushal Gopalka is an archivist and student of Indian music who writes for Swar Aalap, a monthly newsletter.Aaja Nachle released in theatres on Friday.

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