When an album is titled Soundtrack, the least you expect is - what else but - a good soundtrack. With Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale coming together for this rather loaded album (there are 12 tracks here), one looks forward to some new age sound in the offering here. Of course there are some apprehensions as well, since Soundtrack isn't a quintessential Bollywood affair, which means experimentation could go either ways. Still, with good interest and reasonable excitement, one plays on Soundtrack.
Soundtrack begins with 'Symphony Of The Streets', a musical piece sans any singing involved, which starts with the sound of a train running on tracks. There are other interesting bits and pieces of seemingly live music added as well which makes it a good lounge piece.
Next to come is a song which could be one of the most straight forwarded of all when it comes to the title. Rendered with aplomb by Anushka Manchanda, it goes as 'What The F'. A club track that has good beats accompanying it and surprisingly doesn't have a 'remix version' attached to it, 'What The F' is a song with an attitude and is co-written by Dhruv Jagasia, Anushka Manchanda and Gaurav Raina.
Though Soundtrack manages to attract your attention by now, there is a downer in the form of 'Mein Chala' which has a strange choice of singer in the form of Kailash Kher. He co-composes as well as writes this song which seems like an extension of one of his philosophical/spiritual trance numbers that he has attempted in the past. Though there is a Western treatment given to the song, there isn't much in it to warrant a second listening as it gets too heavy after a point in time.
It's an all around show by Vishal Vaid as he writes, co-composes (with Karsh Kale) and sings 'Ek Manzil' (along with Khalid Alvi). This one has a non-film appeal to it and while one has to listen to the song quite carefully to understand what it is eventually trying to say, the overall arrangements too are of the kind that end up lending a sad feel to it. The same sound is later used to create another musical piece which is titled 'The Soundtrack Theme' and comes towards the end of the album.
The album also incorporates a couple of old Bollywood tracks in the form of 'Ruk Jaana Nahin' and 'Yeh Jeevan Hai'. Surprisingly, none of them manage to add much value to the album and seem to have been picked out of one of those average sounding cover version albums that was a trend during the late 90s/early 2000s. While 'Ruk Jaana Nahin' is sung again by Suraj Jagan and doesn't make you really fall in love with it, 'Yeh Jeevan Hai' by Malini Awasthy belongs to quick skip variety as it is difficult to listen to it even once in entirety.
Thankfully, there is something to look forward to in Soundtrack all over again with Ankur Tewari playing a triple role of composer/lyricist/singer for 'Jannat'. Best track of the album which belongs to soft rock mode and is the most enjoyable of all, 'Jannat' is the kind of song that one was always expecting in Soundtrack to begin with.
Unfortunately, this excitement is short lived with Papon composed and sung 'Banao' turning out to be weird more than anything else. Leave aside the fact that the overall treatment of the song is hardly appealing; one can't even fathom what it is eventually trying to say. A slow paced number, it tries to be cool and contemporary but only ends up making you look the other way. He makes an added contribution with 'Naina Laagey' which has a classical feel to it and thankfully turns out to be better than 'Banao'. Still, this co-composition with Midival Punditz doesn't quite make you go wow as you move ahead in the album.
After 'Ek Manzil', Vishal Vaid returns with 'Fakira' where Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale join him in the composition department. Belonging to the same genre as the kind of songs that were once in vogue when Feroz Khan made films like Qurbani and Jaanbaaz, 'Fakira' with added vocals by Aslam Parvez manages to cover some distance but just about. With a trance feel to it, appeal of 'Fakira' is restricted to a selected play in clubs.
Last to arrive is 'Atomizer' which has the kind of sound which is associated with Quentin Tarantino movies though with somewhat lesser verve to it. Still, it does manage to excite to some extent at the least as Gaurav Raina and Karsh Kale come together with Midival Punditz for this dance number. Karsh Kale is the common element in music, lyrics and vocals department while Tapan Raj adds on to little lyrics that one hears in this track.
Soundtrack doesn't quite turn out to be an album that it could have been. Now that's sad because with Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale at the helm of affairs, one expected something that was really cutting edge and also to a good extent commercial. However, what one ends up hearing in Soundtrack are barely a couple of numbers that actually end up staying with you for a while at the least.
Jannat, What The F, Atomizer