Writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar is known to have a good ear for music. ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, ‘Gunday’, ‘Sultan’, ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ – all his films have boasted of good music. Out of the four films he directed in the past, he collaborated with Vishal and Shekhar on two (‘Sultan’ and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’) and he teams up with the duo again for ‘Bharat’. Lyricist Irshad Kamil has been a constant fixture in his films and he writes the songs for this film too. To put it simply, one expects a ‘chartbuster’ score from this Salman Khan – Katrina Kaif starrer.
The album opens with “Slow Motion”, a song that has been picturised not on the lead pair but on Salman and Disha Patani, who has an extended cameo in the film. The song arrives at the part of the film which is set in the 60s. “Slow Motion” is a wildly flamboyant track that does justice to the characters of Salman and Disha who are working in the circus. The tune gets on one’s lips instantly and the bass-line is infectious. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are fun but one misses the kind of zing that somebody like Amitabh Bhattacharya could have brought in here.
Next arrives a romantic track picturised on the lead pair, Salman and Katrina. “Chashni” is a pleasant, hummable number but it lacks the everlasting quality of a “Dil Diyan Gallan” or a “Jag Ghoomeya”. Irshad plays with the word ‘chashni’ quite nicely in the song. Salman has boycotted Arijit Singh and Atif Aslam cannot sing for Hindi films, so we have Abhijeet Shrivastava doing the honours here. The vocalist, who has given a good account of himself in songs like “Aap Se Milke” (‘Andhadhun’) does a good job behind the mic.
Vishal and Shekhar try some interesting experiments in “Aithey Aa”, a shaadi wala celebration song. Dubstep and electronic sounds have been used imaginatively, along with the traditional instruments, in the song. Neeti Mohan and Akasa Sing are good but it is a delight to see Kamaal Khan (“O O Jaane Jaana”) who, after all these years, still come across as the best vocal choice for Salman Khan. Though he makes a brief appearance in the song, he shows he has still has in it to become a prominent vocalist.
Nooran Sisters have earlier lent their voices for Ali’s films ‘Sultan’ (“Tuk Tuk”) and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ (“Noor”; sung by Jyoti Nooran only) and their voices are heard in a song in this film too. The orchestral arrangements and the lyrics make “Aaya Na Tu” seem like a song which arrives at an important juncture in the film. The song has a lot of drama and intensity. It makes a great impression as an audio track and the visuals should take it to another level altogether.
Sukhwinder Singh gets two solo songs in the album. Out of these two, “Turpeya” makes a bigger impression with an extremely catchy tune. That is not to suggest that “Thap Thap” is a weak track. The song has a nice Middle Eastern sound to it and the orchestration arrangements help in holding the tune together. Both the songs have a celebratory feel to them and Sukhwinder, as expected, lends a great amount of energy to them.
One rarely comes across a Vishal and Shekhar album in which Vishal does not get behind the mic. Here, Vishal sings the pulsating “Zinda” which benefits greatly from his voice and spirited rendition. Ali, who had earlier written the title track of ‘Gunday’, writes some good lines for this song which seeks to inspire.
‘Bharat’ is a good album, but the quality is lower than the music of Ali Abbas Zafar’s previous films. In ‘Sultan’ and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, Vishal and Shekhar created a bunch of songs that not only did justice to the situations in the respective films but also had great sonic appeal. They attempt to do something similar here but the result is not as good. However, keeping the comparisons aside, this is a good, consistently engaging that deserves a listen.