From the music of I Am you expect a classy flavour with a sound that would be unique and different from what quintessential Bollywood soundtracks have to offer. With the name Amit Trivedi staring from the album details as one of the three composers who have come together for I Am, one only gets surer about what the music would have to say here. Others who contribute to the music in this episodic film are Rajiv Bhalla and Vivek Philip with Amitabh Bhattacharya, Amitabh Varma and Rajiv Bhalla himself writing for a song or two.
First to come is Amit Trivedi composed 'Baangur' which has a Sufi flavour to it with Western elements fused along. Mame Khan starts the proceedings with Kavita Seth joining him later as the singer goes about his free wheeling rendition. Boasting of some never heard before lyrics (at least in Bollywood), this Amitabh Bhattacharya written track has a sad flavour to it which thankfully doesn't get into an over depressing mode despite it's theme. A kind of song which isn't really restricted to just a film but also has in it to have a longer shelf life for those looking for quality music, 'Baangur' also arrives in a 'remix version'.
Continuing the mood created by 'Baangur', the next to arrive is again an Amit Trivedi-Amitabh Bhattacharya combination, this time with KK coming behind the mike. Boasting of a simple tune, 'Issi Baat Pe' is the kind of number that has to be heard closely for it's lyrics as there is a lot that is being told through the spoken words here. KK is subtle in his rendition of 'Issi Baat Pe' which is about hoping for a better day ahead instead of being disheartened about what life has to offer. A situational track which can be expected to play for a short duration in the film's background score, it also appears in a 'remix version'.
KK continues to sing with 'Bhojhal Se' which actually makes one remember the kind of sound that was prevalent in Onir's earlier films like My Brother Nikhil and Bas Ek Pal. Yet another number which has a sad appeal to it, both in lyrics (by Amitabh Varma) and the way it is composed (by Rajiv Bhalla), 'Bhojhal Se' moves at a very slow pace and forces you to listen to it in an attentive manner. There is a 'remix version' of the song as well though going by the song's theme, one would prefer the slower original version.
After a flurry of sad/intense tracks comes a light hearted number 'Aankhein' which is a love song composed by Vivek Philip and written by Amitabh Varma. Sounding quite easy on ears and boasting of a soft melody, 'Aankhein' is sung well by Karthik who sings with a lot of heart. Though this is not the kind of number that would go on to burn the charts, it does make for a pleasant hearing for sure.
It's the sound of 'Allah' arriving from somewhere far away that kick starts 'Saye Saye'. An unconventional composition, courtesy Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya, 'Saye Saye' goes back to the similar genre of songs that were heard at the beginning of the album. A fusion track, it should compliment the film's narrative.
What surprises though is 'Wundoo Yeredoo' which totally separates itself from the rest of the album and takes a listener to the dance floor. Perhaps a last minute inclusion to accentuate the prospects of the album by turning out to be the only number which has an instant commercial appeal, 'Wundoo Yeredoo' is a Rajiv Bhalla show all the way as he goes about writing, composing as well as singing it. It may not be one of the best club tracks offered but does bring in some relief to an album which otherwise has a predominantly sad tone to it.
I Am is an album which hasn't been made with an eye for commercial gains but boasts of songs that would do well with the four stories being told on celluloid. The album's promotion has been low key as well which means that makers would be hoping for the word of mouth and a long run of the film to spread the word. It may not have that song or two which takes the album to the top of the charts. However if one listens to it in entirety in one go, especially after seeing the film, there is a possibility of the sales picking up in weeks to come.
'Baangur', 'Wundoo Yeredoo', 'Aankhein'