Lyrics: Priya Panchaal
This is a Prabhudheva film. The director, who has so far given two winners both at the box-office and in terms of music (Wanted and Rowdy Rathore) shifts gears from Sajid-Wajid to Sachin-Jigar for this movie. Tips, the Taurani brothers' music label that is also fond of great music under its production banner, is also launching Kumar Taurani's son Girish as the hero, and the film is also expected to be a re-launch for Shruti Haasan, Kamal Haasan's daughter. We therefore expect some youthful, fresh and danceable music in this album.
Like their preference in the '90s, this Tips score is dominated by duets, three of which are rendered by Atif (a Tips favourite) and Shreya Ghoshal. Sachin-Jigar, the duo that is also a hit with the label, endeavour to do just that. As always, they take their work seriously, keeping a balance between making music that is bang-on for the subject and yet experimenting a lot within the tracks, almost challenging the listener to accept the novelties, if he decides to get into the compositional and orchestral nuances of the score.
At face-level though, the duo gets into a mass/common man appeal mode that we last saw in the Tips film Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, demonstrating that they know how to amalgamate contemporary with commercial - doing their own thing while appealing to the consumer, in the best tradition of innovative composers of the past.
The lead track of the album, Jeene lagaa hoon pehle se zyaada, underscores this talent best. The song has universal appeal across ages and demographics and yet does not sound even a whiff dated, though you could almost hear a legend like Mukesh singing it!
Which reminds me - Sachin-Jigar have always given us a different Atif Aslam to us (Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story), clearly indicating that they are not overawed by his brand and would prefer, like any true composers, to mould a singer according to their own vision while harnessing his strengths. This song is a classic illustration of this skill. The opening solo santoor hook is killing, and the rest of the song has this same hook as well as most of the interludes dominated by the mandolin.
The lyrics of Jeene laga hoon are simple and heard-before but of the kind that will always appeal to all, starting with the paradox-laden mukhda that is so reminiscent of Anand Bakshi - Jeene laga hoon pehle se zyada /Pehle se zyada tum pe marne laga hoon.
We once again see a fresh reinvention of Atif in the haunting Bairiya, whose soft mode is exceptional. Easily the best song on the score with its layered structure and superb lyrics (Palkon ki dibiyon mein rehte / Khwab hain uddne ko kehte / Haathon se chhoota, chhoota chala hai jeeya), Bairiya begins with the Arabic string instrument ood in the prelude by Shreya, who sings with a soft and seductive tenor.
The rabab, an Afghan instrument last used exceptionally by Laxmikant-Pyarelal in the 1992 Khuda Gawah, provides the charming bulwark for the song, which my instinct tells me will catch on soon like some deadly but slow virus!
Their third duet, Rang jo lagyo, begins like a placid ripple and picks up tempo like a wave. The orchestration is innovative and broad canvas with a semi-symphonic sound blended with desi percussion. We see a more typical Atif here. Shreya in all the three duets is what she always is nowadays - effortlessly underplayed yet very melodious.
The cleverest composition in the score is the playful Peecha chhute sung with gusto by Mohit Chauhan. A clarinet piece starts the track that has a lot of abandon. Once again, Mohit (as in Jeene de from Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya) is used with a welcome verve by the composers, rather than their pandering to his normal soulful mode. And we have to admit that a desire to fall in love with someone was rarely better expressed (after Mere khwabon mein jo aaye in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) than in this song where the hero wants his cranky heart stolen for the sake of his peace of mind! Priya Panchaal (now Mrs. Jigar) writes terrific lines like Yoon hi anjaane yeh kabhi manaaye roothe / Yoon hi bahane yeh kabhi banaaye jhoote / Chura le jaaye koi to haaye dil se peecha chhute!
Another fun song is the Punjabi pop Hip-Hop Pammi. The funky, irreverent lyrics (Arey aaye haaye tere nakhre oye Pammi-ji says the hero, while she replies, Arey jaa jaa, hat jaa, ghar jaa tujhko maaregi mummy-ji) are enjoyably rendered by Mika Singh and Monali Thakur, who seem to be making the most of the song and enjoying the chhed-chaad.
However, the "item" song Jadoo ki jhappi (in two parts) emerges the weakest track on the album. The sound is raucous and the folk rhythm (with an ensemble of instruments) seems to lack that oh-so-vital chemistry needed between words and tune. Mika in is automated mode, which is just not enough to lift the song, and Neha Kakkar cannot impart the magic that marks the vocals of the most successful "item" numbers. The song also has a flaw of sorts: though the hero pronounces 'special' as the tapori 'isspecyal' he utters the word 'style' perfectly instead of saying the obvious 'isshtyle'! The second part of this song is briefer but has slightly better lyrics.
Sachin-Jigar live up to expectations as a whole. The album works at a macro-level, helped by Atif Aslam's youth appeal as he features in three of the six tracks. Jeene laga hoon is sure-fire download dynamite, and Mohit Chauhan might chip in big-time with Peecha chhute too. For those fastidious about their melody and even others, Bairiya will work hugely if promoted well.
Jeena laga hoon, Peecha chhute, Bairiya