Music: Sandesh Shandilya
Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir
Music Label: Zee Music
Ketan Mehta has reached a musical high twice - with the 1993 Maya Memsaab and the 1996 Aar Ya Paar, each a score that fit the subject perfectly. So expectations are good.
'Rang Rasiya' (Sunidhi Chauhan) is a song with a very unusual mukhda - it repeats the same phrase from beginning to end. This has been intentionally done to denote the multi-hued persona of the protagonist as the phrase is sung in different ways in terms of pace and pitch.
The words (Manoj Muntashir) strike a balance between poetic imagery ('Yeh saare rang tere rang hain / Gulabi saanjh ka dhalta hua aanchal') and simple lexicon with a hint of erotica and passion ('Ek tu hai magar tere rang kayi / Mohe rang de re, rang de re, rang de re, rang de').
The composer given the robustly-rendered (Sunidhi Chauhan-Kirti Sargathiya) and raag-based ditty a layered finish, studding it with traditional touches and Indian instruments of yore - a feel we last heard in Hindi cinema with delightful results in Laxmikant-Pyarelal's Utsav (1985), Anu Malik's Asoka (2001) and even Sandesh's own Agni-Varsha (2002). It settles down into a vibrant percussive beat with an inventively used choral refrain. But while we seem to hear three clear voices (two males) in this song, only one male is credited.
A fantastic beginning - soft notes on a piano, a haunting humming with a backing alaap and a touching flute prelude starts the sublime (that's the only word to describe the track!) 'Kaahe Sataye Re Piya' (Roopkumar Rathod-Sunidhi Chauhan), the album's finest song.
Sunidhi is outstanding and Roopkumar Rathod brilliant as the song changes octaves throughout with ingenious felicity. Manoj's lyrics are even more poetic and the convoluted composition only shows the composer's skills as he negotiates unimaginable and dexterous musical turns. And yet the composition works because of what can be called (in today's parlance) as a brilliant and raag-rich hook. The song climaxes in an incredible high essayed by Roopkumar - a perfect culmination for this level of a composition!
Unique classical flourishes anoint the brilliant lyrics in 'O Kamini' (Sonu Nigam), an unbridled piece of erotica that begins with the lines 'Tere tan mandir mein / Mera man khoya' and culminates with 'Na soch yeh neeti kya kehti hai / Aa beh jaa meri dhaaron mein'.
Sonu Nigam gives the song his all, imbibing a rare feeling of oneness with the unusual song by his painstaking rendition. The song sounds deceptively simple in its high pitch, but needed Sonu's expertise to be delivered with its full potential.
'Anhad Naad Jaga De' (Anwar Khan and party with Kailash Kher) treads mystic territory with mastery, and is rendered with rare gusto by the folk singers' ensemble from Rajasthan with Kher, himself quite a mystical performer). A devout ode to the unseen Almighty, it mingles Hindu and Sufi concepts into a spiritually wholesome song ('Jab dhol baje aur khet saje/Angdai leke subah jage/ Tu wahin kahin tha')
The musical treatment is very different, almost like a folk-meets-qawwali one, spotlighting the integration of the Sufi ethos with Hindu beliefs. The lyrics largely stuck to pure Hindi rather than Urdu, which separates this one from the overdose of Sufism in Hindi music of late. In fact, this takes it to a completely different plane where the keyword is abandon - a surrender to the Almighty and the unworldly, trance-like behaviour of mystics.
'Sun Balam' (Rajeshwari Pathak) is the most conventional and in that sense the least innovative song on the score. The singer is efficient, the lyrics decent but lacking novelty. In short, this standard raag-based semi-classical song sounds average (though it is not!) only compared to the excellence of the remaining songs!
Finally, 'Rang Rasiya - Remix' is expectedly faster than the title-track and a complete gimmick, working only because the basic composition is strong. We think that this was not needed as a contemporary appeasement, but what is a rose without a thorn?
This is Sandesh Shandilya's best complete film score since Chameli way back in 2004. However, though the score is perfect for the subject, it is against what is supposed to work today. So though it may not help the film initially or record great hits or sales, a song or two may work if the film does.
The rating as always is for the commercial prospects of this against-the-trend score.
'Kaahe Sataaye Re Piya', 'O Kamini', 'Anhad Naad Jaga De'