Sikandar Music Review

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Big Pictures have become synonymous with good music and their last two ventures, LUCK BY CHANCE and 13B both had some lovely compositions by the choosy talented and the extremely versatile Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Here S-E-L comes as guest composers and Justin_Uday (who had done a good job that went unnoticed in Shiney Ahuja's HIJACK) have been given the bulk of the responsibility. Sandesh Shandilya of KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM fame too chips in with his version of ''Gulon Mein''. The movie set in Kashmir, with terrorism as its backdrop and how it affects the innocent who are exploited and go astray is the theme. Award winning director Sudhir Mishra (CHAMELI, HAZAARON KHWAISHEN AISI and KHOYA KHOYA CHAAND) co-produces this film and Piyush Jha is the director. Sudhir's projects have always had some outstanding musical scores and naturally expectations surmount from this album. So, without waiting more let's  switch on the play button and see what lies ahead.

Let's get on to the most talked about composition of the lot, ''Dhoop Ke Sikke''. By now everyone conversant with Bollywood and its music will know how much moved was the lyricist Prasoon Joshi when he saw the film, SIKANDAR, the special screening of which was done so that Prasoon could pen a theme song. And definitely so touched was Prasoon that he not only penned the song, he did not charge a single penny from the co-producer, Sudhir Mishra. Awesome lyrics which can move a mountain. Set to a lovely flowing tune by guest composers, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the song is an amalgamation of nursery rhyme tune and typical S-E-L style. A throwback to the TAARE ZAMEEN PAR numbers. The song talks about innocence and urges to leave the kids innocent and carefree. Shankar and Anusha Mani. are absolutely superb with their rendition as they so very effectively convey the message through some very expressive singing. Subdued singing by Anusha (of ''Lazy Lamhe'' fame) deserves applause and Shankar's typical semi-classical alaaps too are mind-blowing. The chorus is outstanding; the rock elements that have been incorporated are fantastic. Praising the lyrics is a very difficult matter as Prasoon has excelled himself and no words big and befitting enough can be written in praise of the master craftsman, a man who has brought about such a beautiful and refreshing change to the lyrics scenario in Bollywood, which was getting too stereotyped and filmy. Definitely a sample of the awesome lyrics by Prasoon will drive home the point ''Bahut jaldi dupatte odhna sikhla rahe hai hum, Kyon zindagi ko raaste milwa rahein hain hum, Woh pallu se chipak kar maa ki chalti thi toh achchi thi, Akela chhodhkar usko kya kahna chaah rahien hai hum, Ek gehri neend se jagane do use.'' Amazing! Kudos to (especially) Prasoon, SEL and Anusha.

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A music video to promote the film has been recently shot featuring the truly gifted trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy performing in front of a live crowd with the clippings of the film.

''Gulon Mein'', justifiably appears as two versions and who minds as both the versions are simply spectacular and undoubtedly the best numbers of the album. Though the serene version by Justin-Uday is better, both in terms of musical arrangements and singing. In the serene version, Justin-Uday use simple guitar strums which are so effective that they have the capacity to transport the listeners to a world full of romance and love. Mohit Chauhan's inebriated vocals are a delight, and Pritam's ''Tum Se Hi'' (JAB WE MET) shades can be seen here. The number is haunting, bewitching and truly a romantic treat which would be loved by all. Gen X and the older lot too can find something to suit their individual tastes. After ''Masakkali' Mohit has another ace up his sleeve with ''Gulon Mein''.

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True to its title the upbeat version by Sandesh Shandilya is peppier, more zestful with added beats. It's more synthetic with synthesizers, keyboards and guitar used in plenty to give the romantic touch. K.K does the needful although frankly the very talented K.K is overpowered by Mohit with his superlative singing.

New age lyricist Neelesh Misra dedicates 'Gulon Mein'' to Faiz Ahmad Faiz, a renowned poet whose ''Gulon mein rang bhare, Bade nau bahaar chale, Chale bhi aao ke gulshan ka karobaar chale'', has been sung by legendary ghazal singer from Pakistan, Mehdi Hasan and is still a rage. Neelesh uses his own superb lyrics in the 'anatara' and does full justice as his words are romance personified!

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Madhavan and Sanjay Suri go about listlessly. Can't blame them really. It's only Parzan and Ayesha who get a scope to display their acting prowess. Arunoday Singh, who makes his debut, injects sufficient life in his portrayal as Zahgeer Quadir, a militant leader.

What Jha was trying to portray was the blooding in of the innocent children by the militants. What he ends up showing is a pale disaster.

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