One does have decent expectations from the music of Always Kabhi Kabhi. After all it is a young romcom that gives ample space for Pritam to assemble his catchy tunes in one single album. With Shahrukh Khan as a producer, you expect an uncompromised approach when it comes to putting together the musical score for this film that stars fresh faces. Irfan Siddiqui writes lyrics for half the album.
What instantly catches your attention is the coming together of quite a few new names behind the mike. While a few of them have been tested before in a few songs before, for most this is their first ever opportunity. It is one such bunch comprising of Bhaven Dhanak, Sanah Moidutty and Harmeet Singh who come together for the title song 'Always Kabhi Kabhi' which has music by guest composers Aashish Rego and Shree D.
Surprisingly though the song sounds really ordinary with the kind of tune that just doesn't justify it's inclusion as a title track. Yes, it does try to get into fun, young and peppy zone but eventually turns out to be barely average. Thankfully the 'unplugged version' by Apeksha Dandekar and Vinnie Hutton sounds much-much better and though it too isn't the kind that you would be heard singing around, it at least promises to make an impression as a part of the film's background score.
First impression is that of surprise and 'now what's that' when you come across the song which is titled 'Antenna'. Even the tune by itself doesn't quite fetch your attention instantaneously. However after repeated hearing, this Amitabh Bhattacharya written song does start catching up on you, so much so that you now want to hear it all over again. Picturised on Shahrukh Khan who makes a guest appearance as an 'item boy' in the album, 'Antenna' has the kind of beats that were heard last in Pritam-Shahrukh combine 'Love Mera Hit Hit' [Billu]. Benny Dayal and Apeksha Dandekar do their job quite well with Roshan Abbas too pitching in. Later the song also appears as a 'SRK mix' version, perhaps the first of it's kind with an actor's name in the song title, and continues the fun element, this time with K.K. and Anupam Amod joining Apeksha Dandekar.
Prashant Pandey is the third lyricist roped in for Always Kabhi Kabhi as he goes on to write 'School Ke Din'. A kind of track that does sound sweet-n-saccharine when seen and heard on screen, it is situational with a feel-good appeal to it as the bunch of young students get together to sing praises about their stint in school. While Suhail Kaul drives from the front, Ishq Bector adds on with his rap.
It's time for some quintessential High School Musical to be evidenced in 'Better Not Mess With Me' which comes in 'Rock Mix' as well as 'Club Mix' version. Though at places it does remind of 'You Are My Soniya' [Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham] , the situation here is totally different with Sunidhi Chauhan bringing on the attitude of a young girl who knows what she wants, is full of life and does things her own way. A catchy number written by Irfan Siddiqui, it should make a good impression on screen if it is picturised well.
The song that follows next appears to be an early 90s composition and reminds one of many a college flicks that were made in the era gone by. Shaan and Aditi Singh Sharma come together for this song which is supposed to be all fun and celebration. However eventually it all turns out to be just about okay with Irfan Siddiqui written 'Undi The Condi' not really promising anything remarkable for screen.
Thankfully Pritam gets an opportunity to get into his own zone with 'Jane Kyon' which is the kind of soft number that one expects from the composer at least once in an album of his. If the start is impressive, the pacing is just right in the subsequent portions as well with lyrics by Irfan Siddiqui and Roshan Abbas bringing in the pathos of the character. A love song with an element of sadness to it, 'Jane Kyon' deserves to be heard twice as a result of which it appears first in the 'Soul version' by Naresh Iyer and later in the 'Sufi version' by Shafqat Amanat Ali. Needless to say, both versions make an impact.
One expected lot more from Always Kabhi Kabhi than what one gets to hear eventually. It is not a bad album by any means but then it neither breaks any new grounds nor does it build upon something far better that Pritam has done over a period of time. Eventually it turns out to be a decent hear that stays consistent right from start to finish with no dips whatsoever. Due to this reason the score promises to be engaging enough as a part of the fim with 'Antenna', 'Jaane Kyon' and 'Better Not Mess With Me' turning out to be pick from the lot.
Antenna, Jaane Kyon, Better Not Mess With Me