It was a surprise to actually catch hold of the soundtrack of Phantom. Since the film is being presented as a song-less thriller, a six track album came across as a bonus no less. Of course one of the songs ( 'Afghan Jalebi') is given most prominence here with as many as four versions. However this as well as two other songs in the album actually brings in good variety to lend an ear to. As for Pritam, a regular with Kabir Khan, one gets to hear the music of yore from him with Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kausir Munir contributing with lyrics.
The moment 'Afghan Jalebi' begins, you first and foremost wonder what the lyrics are all about. As it turns out, it is basically a hook for this Afghani dance number which is given a Bollywood touch by Pritam and Amitabh. Honestly, in first hearing, you just don't connect with the song. Thankfully it is not a random item number but the new sound means that there is an adjustment period required. However, the music company (T-Series) plays masterstroke by including four versions of the song. No wonder, as you move on from Asrar (Syed Asrar Shah) version to the Akhtar Channal sung film version, you are hooked.
The song only grows on you further once the Nakash Aziz's 'Ya Baba (Fitna Farebi)' version is heard. Pritam's characteristic arrangements become all the more prevalent by this version as you get to hear the hook which was oh-so-notable in 'Saree Ke Faal Sa' [R... Rajkumar]. In fact it is commendable that though the basic 'sur' of 'Afghan Jalebi' and 'Saree Ke Faal Sa' is poles apart, Pritam lends his magic equally well in both the songs. No doubt, by the time the 'Afghan Jalebi - Dumbek Version' by Akhtar Channal arrives on the scene, you are all set to recommend the song to one and all.
There is an altogether different flavor that Phantom brings in next with 'Saware' and the man who makes it possible along with Pritam and Amitabh is Arijit Singh. For those who have been waiting for a while to hear a quintessential Arijit number, this one truly fits the bill as everything from the composition style to the lyrics to the singing is vintage Pritam-Arijit combo. One just hopes that the song gets its due since in a film belonging to the action thriller genre, it may just go unnoticed. However, from a long run perspective, this one needs to be heard, and shared for sure.
Last to arrive is 'Nachda'. Now don't go by the title of this Kausir Munir written number as it is not a dance number in the offering. Instead, it is a soulful Sufi number presented in a contemporary avtar which boasts of some really good and different lyrics. Pritam demonstrates once again that given a platform where he can have a free hand and isn't bound by any commercial mandates, he can deliver something truly different. This is what happens in 'Nachda' as well which has Shahid Mallya singing in a soft tone and coming up with a number that can be comfortably given repeat hearing.
Phantom is the surprise of the season. Give this one a hear, you would end up liking everything that is in the offering.
'Afghan Jalebi', 'Saawre', 'Nachda'