The Priyadarshan-Pritam combination has worked its magic in almost all the films that they have worked together. Without fail one or more chartbuster has been accrued to them but mostly those films were predominantly trademark Priyan comedies. With AAKROSH, the National Award winner Priyadarshan has decided to break away from his comic image and is handling a serious but topical issue of honour killing that is plaguing the nation, especially prevalent in the medium and small towns of North India. The music naturally will be as per the tight script that deals with a sober and serious issue. And since the setting is rural India, one can except some rustic flavours in the album. So, let's see if AAKROSH turns out to be an enriching experience and the team of Priyan and Pritam gives the music patrons a chance to savour the rich musical heritage of North.
Since the film is set in a small town of Bihar, it's but natural that the first track of the album 'Isak Se Meetha' is a true blue raunchy 'nautanki' number, the kind heard in the local 'melas' and fairs of North India, mainly Bihar and UP. With 'Munni Badnaam Hui'(DABANGG) still ruling the charts, Pritam has offered the patrons of this type of music another chance to freak out . The highlight is the deadly rhythm that one gets hooked on to easily, thanks to the singer, Kalpana Patowary. Kalpana may not be a very famous name in Bollywood but she has a massive fan following in Bihar and UP as she is a renowned Bhojpuri singer and has several hit numbers to her credit. No doubt her presence in the song will only serve to make it more popular amongst the target audience. Supporting her with remarkable ease and elan is Ajay Jhingran, who too charges up the atmosphere with his energetic singing. And amongst all these pluses is the original item girl, Sameera Reddy, who seems to be in her elements with her eclectic dancing. Irshad Kamil's lyrics too are in keeping with the rural setting of the song. The promos of the song are in full swing at all major entrainment channels and undoubtedly this number will serve as a tension reliever in this serious heady movie.
The number also features as 'Dhol Mix' and as a simple remix (by Kiron Kamat) and all credit to the arrangers for making them different with use of different instruments and music arrangements. Though naturally the 'Dhol Mix' is better and more entertaining of the two with liberal use of Indian percussion instruments. .
Pritam can undoubtedly be regarded as the best in business when it comes to breezy romantic tracks and he has evolved his trademark touch which interestingly is different for different makers, from the Bhatts to Priyan. The next romantic outing, 'Saude Baazi', is one such number that will have the die-hard romantics clinging to it's lilting melody as a sort of hilly folkish flavour prevails throughout the number. The 'mukhda' is an absolutely enchanting one not heard before. The use of Hindustani musical instruments like flute, 'sitar', 'tabla', harmonium etc is the crowning glory of this lovely track. Anupam Amod's fresh, crisp and gentle vocals make the composition sound more delightful and Irshad Kamil's lyrics too are gems that adorn this track.
The second version of 'Saude Baazi-Encore' is pretty much the same and has been rendered by Javed Ali, who too has done a good job.
For those who like tragic songs and freak on heady emotional stuff it's Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at his lachrymose inducing best in 'Man Ke Mat'. The moment the song commences with the couplet, 'Ishq mushk pe zor na koi, Man se badhkar chor na koi, Bin aag badan sulgadega, Ye rag rag rog lagadega', one knows that we are in for something extraordinary and undoubtedly this number, although situational, is way beyond that as it tugs directly at the heart . The number is retro in spirit and we have had a lot of songs especially by S.D.Burman ('Wahaan Koun Hai Tera Musafir'- GUIDE), songs which begin with a wise couplet and are mostly tragic foretelling the perils of falling in love. The devotional song 'Ramchandra Keh Gaye Siya Se' (GOPI) also uses the same 'raaga' as this number and so it may sound more like a devotional number to some. Legendary Urdu poet Ghalib had said, 'Ishq per zor nahin Ghalib...' and we have a folk couplet inspired/on from the same 'bandh' in 'Man Ki Mat' but Irshad Kamil has used it as inspiration and has added his own wordings which are absolutely top class. Rahat's heartrending rendition is also one of the highlights of this track.
Shreya Ghoshal has indeed sung some memorable numbers for Pritam but 'Sasural Munia' is not one that will remain in the minds of the people for long, and the reason is the pedestrian oft repeated tune that forms the base of the song. A folk based wedding number like 'Sasural Genda Phool' (DELHI 6) would have worked wonders in this classy album that has its roots in the rural parts of India but Pritam chose a number that is like an instant noodle, enjoyable as long as it lasts but not one that leaves a lasting impression.
It appears that Pritam has indeed listened to our advice as he ends the album on a classy note with the devotional 'Ram Katha'. Serene flute notes commence 'Ram Katha' and as is evident from the title the situational number talks about the epic Ramayana. The story (or katha) of Lord Rama and his fight against Raavan for his wife Sita, a story that is ingrained in the hearts of all Indians. Sukhwinder does an excellent job of making the composition entertaining as not only does he sing from the heart but also narrates some portions of the epic in a very interesting 'sant' style which is called 'pravachan' (narrations of holy scriptures and religious stories by saints and 'sadhus' in big gatherings) in Hindi .
To sum up, the music of AAKROSH is not the kind that people associate with Pritam-Priyan but it certainly is an enriching experience. The compositions will certainly sound much better and gain more popularity once the film releases as most of them are situational and in keeping with the mood and theme of the movie. 'Saude Baazi' and 'Man Ki Mat' are our favourites and it goes without saying that 'Isak Se Meetha' will definitely find its own takers. Recommended for all those who like their music being retro and hinterland based (as in DABANGG). And remember retro is in!