Just the hints were good enough to suggest that the soundtrack of Rustom would turn out to be exciting. First it happened a few months back when Akshay Kumar introduced the theme of Rustom via a well-orchestrated act in an awards function. Later, just a couple of lines (from 'Tay Hai') in the film's theatrical promo established the melodic base of the music. Then 'Tere Sang Yaara' was unveiled and expectations were pretty much set that with Manoj Muntashir as the lyricist and Arko, Raghav Sachar, Ankit Tiwari and Jeet Gannguli as the composers, there is an entertaining soundtrack in store.
It is delightful to hear the voice of Atif Aslam and he does quite well to sing 'Tere Sang Yaara' for Akshay Kumar. The song has the kind of mood, theme and pace which reminds one of 'Tu Rang Sharbaton Ka' [Phata Poster Nikhla Hero] and 'Soch Na Sake' [Airlift]. The song has a beautiful melody to it and Manoj's lyrics are poetic enough to lend a good sense of romance in the air. Arko comes up with one of his best compositions till date and while the song is later also heard in the 'reprise version' where he also brings himself in as a lyricist, one wonders if it would have been great to have this as a duet with a female voice.
Next to arrive is the title track 'Rustom Vahi' and it manages to form an instant connect, courtesy the retro tune, arrangements and styling that comes with it. If you liked 'Aaj Ki Raat' [Don] and 'Raat Baaki' [Namak Halal] then rest assured, you would pick this composition by Raghav Sachar as well. The youngster comes up with a tune which is quite different from the music that he has composed in the past and what adds 'chaar chand' to the song is Sukriti Kakar's voice. She is a livewire behind the mike and is just so suited for the kind of composition that is offered here.
The song later appears three more times, first as a 'theme version' which is mainly an instrumental version. Then there is a 'male version' too which has newcomer Jasraj Joshi coming behind the mike. This isn't all as there is a surprise in store with a Marathi version too (which has lyrics by Mandar Cholkar). While each of these versions ensures that the song sticks in your mind before the album is through, it is Sukriti's version that you pick amongst these.
It is back to out and out romantic melodies and the one to arrive first is Ankit Tiwari composed and sung 'Tay Hai'. What impresses is not just the start that the song takes but also the repeat rendition of 'Tay Hai', which is a soulful hook to get addicted to. Manoj Muntashir writes the song really well and Ankit gives this love song a good concert feel which makes 'Tay Hai' one of the best songs to have come out in 2016. It has a wonderful 'thehrav' to it right through the duration and you instantly want to play it all over again once it comes to an end.
Composer Jeet Gannguli steps into the soundtrack at this point and delivers a couple of back to back songs. First to arrive is 'Dekha Hazaro Dafaa' and you indeed love what is in the offering here. The song pretty much carries forward the feel of 'Tay Hai' in the soundtrack and it is nice to hear Arijit Singh and Palak Muchhal coming together behind the mike. Since the film is set in late 50s/early 60s, it is quite apparent that the makers wanted to relive that era by coming up with a song that belongs to the era gone by.
Next in line is 'Dhal Jaun Main' which is straight out of the world of Aashiqui 2. Jubin Nautiyal kick-starts the proceedings and sings it entirely in a style that has been heard after Aashiqui 2 in Ek Villain as well. That said, you definitely do not mind what is in the offering here as the composition is put together quite well and the best part of it all, it is placed quite well in the overall theme and spirit of the soundtrack. Later, newcomer Aakanksha Sharma joins Jubin behind the mike and makes her presence felt.
Ankiit Tiwari returns to the soundtrack with 'Jab Tum Hote Ho' and takes forward the Aashiqui 2 genre of music. Shreya Ghoshal comes towards the very end of the album but brings good experience into play to ensure that despite the slow pace, you do listen attentively to what she has to say. While the song isn't the kind that chartbusters are made of (and also threatens to bring down the pace of the film), one just hopes that it has a curtailed duration in the film. As a standalone song to listen though, this one makes for a pleasant hearing.
The soundtrack of Rustom ends up exceeding expectations. While there are three definite chartbusters in the offering ( ‘Tere Sang Yaara’, ‘Rustom Vahi’, ‘Tay Hai’), a couple of more tracks ( ‘Dekha Hazaro Dafaa’, ‘Dhal Jaun Main’) come up as added bonus as they start growing on you after repeated listening.
'Tere Sang Yaara', 'Rustom Vahi', 'Tay Hai', 'Dekha Hazaro Dafaa'