When a film has a â€˜rockstarâ€™ as the central protagonist, you expect a cracker of a soundtrack. Moreover, Shahid Kapoor films usually have a good score, and hence one isn't willing to settle for anything less than excellent in Udta Punjab. Amit Trivedi is the solo composer of the film (which is a rarity in today's times where multiple composers fill in the soundtrack) while Shellee, Late Shri Shiv Kumar Batalvi & Varun Grover contribute with the lyrics.
Udta Punjab sees a pacy beginning for itself with 'Chitta Ve' which has a good rap starting it all that sets the stage for the rest of the song. Since the film deals with the menace of drugs in Punjab, there is everything from 'weed' to 'maa ka' to 'haraami' thrown in there. Babu Haabi, Shahid Mallya & Bhanu Pratap come together for this song that has a good starting point but unfortunately loses steam soon enough.
There is signature Amit Trivedi style to the compositions and it is apparent in the immediate next number 'Da Da Dasse' as well. This one sung by Kanika Kapoor has a good rhythm to it and while one can sense a trademark Anurag Kashyap touch (reminding of the compositions from Gangs of Wasseypur, Dev D to name a few), rap portions by Babu Haabi bring in a different touch as well. Good.
The manner in which 'Ikk Kudi' begins, one can sense a 70s influence in there, especially the manner in which the guitar plays on. Unfortunately though, beyond this brief starting point, there isn't anything interesting about this song which has ordinary singing by Shahid Mallya. Okay, so the song is sad, but the manner in which it is sung, written and composed is so dull that you just don't feel attached to it. Later, there is a 'reprised version' by Diljit Dosanjh, who is making his Bollywood debut as an actor in the film. The rendition is better here, though the sad part is that the tune itself doesn't allow him to rock the show.
The moment 'Ud-daa Punjab' begins, you feel that this one could well turn out to be a foot tapping outing, courtesy the beats thrown in. This actually does happen as beyond the hook-line of 'Ud-daa Punjab', you do grab Vishal Dadlani's boisterous vocals in addition to Amit Trivedi's exciting rendition as an able accompanying partner. Moreover, the rap interspersed in the proceedings is good too and instantly reminds one of Yo Yo Honey Singh who has made a career out of songs belonging to this genre.
There is some 'thehrav' in the proceedings once 'Hass Nach Le' arrives. In fact Shahid Mallya does very well to compensate for the disappointment of 'Ikk Kudi' as he is in absolute control and keeps you hooked on to the song right through its four and a half minute duration. A Sufi number that is unadulterated by any influences that would have otherwise diluted the impact, 'Hass Nach Le' deserves repeat hearing.
One gets into the trance zone with Amit Trivedi sung 'Vadiya' which has an intoxicating hook sound that plays on relentlessly as an accompanying partner. There is a 90 second build up to this song that has a 80s style disco feel to it and takes you immediately into a zone where you would have liked Mithun Chakraborty to take the stage. If this one is picturized well with Shahid Kapoor in full form, it could be a winner.
Udta Punjab has a shaky start to it but becomes better as it proceeds. Though one waits to see the kind of acceptance that it manages to find in the commercial zone, one has to admit that this experimental score is different and daring for sure.
â€˜Vadiyaâ€™, â€˜Hass Nach Leâ€™, â€˜Ud-daa Punjabâ€™, â€˜Da Da Dasseâ€™