Director Shonali Bose’s first film ‘Amu’ did not have any songs in it but the album of her upcoming film ‘Margarita With A Straw’ has as many as nine tracks. Given the theme of the film, one is not sure whether all these tracks will make their way into the film. Also, one cannot associate Mikey McClearey, who is known for his unconventional sound, with a typical Bollywood soundtrack. Prasoon Joshi who had earlier penned the songs for ‘Chittagong’, a film co-produced and co-written by Shonali Bose, writes the lyrics for this film as well. The English lyrics have been written by Mikey McClearey.
Guest composer Joi Barua opens the soundtrack with a lively, peppy number called “Dusokute”. The duet version, sung by Joi and Sharmistha Chatterjee is heard first while Joi’s solo rendition follows next. This is the kind of song that he would have made with his band (Joi). The track has an Indie pop/rock sound to it and does not really break any new ground as far as the composition is concerned. However, the song definitely deserves a hear or two. Prasoon Joshi writes some beautiful lines that describe the feeling of a person who has fallen in love and starts seeing the world with rose-tinted glasses.
“Foreign Balamwa” is not the kind of song you would expect to stumble upon in this soundtrack but here it is. Nothing to complain about as the song is fairly catchy. Composed by Mikey McCleary, the track is full of playful banter, (remember “Genda Phool” from ‘Delhi 6’ ?). Prasoon Joshi writes in pure Braj Bhasha (a Western Hindi language) with some English words thrown in to add to the fun. Sonu Kakkar sings well but she seems to getting stereotyped in similar dance numbers.
The film will be released in Hindi as “Choone Chali Aasman” and the album has a track, with the same name, which could serve as the title track for the Hindi version. The protagonist says she feels empowered and wants to touch the sky. Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics are very uplifting and inspiring. Rachel Varghese sings well but her heavy accent makes it difficult to decipher a few phrases in the first hearing. The fact that she pronounces ‘Saawan’ as ‘Sawan’ and ‘Chheenta Chheenta’ as ‘Cheeta Cheeta’ does not help.
Anushka Manchanda sings “Meri Aadat Mera Hissa” in a very low pitch and sounds very different. The lyrics convey the pain of Laila (Kalki Koechlin) as she deals with cerebral palsy. Pay close attention to the lyrics; they are bound to touch your heart. The track has a very slow pace to it and should make an impression with the visuals. The guitar strums heard in the background are very appealing.
The soundtrack offers some more variety with “I Need A Man”, a jazz based track. In the film, Laila (Kalki Koechlin) is looking for love and sexual gratification and the song conveys the same. Mikey McCleary’s lyrics don’t beat around the bush but put forward the point as it is. Vivienne Pocha is brilliant with her rendition and shows a glimpse of her expertise over singing songs of this genre.
Another English track follows in the form of “Don’t Go Running Off Anytime Soon”. This one is completely different from the former English track as far as the composition, genre and feel goes. It is a breezy track with a country pop sound to it. Mikey McCleary plays the triple role of a composer, lyricist and singer. He does well in all the departments.
“Aai’s Alaap”, as the name suggests, is an alaap (a kind of melodic improvisation, originated in India, which leads to a raga). It is a very soothing track with some minimal yet effective orchestral arrangements. Violin and guitar complement Rajnigandha Shekhawat’s classical rendition well.
“Laila’s Theme” is a good track that consists of some well orchestrated string, keyboard and percussion sections. The track has a feel-good vibe to it and makes for a pleasant listen. One expects this to be played multiple times in the film.
The music of Margarita With A Straw is indeed different from the kind of soundtrack one expects from a Bollywood film. One finds songs of different genres that complement the theme of the film. If you want to hear something different and you are a fan of Indie pop/rock soundtracks, give this one a hear.