The promo of Azhar gave the glimpse of a film which depicts several phases of former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin’s life. As the biopic seems to have all the trappings of a commercial entertainer and features two leading ladies, Prachi Desai and Nargis Fakhri, opposite Emraan Hashmi, one expects the soundtrack to carry songs of different moods and genres. Director Tony/Anthony D’Souza’s earlier films ‘Blue’ and ‘Boss’ were commercial entertainers packed with a bunch of songs, quite a few of which went on to become popular. Pritam, who was initially signed on to do the music for the film, has just one song to his credit and the rest of the album is taken care of by Amaal Mallik.
Armaan Malik, who features in almost all of the albums which has music by brother Amaal, sings “Bol Do Na Zara” – a song which starts the album on a promising note. The brothers, who had given Emraan Hashmi a very melodious track in the form of “Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon” (single/non-film track), give him another reason to cheer as this Rashmi Virag written number leaves a very soothing effect on your senses which grows on you with repeated hearings. Though Armaan sings the song well, it would have been nice if he had modulated his voice a bit (just the way he did in “Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon”) as here, his voice sounds too young for Emraan.
Pritam, who had brought Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra together for two songs (“Gerua” and “Janam Janam”) for ‘Dilwale’, gets the duo to sing “Itni Si Baat Hain”, a romantic number that gives one a glimpse into Azhar (Emraan Hashmi) and Noureen’s (Prachi Desai) love. The track bears Pritam’s stamp all over it and is characterised by soft rock arrangements that wafts smoothly along with the mellifluous tune. The song nicely depicts the coyness of a newlywed couple who are struggling to express each other’s feelings. Arijit dominates the song and though Antara’s voice is heard briefly, she makes her presence felt.
As one of the lead characters in the film has been modelled on yesteryear actress Sangeeta Bijlani, the presence of “Oye Oye” (an amalgation of two songs that featured the actress) is justified. The hook line “Oye Oye” is borrowed from “Tirchi Topiwale” (‘Tridev’) and the rest of the song is a remixed version of “Gajar Ne Kiya Hai Ishaara” from the same film. Though the track seems over-processed, it still makes for an engaging hear. The credit for that must go to Kalyanji-Anandji, the team behind the original songs and not DJ Chetas who was expected to do a much better job with the remix.
Amaal, who has been making steady progress in his career since the last two years, adds another feather to his cap as he gets Sonu Nigam to sing a song for him. Sonu, whose voice is heard only in a few films these days, must be proud of the young singer as he gives him a melody worth embellished his voice by. “Tu Hi Na Jaane”, which has a sombre feel to it, is highly evocative and the melancholic mood is exemplified by the sound of the electric guitar and sarangi. Newbie Prakriti Kakar, who has a couple of songs (“Katra Katra” – ‘Alone’, “Bheeg Loon” – ‘Khamoshiyan’) to her credit, makes a very good impression early on as she makes her entry with a wonderfully rendered verse in Punjabi.
KK, whose first collaboration with Amaal resulted in “Tu Bhoola Jise” (‘Airlift’), croons “Jeetne Ke Liye”, a high octane number that brings image of a cricket match being played in front of your eyes. The lyrics, written by Kumaar, have a motivational feel to them. The song should play at multiple junctures in the film and might serve as a good accompaniment to the visual narrative but as an audio track, it does not really warrant repeated hearings. KK sings with a lot of intensity and the feel is quite right. But, the composition does not excite you as much as the rest of the songs in the album did.
Though the film revolves around the life of a sportsperson, it’s the love songs which make your heart flutter with joy. With as many as three romantic numbers that are bound to stand the test of time and a remixed dance number (“Oye Oye”) that works as a worthwhile addition to the soundtrack, the music of Azhar turns out to be an entertaining fare all the way.