Now this is a film that has come all of a sudden. With not much known about Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baki Hai, one is clueless about what to expect from the music here. Since the film is mainly plot driven instead of being a quintessential romantic affair or an action saga, one doesn't expect music to be the torch bearer here. Still, with as many as seven original songs in the film and various composers, one expects at least a couple of them to click.
It is an unconventional, though expected start to the album as Shabab Sabri begins to sing the title track 'Picture Abhi Baki Hai'. A 'desi' number which has the kind of sound that was prevalent in the 90s, it has lyrics by Ravi Chopra that establish the core context of the film (which is about a film being made in the film). Rajendra Shiv is the composer here and though one does expect the song to make an appearance at various junctures in the album; at the end of it all its appeal is strictly situational.
The moment Sunidhi Chauhan begins her Westernised rendition of 'Salaame-E-Ishq', you know that it is an item number in the making. Frankly, if the song would have been released half a decade back, it may still have managed to attract some attention since this composition by Subash Pradhan would have been in the vogue then. However in the current times, this song - which does have its moments around the time its title (Salaame-E-Ishq) - doesn't quite stay on with you. Moreover routine lyrics by Swasti Shree Sharma don't help the cause either.
There is some spunk that does come in the proceedings with the arrival of Taabish Romani written 'Chala Hai Joshi'. A theme song about the central protagonist (Amar Joshi) setting on to make a film, it has a decent groove to it, courtesy composer Parvez Qasar & Subash Pradhan who pair up well to bring in a blend of Indian and Western sound. Yet again, one can expect this situational track sung by Parvez Qasar to do well in the background.
The same team returns with 'Koi Na Samjha' and the song actually turns out to be a surprise since it has a serene sound to it and moves at a rather slow pace. An antithesis of the previous song, this one has pathos written all over it as the character finds himself in the dumps with his virtue of truth and honesty being crushed. No, the tune is not extraordinary but given the context of the film where one expected a plethora of item numbers, this one at least brings in something different, if not new.
From this point on composer Sukhwinder Singh and lyricist Sameer take over the album heads for a commercial route. First to arrive is 'Its Rain Rain' which, as expected, is a song of seduction with melody at the core of it. With it's opening sound reminding of 'Dil Bole Shikdum Shikdum' [Dhoom], the song further marches on with Sunidhi Chauhan hailing the power of rain and brings on the required sensuality, courtesy her vocals. However the real reference comes in once Sukhwinder Singh comes on scene since his opening portions with Sunidhi immediately remind one of 'Dil Yeh Kehta Hai' [Phool Aur Kaante]. Having said that, the song is not the one to be dismissed and for those who are still attached to the music of the era gone by, this one just manages to find its way in.
Inspirations continue as one can see Sukhwinder Singh borrowing from R.D. Burman and amalgamating sound as heard in 'Yamma Yamma' [Shaan] and 'Mehbooba' [Sholay]. In fact the inspiration doesn't stop here and once Shaan and Shraddha Pandit begin their rendition, one can almost sense Pancham giving directions to them. No, this doesn't mean that 'Sanam Sanam' turns out to be a quintessential Burman song which has in it to be a chartbuster hit. However it is hard to ignore an obvious influence from the late 70s and early 80s which does transport you to the bygone era.
Last to arrive is 'Zindagi Mere Paas' and the inspirations do not end as the opening sound is straight out of 'Jeeven Ke Har Modh Par' [Jhoota Kahin Ka], another R.D. Burman classic. However the similarities end after 30 seconds with Sukhwinder getting into the zone that he has created for him ever since the 'Nasha Hi Nasha Hai' days. In fact honestly, it is difficult to imagine a song like this to be placed in this film which is perhaps set in a comic-drama zone. However the song here is more of the kind that would have suited a dark outing by Vishal Bhardwaj. One looks forward to how the song is actually placed in the film.
Primarily a theme album, Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baki Hai turns out to be a tad better than what one would have expected out of it. Mainly comprising of situational/theme tracks, it may not have enough ammunition to make a way for itself in the charts. However for the purpose of the film, it does solve the purpose of being a decent ingredient.
Its Rain Rain, Sanam Sanam, Chala Hai Joshi
Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baki Hai Music Review