There is always good scope for music in a film which revolves around college life. After all, there are so many kind of emotions that can be explored and brought to the fore through songs. Pritam had delivered a thematic soundtrack for director Nitesh Tiwari’s last film ‘Dangal’. The music was the kind that did justice to the narrative of the film and helped in taking it forward. The songs worked when one viewed them in context of the film but did not really make a huge impression as standalone audio tracks. In ‘Chhichhore’, which happens to be his second outing with Nitesh, one hopes Pritam comes up with an album that has a more palatable soundscape.
“Woh Din”, the first song on the soundtrack, sets the tone for the album and the world the film is set in. A few seconds into the song and you realise it talks about college life and the vivid memories attached to it. The song talks about things in a lighter vein; Amitabh Bhattacharya comes up with some colourful lines to elucidate and evoke memories from the fun one had during one’s younger days in college. Tushar Joshi and Arijit Singh render the song with a lot of spunk in their respective versions. Pritam’s tune does not make an instant impression but grows on you after a couple of hearings.
Amitabh Bhattacharya’s wordplay is the mainstay in “Control”, in which the hostel students in the film are talking about the issues/pressures they are facing as students in a comical manner. This is the kind of a song that could work well with visuals. As a standalone audio track, it barely makes an impression. The song has been programmed well and that, along with the way it has been rendered by Nakash Aziz, Manish J. Tipu, Geet Sagar, Sreerama Chandra and Amitabh Bhattacharya, helps in bringing the comic element to the fore.
There are comic elements in “Fikar Not” too. However, this has a much better tune than “Control” and engages you as an audio track. Nakash Aziz, Amitabh Bhattacharya and Sreerama Chandra are repeated as vocalists and Amit Mishra, Dev Negi and Antara Mali join them here. The track benefits hugely from a well-orchestrated percussion and string section which one gets to hear throughout the song. The arrangements also lend a country-song like feel to the song.
It is a delight to see KK being credited as one of the singers in the soundtrack of a film as he sings very occasionally these days. A sense of melancholy and nostalgia is present throughout “Kal Ki Hi Baat Hai” and one expects it to be placed at an important juncture in the film. The song has a slow pace to it and the composition takes a while getting used to. A good song that will definitely leave a better impression with visuals.
The best song arrives towards the end of the album. Pritam seeks inspiration from the kind of sound R.D Burman created and popularised in the late ’70s and the early ’80s to create “Khairiyat”. Of course, a lot of composers in the ’90s and later years were inspired by Burman’s signature sound and tried to replicate it several times. The wonderful old world charm seems to be infused in the track as the part of the film in which the song appears is set in the ’90s. Arijit Singh brings in a sense of melancholy in the ‘sad’ version and flamboyance in the ‘happy’ version with remarkable ease.
‘Chhichhore’ is a good soundtrack though with the kind of canvas the film had, one expected a more accessible album. If one compares the music of the film to the soundtrack of those films made in this space, then one could state that the album is neither as memorable as that of a ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’ or as bland as that of ‘3 Idiots’. Songs like “Khairiyat”, “Woh Din” and “Kal Ki Hi Baat Hai” have sonic appeal and the rest of the tracks are interesting but the kind that would make a lasting impression while watching the film.