There are decent (though not extraordinary) expectations from the music of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster. After all, the film hasn't been promoted as a musical and there aren't any major/established names on the credit details either. Moreover unlike its similar sounding counterpart Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, this Tigamanshu Dhulia affair hasn't claimed itself to be a musical classic in the making. With hopes of something that may just end up being a tad surprising, one plays on Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster that has multiple composers at the helm of affairs with Sandeep Nath as the lyricist.
First to arrive is Jaidev Kumar's 'Jugni', a Punjabi track which has a folk base to it. No wonder the same tune was also heard in Tanu Weds Manu earlier this year with just a slightly different presentation. Sung and written by Baboo Mann, the song has anyways been established as a popular chartbuster ever since Mika sung it for Kangna. Now with a version being created for Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, one doesn't have any complaint whatsoever.
Shell Hada sings 'Main Ek Bhanwra' which basically belongs to the Mohit Chauhan territory and has a soft tune to it. Sandeep Nath writes for a protagonist who is wondering whether he has done the right thing by thinking big and falling in love despite all the adversities around him. One does miss the spark in this Amit Sial composition though which seems like a drag instead of exciting you as a listener and ends up sounding like a sad track that may only slower the pace of the film's narrative.
There is an attempt to jazz up the proceedings with 'I Love To Love You' which has a 70s style beginning to it, only to get into a 'Munni Badnaam' mode as Rekha Bharadwaj opens up further. Composed by Anuj Garg, it is basically targeted at the interiors and has its chances only if it is complimented by visuals that go by the mood and setting for which it has been created. As a standalone song though it turns out to be ordinary and only makes one start wondering whether it is indeed the kind of song that one was expecting in Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster.
Next to arrive is Sunil Bhatia composed 'Chu Chu' which is a love song that arrives twice with Parthiv Gohil and Debojit Saha singing a solo version each. A love song which is set in the 60s mode when tracks like these were composed for Shammi Kapoor, Biswajeet Chatterjee or Joy Mukherji, 'Chu Chu' doesn't quite make you grab it with both hands in the first listening. However after a couple of listening you do warm up to the song to some extent at the least as it ends up being reasonably likeable.
Abhishek Ray composes 'Raat Mujhe' which again has 70s written all over it and makes one feel that if only Asha Bhonsle would have sung this track, it may have gone to an altogether different level. On the same lines as a RD Burman-Gulzar composition though a tad lesser in making an overall impact, 'Raat Mujhe' sees Shreya Ghoshal coming behind the mike. Though the singer does well in her own capacity, the song's setting and genre is such that one can't help but miss the senior singer to bring back the 70s nostalgia.
Vipin Aneja comes along with Ankit Tiwari (who is also the composer here) for 'Saheb Bada Hatila' which in true terms is the theme track of the album. A kind of composition that reminds one of the soundtracks that one had experienced in Yeh Saali Zindagi earlier this year, 'Saheb Bada Hatila' manages to detail the essence of the film and explains the characterisation of 'Saheb', 'Biwi' and 'Gangster' here. A fusion number that has Indian classical coming together with rock, this number deserves to be played at various junctures in the film's narrative so as to enhance its momentum.
Last to arrive is Mukhtar Sahota composed 'Ankhian' which is an Arif Lohar solo. A slow paced number which has an intrinsic sad appeal to it, 'Ankhian' - just like 'Main Ek Bhanwra' - threatens to slow down the film's pace.
Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster tries to pack in everything from an item number to a traditional dance song to a couple of semi-classical numbers and a theme song. However the end result is mixed with a couple of songs managing to attract one's attention while the rest turning out to be just about okay. Though there isn't any song that makes you look the other way, at the end of it all you end up selecting only a couple of them that may be heard for some time even after the film's release.
Saheb Bada Hatila, Chu Chu, Jugni