Music: VISHAL BHARDWAJ
Music Label: SHEMAROO MUSIC
The sequel to the 2010 film which also boasted of memorable music, we have here the same Vishal Bhardwaj - Gulzar combination (in a film produced by Vishal himself) that is known for songs that mix popular appeal with substance. Our expectations? Dedh (one and a half) times the earlier film - at least!
With six songs instead of four in the earlier film, expectations seem well on the way to fulfilment! Will the songs live up? Let us look at the tracks.
The title-track, 'Dil ka mijaaz ishqiya' (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) flows like a tranquil river, the smooth notes never deviating or faltering, especially in the serene way Rahat renders the song. Gulzar's lyrics are seamless too, and in fact they connect to the older film to give a 'series' effect with the lines 'Gali se kabhi nikal jaaye to dil bhatak jaata hai / Arre baccha hai aakhir behak jata hai' (a great way of referring back to 'Dil to baccha hai ji' the chartbuster from Ishqiya).
Rekha Bhardwaj is the prime element in the ingenious 'Hamari atariya pe' where the rock guitar surprisingly complements a folk number steeped in tradition. Gulzar spins his trademark imagery with casual expertise (Hamari atariya pe aaja re sanwariya / Dekha dekhi tanik hoi jaaye).
The best song - lyrically - is easily Gulzar's 'Zabaan jale hai', also the most haunting number on the score. Excellently delivered by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to gentle guitars and more as apt accompaniments, this lovely composition is raised by the wonderful words. The authentic rural Northern lexicon (Hamari haalat pe kitta rove hai / Aasmaan bhi tu dekh leejo) lends the track a rare charm.
Rich orchestration and raagdaari suffuse Rekha Bhardwaj's 'Jagaave saari raina'. The classic musical phrasing is a hark-back to our legendary composers, as if a superlative Laxmikant-Pyarelal base has been built on by the best elements of Roshan, Madan Mohan and S.D. Burman! Pt. Birju Maharaj comes in for the alaaps. Gulzar's words once again are an elegant lesson in how to revisit classic and literary verse with a folk amalgam.
Master Saleem, Shahid Mausam Maliya and Jazim Sharma come together for the slightly unconventional (by filmi standards only) qawwali, 'Kya hoga' with competence. Gulzar's masterful lines 'Dil to diya hai, jaan bhi de de / Aur nazrana kya hoga / Lau ko chhoo ke laut aaya jo / Woh parwana kya hoga' set the tone for this number.
'Horn Ok please' (Yo Yo Honey Singh-Sukhwinder Singh), added recently, is a passable fun track. The interesting part is that the song, unlike Yo Yo's recent tracks in Chennai Express, Boss and Yaariyan, is not composed by him but by Vishal, giving the Yo Yo trademark, a Vishal tweak with amusing lyrics by Gulzar that refer to Rafi and Lata among other things, like Gulzar's own song 'Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa to nahin'.
Vishal's gift of remaining 'current' while doing his own thing and not pandering to contemporary tastes, and loading his songs with classic elements has always been something unique, and is largely to do with his packaging (the sound and instruments used). He delivers a score that is just right for the theme - and his best work since Omkara. Yes, expectations are met!
Dil ke mizaaj ishqiya, Hamari atariya pe, Zabaan jale hai, Jagaave saari raina