Life is indeed a big puzzle, an unsolved mystery with unpredictable twists 'n' turns with loads of dramas unfolded in it. To subjugate further, there is lots in store to experience in Sudhir Mishra's YEH SAALI ZINDAGI. Sudhir Mishra, a celebrated name in the genre of modern day 'art-house' cinema has one more ace up his sleeve in the form of romantic thriller titled YEH SAALI ZINDAGI. If one goes by the statistics of musical scores of his last few critically acclaimed films [IS RAAT KI SUBAAH NAHI (1996), CHAMELI (2004), HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI (2005) and KHOYA KHOYA CHAND (2007)], it becomes clear that his flick's music communicates, expresses as well as enthralls listeners with desired classy appeal. This times its newbie Nishat Khan as the lead composer to deliver the maximum output for this volatile love saga with linguistically tangy Swanand Kirkire as the lyricist for the album. Expectations – indeed yes and expectations are out for some razor sharp wordings with classical melodic appeal serenading out the shades of love expressions of two engrossing love stories. Can we expect Nishat Khan to be first among upcoming prodigy to make its mark in the year 2011? Does this album live up to the classy standards of director's previous successful albums? Let's charter out its musical territories...
Quintessentially background and monosyllabic in nature, the title track 'Yeh Saali Zindagi (female)' brings the acrimony, tenderness and bliss of the varied situations felt by characters with strong westernized orchestral feel. Nishat Khan impresses with his first outing that is heavy duty on soft-rock and jazz blues, ushering out lots of sensitivity in the pace of the track. Sundhi Chauhan's sumptuously oozing voice has the oomph of a club crooner with Kunal Ganjawala's soothing baritones adding to the romantic hues. The optimum usage of distorted electric guitar riffs with rigorous percussive shows the aggression while soft saxophone notes sublimes out with tender feel. It cannot be termed as anything 'path-breaking' but a likable upbeat listening attribute with quality works from every sector. The number will go out especially for all those who have immense liking for Sunidhi Chauhan's westernized singing attire and should work out as signature track for this 'edge-of-seat' thriller. Do expect this appealing title track to be prime feature in challenging moments or even in the titles of the film. Upcoming singing talent Abhishek Ray sings the 'male version' with belligerent rowdy tempo and gives violent feel about the subject. It's situational, brazen and outrageous and mixes film's crucial one-liners with added doses of seductive feminine chorals in the flows of this energetically paced soundtrack. Nishat Khan guns his missile straight and targets nerve-racking moments of the flick and succeeds to large extent in bring to fore the gravity of terrifying cum melodramatic happening of this racy thriller.
There is sudden transition in musical scenario with impressively pitched classical 'ghazal-gayaki' taking over in meticulously composed 'Kaise Kahein Alvida'. The tender melodic decorum is soothing and so is Javed Ali's relaxing voice that permeates well into the subtle contours of this serene sounding composition. Swanand Kirkire's poetically versed lyrics come out as adulation for the 'lady-love' and fits well into the composure of modestly pitched arrangements. Nishat's aesthetics gives it a 'fusion' feel outlook with classical westernized orchestration taking over in the latter moments. After impressing with refined classical singing in 'Jashn-e-Bahara' (JODHAA AKBAR), Javed Ali makes another style-statement of demure love-relationship that should find its way into mushy moments of the flick. For its suppleness and ethnicity, it is likely to be finding its big takers among classy listeners and should be notable add in Javed Ali's singing career.
Oomph of a club crooner makes its vociferous impacts in Shilpa Rao's deep-throated vocals and collage well with Javed Ali's voice in impressive sounding 'Dil Dar-Ba-Dar'. This time Nishat Khan takes a conventional Bollywood's 80's route by imbibing traits of Laxmikant-Pyarelal style of composing with heavy usage of Indian classical instruments. It comes out as semi-classical work and entertains more like a typical Bollywood sentimental song in format of a duet. Shilpa Rao's booming tones are appealing and strikes affable chord with Javed Ali's poignant sounding voice, maintaining high quality singing standard of the album. It goes for the contemporary Bollywood music lover but fails to make anything strikingly chartbusting in its entire exhibit.
Playful 'Masakali' (DELHI-6) finds a companion in countrified earthen sounding 'Sararara', a song about moods and temperaments of mischievously innocent girl, sung with 'bhangra' beat zeal. For its catchiness and youthful appeal, it proves to be most entertaining of the lot and comes in two likable versions. Javed Ali sings the first version that has zealous chorals, thumping drumming with extra dosages of chirpy wordings to support his enthused voice. Nishat Khan's conventionally Punjabi folksy pitched arrangements are highly impressive and bring varied jubilant shades of elation. Swanand's naive expressions and poetic fling about the impishness of 'small-town' girl suits to the mood of the track and connects well with the contemporary but enthralling composition.
Sukhwinder Singh's loud throaty baritones resonate to perfection in the second version and come out as better option than the first version. Despite some overheard fillers and percussive instrumental moves, the major highlights are the catchy 'Sarararara.....' and infectious 'dhol' beat structured drumming that poses a festive outlook for the entire decorum. This soundtrack is presumed to be more of a visual spectacle (similar to 'Masakali') and deserve slick camera moves and choreographic skills to make its flashing impact on big screen.
The final countdown comes in Pritam's style of hard-rock composing with grungy guitar riffs making maximum impacts and creating a melancholically paced melodramatic feel in 'Ishq Tere Jalwe'. It refreshes memories of soundtracks like 'O Meri Jaan' (LIFE... IN A METRO) and carries baggage of despondency and gloominess emotions in love relationship. Javed Ali and Shilpa Rao, composer's favorite singers exude out in their thriving tones, delivering out touching climax feel in its engaging signature tuneful feel. The concoction between distorted guitar riffs, saxophone notes and percussive elements connects well to emote out spells of circumstantial moods with varied heartrending emotions. Lacking in innovation but still enthralling in rendition, this soundtrack works progressively in giving out theatrical finishes to this violent love saga.
YEH SAALI ZINDAGI is an engaging musical experience where soundtracks deliver quality substance and stick to the subject/genre of the flick. Nishat Khan makes a resounding (if not path-breaking) debut with this album, showcasing his skills in delivering out musical pieces ranging from Indian classical music to westernized hard-metal beat soundtracks. As far as chartbusting or commercial success is concerned, soundtracks like 'Sararara' and title track 'Yeh Saali Zindagi' makes maximum impact and should be instrumental in benchmarking the presence of the flick in the marquee. Javed Ali's 'Kaise Kahein Alvida' and 'Ishq Tere Jalwe' are added listening delights to the album, leaving no space for mediocrity to arrive in the album. The probable box-office success and aggressive promotion will surely be a big boost to its commercial prospect.