Blockbuster and eye-opener flicks like 3 IDIOTS (2009) and TAARE ZAMEEN PAR (2007) wer successful in listing out the shortcoming of modern-day education system. This year its Milind Ukey's directed PAATHSHAALA (meaning school or learning place) making out statement on consumerism and commercialization of today's educational institutes . It's an all-out innovative endeavor of its kind with noble feelings of delivering out mindset of burdened school going children's with thought-provoking cinematic appeal. Hanif Sheikh, an emerging name in musical fraternity is the mind behind the music as he nurtures the writing as well as composing for the album. The genre of conceptually innovative cinema has flourished tremendously and music has been prize-wining factor for them. Can PAATHSHAAL be among this selected cadre of musical releases? Can we expect musical surprise in the form of Hanif Sheikh from his first major album? Let's be considerate teachers of this thoughtful 'paathshaala' and examine out its musical facts...
Optimism blooms like fresh whiff of air with motivational enthuse of meeting the impossible with God's decree in sweet composure of soft-rock ballad titled 'Aye Khuda'. Hanif Sheikh's first volley is remarkable in westernized arrangements and carries the similar inspirational appeal of Salim-Suleiman's composed 'Aashayein' (IQBAL -2005). Salim Merchant makes impressive vocal gestures in his somber varying tones and shoulders the entire four minutes plus track with great zeal. Hanif's catchy hook-line (rhythmical acoustic guitar riffs with spirited chorals) in this composition matches in tandem with his simply penned prosaic skills that gist out the inspirational feel of the flick. There is divinity woven in inspirational hues in lines like 'Aye khuda mujhko bataa tu rehta kahan, Kya tera pataa, Hum to yahan pe musafir hain, Jo doondhe apni manzil ka pataa...' that makes it emblematically strong background score work.
The playfulness of partying and chilling out with folks gets glorified to highest extreme in pompously pulverized disco beat fillers that are mixed to proportions in Salim's resounding vocals in highly entertaining 'Aye Khuda (remix)'. This spirited and vibrant 'club' remix elements energize the mood and makes it party-feasting item for listeners. Inspirational!!!
Education is a dream with situation! The next soundtrack 'Paathshaala (khushnuma)' makes this tagline loud and clear with frivolous loud rock-appeal in gush of boisterous vocals. After making one composer (Salim Merchant) singing his heart out, it's time for another composer Vishal Dadlani screaming out in huskier tones this 'khushnuma' (feel-good) soundtrack. In terms of racy treatment of this fun-frolic kiddy's track, it refreshes memories of tracks like 'Kholo Kholo' (TAARE ZAMEEN PAR) and has loads of electronica punched hip-hop jiving thrills. Dadlani's succeeds comprehensively as 'cool' vocalist and so does Hanif's composition in exuding out frolicsome melodic display. Thrilling!!!
Lucky Ali's country western rock appeal gets beguiling thrive of somber toned arrangements with feel of mesmeric love in beatific ambience in pleasant sounding 'Bekarar'. Hanif's rollicking rock composition brings out fine concoction of distorted guitar riffs in congenial sounding rhythmical patterns with energizing feel of subtle percussive elements. Lucky's deep-throated vocals in resonating overtones are brilliant and so do poetic semblance of recurring wordings that makes melodic loop with lovely sounding composition. It refreshes the finest of Lucky Ali who made a mark with his Indi-Pop tracks like 'Anjaaani Raahom Mein Kabhi' and 'Dekha Hai Aisa Bhi' and turns to be lovely listening treat for rock-lovers.
'Bekarar (remix)' makes the mood 'booty-shaking' for floors with the desired ammunition in its DJ's spins and beat-juggles. Even the echoing and electronically resounding impacts are well in concoction with Lucky's likable vocals. Captivating!!!
After making striking presence in upbeat hip-hop song 'Yeh Dooriyan' (FOOL N FINAL -2007), Hanif Sheikh gets behind the mike for first time in 'lounge' music feel love track 'Mujhe Teri'. It's sweet surprise innovation coming in huskier tones of Tulsi Kumar that collage well with Hanif's youthful voice to deliver out charming number. This sluggish tempo with sensual touches track is co-composed by Vijay Lama and has added back-up of Akansha Lama to add mores shades of seductive oomph. It's a technically bright track that works more on voice modulating and sound engineering antics that promises to be sparkling visual add on in the flick. For all melody lovers, the surprise package is Tulsi Kumar's reformed voice that makes the maximum impact with decorum of 'lounge' music and gives it varying romantic shades.
'Mujhe Teri (remix)' changes the mood and add spice 'n' thrill of DJ''s 'club' touches with punch of moderately paced disco-beat fillers. It's contemporary in sounds and rhythms and lesser on innovative skills but proves to be affable commercial viable feature for the album. Impressive!!!
So far, so good and now what next! Divinity woven in silken sentiments of sobriety comes in meditative singing mode of Kailash Kher's penetrative voice in classically composed 'Aye Khuda (Teri Marzi)'. On instrumental front, it brings mellifluous flute notes (Vijay Tambe) that are not only on graceful in tuneful setting but also soul-enchanting at intermittent phases. This meaningfully melancholic track sounds analogous in melodic feel and vocal tinge of Kailash's pensive sounding 'Ya Rabba' (SAALAM-E-ISHQ -2006) with remarkable add-on of refined flute notes. It preaches well the chapter of 'life' in motivational prayer format and should give momentous tear-jerking spells in the engaging moment of the film.
It's 'remix' version is unpredictable and races up senses with pompous 'club-remixing' thrills. The impressive flute-notes forms effective hook-line but it's the flickering trance feel, loud drumming and bouncy beat-juggles that sets the mood for the floors. Enchanting!!!
The final chapter of PAATHSHAALA ends with communicatively theatrical musical instrumental piece (or theme) 'Paathshaala (instrumental)'. It triggers off with signature tune of 'Aye Khuda' followed with enthused chorals; classroom discussions and ends up with rigorous zealous orchestral feel.
PAATHSHAALA is welcoming 'masti-ki-paathshaala' with a pack of refreshing tracks ushering out optimism with varied genres, tempos and styles, matching well to the feel and situation of the flick. Hanif Sheikh's first solo attempt is laudable and it shows on his meticulous toil in creating desired melodic feel in almost every single soundtrack. There is also quality lyrical works with no space for mediocrity and 'filler' substance in it. It's really pleasurable listening experience to cherish tracks like 'Aye Khuda', 'Paathshaala (khushnuma)', 'Bekarar' , 'Mujhe Teri' and 'Teri Marzi (Aye Khuda)' from this upcoming musical whiz-kid. It would be a pity and unfortunate if the songs go unnoticed or unheard by the average listener. For overall quality musical exhibits, there is no shred of doubt that Hanif Sheikh will be the 'chosen-one' amongst the new entrants and promising prospects in the coming years.