Frankly, you have no expectations whatsoever from the music of Admissions Open. More than anything else, you are surprised with the very fact that a film belonging to this genre (a war against education system) would actually come up with a soundtrack. It's a different matter though that you have to actually hunt for the music CD on the stands but since there is a name Amit Trivedi (Dev D) flashing as a composer on the cover, there are hopes that Admissions Open won't be a washout at least. Shellee writes the lyrics.
There is an Amit Trivedi touch in the way 'Aasman Ke Paar' begins. The choice of instruments is unique yet again with an 80's feel, something which has been evidenced in the earlier work of Trivedi. However, once Raman Mahadevan and Shilpa Rao along with Joi Barua, Amitabh Bhattacharya and Tochi Raina begin their ferocious singing, 'Aasman Ke Paar' turns out to be one of those average revolutionary number. Nothing wrong with the singing here but then the tune by itself is so predictable (getting into the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy zone with a hint of many a disco number that they have created) that you are hardly excited by the time 'club version' arrives.
There is more to the revolution with 'Dariya Ubale' starting off in a rather subtle manner, only to pick up pace a minute down the line. Shon Pinto has an uncharacteristic voice and his rock rendition brings 'Dariya Ubale' into a Dev D mode. This is the kind of number that makes much more impression when seen with the visuals rather than being heard in a standalone manner. Even better, this track belongs to the world of concerts and one waits to see how it fits into the mood of Admissions Open.
As expected, there is some 'thehraav' in the album courtesy 'Meri Rooh' which has a tough of oriental feel to it coupled with Western classical music before Naresh Iyer gets into a mushy romantic mood. A love song which has Aditi Singh Sharma joining him behind the mike, 'Meri Rooh' borders upon 'Iktara' (Wake Up Sid), an Amit Trivedi creation, and turns out to be the best of the enterprise so far. So far, this is the only number which is worth a revisit and you don't mind coming back to it after listening to the entire album.
What is really too convenient for its good is 'Music Hi Hai'. Belonging to the kind of genre that one has seen in the films down South from the 90s where two characters got into a conversational mode, 'Music Hi Hai' shows a young man and mother are debating on music versus studies. A strictly situational number which is also hampered by some rather unimpressive singing by Kavita Seth and Kavish Seth, 'Music Hi Hai' is the one which deserves a quick skip.
Last to arrive is 'Roshni' which is a Shruti Pathak solo. A blend of Indian classical and soft rock, this one doesn't quite work even though it has the base sound of 'Duniya' from Dev D.
Amit Trivedi had got some of his best work in Dev D which found him instant acclaim. It is clear that Admissions Open doesn't quite boast of a similar effort.