Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is a filmmaker who is known to have a keen ear for music. All his four films (‘Aks’, ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Delhi-6’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’) have carried superlative songs. After working with Anu Malik on his first feature film and then, with A.R. Rahman on his next two ventures, Mehra collaborated with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to produce a highly engaging soundtrack for ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’. The team comes back for ‘Mirzya’, a romantic drama that marks the debut of Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher. The film, which is a modern day interpretation of the famous Mirza Sahiban love story, seems to carry an earthy feel to it and one expects the songs to carry a similar flavour.
The grandeur and scale of the film comes alive in the form of “Mirzya”, the title track. Everything about the song spells extravagance, in a good way of course. Gulzar’s rich poetry does complete justice to the much celebrated love story of Mirza and Sahiban. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition is embellished with some exquisite arrangements that contribute towards creating the folk based structure of the track. Daler Mehndi’s booming voice complements the robust energy of the song.
The heavy, orchestral sound of the title track makes way for a softer-in-comparison love song called “Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke”, sung by Siddharth Mahadevan. The song starts with a hauntingly beautiful piece played on a continuum fingerboard. Apart from the indigenous sound the song has because of the folk instruments being used in it, the composers weave in a contemporary touch with acoustic guitars which are played predominantly in the song.
Creating a fusion of a traditional folk song with a modern sound is common practice. Having said that, very few have managed to do it as skillfully as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have with “Chakora”. Mame Khan’s rustic voice and some traditional Rajasthani instrument set the tone for the track which spirals into an EDM-meets-folk number. Amidst this melange of sounds, when you hear a stand-alone verse (1:27), you feel a warm sensation tickle into your heart.
The Rajasthani folk sound is heard again in “Aave Re Hichki”, which unlike the last song, does not have any EDM influence. The acoustic guitar is heard though and it, along with the traditional instruments, creates a good base for this folk-inspired composition. Shankar Mahadevan’s voice is heard on the album on the first time.
Nooran Sisters, who are fast making their presence felt in the Hindi film industry and are belting out songs that need to have an earthy feel to them, lead the show in “Hota Hai”. The song has a bouncy, trance-like vibe to it and though the tune sounds a little uni-dimensional in the beginning, as the song progresses ahead, you discover several other layers in it.
A sonorous aalap rendered by Jyoti and Sultana Nooran mark the arrival of “Ek Nadi Thi”. The Nooran Sisters, then, join and wonderfully complement Mohan’s contrasting voice in this song which has very little orchestral arrangements. The background is mostly filled with the sound of claps and acoustic guitar pieces. Because of the unusual structure of the song, the song might take some time to grow on you. But, it surely will.
Before Shankar Mahadevan’s voice takes centre stage in “Doli Re Doli”, Mame Khan comes up with an actuating prologue. The track has a raga based tune set against the backdrop of jazz music driven arrangements. The piano and saxophone pieces are in sharp contrast to the tune but they all blend in perfectly with each other. In an album filled with stunning but complex melodies, this one makes an impression fairly quickly.
“Kaaga” is a two minutes and forty five seconds long track in which the lead vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty makes her entry fifty three seconds after a violin based symphony is heard. A purely raga based track that is bound to be appreciated by the connoisseurs of Indian classical music.
“Mirzya Theme (Broken Arrows)” starts with a pleasant piano piece and soon spirals into a pathos filled track. The rest of the composition, played out first on a sarangi and then, on a flute, is highly evocative. The piano serves as a good accompaniment to both the instruments throughout the track.
There are seven couplets in the album written by Gulzar and performed by Daler Mehndi. Each of these couplets (with the duration of a little more than sixty seconds each) boast of thoughtfully composed tunes.
Rakesysh Omprakash Mehra continues to have a good repertoire of films with excellent music. He is a director who strongly believes in creating a soundtrack that works in tandem with the theme of the film. Of course, the music works equally well as standalone audio tracks. Most of the songs in the album are the kind which would take time grow on an average listener but if you are looking for quality music within the mainstream Bollywood space, look no further. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar deliver the best Hindi film soundtrack of the year so far in ‘Mirzya’.