‘Noor’, based on Saba Imtiaz’s novel ‘Karachi, You Are Killing Me’, and featuring Sonakshi Sinha in the titular role of a goofy, young journalist, is not expected to be a musical per se. But, the fact that it is produced by a music company (T-Series) and has Amaal Mallik, one of the most promising young composers on the block, at the helm of the soundtrack, one expects the album to have at least a bunch of interesting tunes to offer.
Manoj Muntashir’s descriptive lyrics, Amaal Mallik’s free-flowing tune and Armaan Malik’s spirited rendition do a good job at bringing alive the lively character of ‘Noor’, played by Sonakshi Sinha and giving the listener a basic understanding of what the character is like. The title track of films featuring a female lead/titular character is often sung by a female vocalist but here Armaan pitches in as the singer, giving one an outsider’s view of Noor Roy Choudhary’s world.
Following the trend of remixing cult Hindi songs and using them in films being made today, T-Series opts for “Gulaabi Aankhein” (‘The Train’ (1970)) which has been repackaged as “Gulabi 2.0”. Before the hook line arrives at 0:52 minutes into the song, one does not even realize that it is a remixed version of the classic R.D Burman composed number. “Gulaabi Aankhein” had a bouncy feel to it but it was essentially a romantic track. Here, Amaal has recreated it as a club number which sounds fine but the hook line and the rest of the song does not really blend in seamlessly. The other version “Gulabi Redux”, sans Amaal’s vocals, sounds almost the same.
Though “Jise Kehte Pyaar Hain” is essentially a romantic track, it has the bouncy appeal of the first two songs on the album. Sukriti Kakar’s zesty rendition ups the likeability of the track by a couple of notches. The simple and hummable lyrics (Kumaar) compliment the youthful, vibrant energy of the song. Amaal Mallik does not go overboard with the arrangements and gives the track a nice layer of electronic base.
After all the fun and happiness, arrives “Hai Zaroori”, a slow paced track which gets its pensiveness from Amaal’s simple and soulful tune. Kumaar’s lyrics and Prakriti Kakar’s earnest singing contribute equally well towards the sombre quality of the song. “Hai Zaroori” also has a nice, old-world charm to it which is most prominent in the part in which you hear Prakriti sing “Koi chori chori chupke se chupke se rona hai zaroori…”. The way the phrase is tuned reminded me of “Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi Mil Gaya Tha” (‘Pakeezah’).
Though ‘Noor’ is devoid of songs that could turn out to be chartbusters, each and every track on the album is good enough to keep you engaged as a listener. While the repackaged version of “Gulabi Aankhen” might get mixed reactions, the rest of the songs should become more relatable and simultaneously, more popular when one sees the film.