To build expectations of any sort whatsoever, one has to be aware of the product at the least. In case of I Am Singh, one doesn't have any clue whatsoever around where did the film actually arrive from. Add to that the fact that it is a non-starcast affair and there are further apprehensions around what the music would indeed have in store here. With multiple composers creating a song or two apiece, 'I Am Singh' is a loaded album with as many as 10 tracks in it.
As expected, this film with Punjabis as the central protagonists begins with 'Dukaalang Pranaasi', a Gurbani that lasts as long as 7 minutes. Daler Mehndi (who is also the composer here) renders this track with the kind of punch associated with him. Though to begin with it is only Daler's vocals that are heard, there is some forceful impact made in the later stages with some thumping arrangements coming into play.
Next to arrive is the title song 'I Am Singh' which in its very treatment and flavour is different from the likes of 'Singh Is Kinng' or 'Shera Di Kaum' [Speedy Singhs]. This one is much more rooted in its appeal and has a 'desi' mood and feel to it. Composed by Sumitra Iyer and written by Raj Hans, 'I Am Singh' is a Punjabi track that sees the coming together of Daler Mehndi, Sukhwinder Singh and Hard Kaur. Though in first few listening it does lend a sense of deja vu, 'I Am Singh' does settle down after a while due to its boisterous and celebratory mood. Yet another song that lasts close to 7 minutes, it is also accompanied by a relatively shorter (four minutes long) 'Video Edit' version.
Composer Monty Sharma and lyricist Sandeep Nath come together for yet another celebration number which is titled 'Dhol Wajda'. Surprisingly, despite Mika at the helm of affairs, this one just about manages to pass muster and hardly brings one on the dance floors. In fact it pretty much sounds like a poor cousin of many such 'bhangra' tracks that have filled the Bollywood musical scene in the past and hence can be conveniently ignored.
Newcomer Sunil Sirvaiya composes 'Kya Jeena' and one has to credit him for making one sit back and notice the kind of effort he has put here. No, this one doesn't scores the boundary or hit the roof but as a situational track, it does manage to hold your attention. Also, it sets a mood different from what one has heard in the album so far and takes a much more contemporary approach. While Sudhakar Dutt Sharma's lyrics establish the pathos of the character, what really manage to stand out are Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's vocals. Later, the trio also returns for an even slower version which is titled 'Doori Hai'.
Next to come is Sameer written 'Channd Paragge' which brings the mood of celebration back into I Am Kalam. Lending a folk base to it, composer Sukhwinder Singh sticks to the basics and spins the kind of tune that would give a choreographer ample space to get his dance moves on. With Sonu Kakkar in tow, Sukhwinder also comes behind the mike and lends the right kind of energy which is required for a song belonging to this genre.
For those who were hunting for a love song, Monty Sharma brings on 'Dil Nayio Lagda'. Gayatri Iyer is the voice heard for (largely) the English part of this Sandeep Nath written number while Sukhwinder Singh gets into a 'dard-e-judaai' mode as he goes about conveying the feelings of the male protagonist. Later on there is also a little bit of Lakshmikant Pyaarelal influence in this song which should be a decent watch on screen.
Before the album nears its culmination, there is a three minute long 'Gurbani' - Khanda Prithme Saajke - Chandi Di Waar - which is composed and sung by Arvinder Singh. Further to this arrives 'Turban Victory' which has Kunal Ganjawala trying to be all lively and peppy for this Monty Sharma composition which is written by Deepali Issar and Sandeep Nath. A song which is basically a tribute to 'pagdi', this one isn't quite the kind of number that would set the charts on fire. However in the context of the film it may just about manage to arrest a viewer's attention.
Though one didn't have any set expectations from I Am Singh to begin with, it turns out to be reasonably okay, though predictable, soundtrack. Given the fact that the album has arrived virtually unannounced on the stands, it is bound to struggle when it comes to making its presence felt amongst the listeners. However with a couple of Punjabi tracks expected to find their target audience, it may just manage to impress its target audience.
I Am Singh, Kya Jeena, Turban Victory