Clean Slate Films'(a film production company founded by Anushka Sharma and her brother Karnesh) first production ‘NH10’ had a rousing album which, apart from staying true to the theme of the film, offered the listeners songs which could be enjoyed as standalone audio tracks. The ‘NH10’ album featured several new composers and the music of ‘Phillauri’, Clean Slate’s latest production, has been scored by a new composer called Shashwat Sachdev. There are two songs by Jasleen Royal who has a couple of films to her credit as a music director, not much is known about Sachdev. Since one of the lead characters (Diljit Dosanjh) plays the role of a musician, one expects music to play an important role in the narrative of the film.
The album gives one a glimpse of Punjabi folk music with the very first song on the album titled “Dum Dum”. The track has been rendered by newcomer Romy who sounds a lot like Javed Basheer (“Ye Tune Kya Kiya” (Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara’)), “O Rangrez” (‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’)). More than the standard tune, it is the overall feel of the song that keeps you invested in it. There are two more versions (“Dum Dum Punjabi Version” and “Dum Dum Reprise”) of the song. These two versions shine more than the original simply because Shellee writes some spectacular poetry for each of the two tracks; much better than the ordinary lyrics Anvita Dutt comes up with for the original.
The Punjabi flavour is induced in a more contemporary track called “What’s Up”, composed and co-sung by Jasleen Royal. Lyricist Aditya Sharma smartly puts in the phrase ‘What’s up’ amidst Punjabi verses in this robust, colourful number should be played in several functions in Punjab this year. The track is led by Mika who, as always, brings in tremendous amount of energy with his voice. Jasleen, who has shown limited range as a composer (with some surprises like “Nachde Ne Saare” (‘Baar Baar Dekho’)) does quite well here.
While one fails to fathom as to why the promotional track is called “Naughty Billo”, Shashwat Sachdev brings in the right amount of spunk in the song which is inspired from a popular Punjabi folk track. Despite uninspired lyrics and a half-baked attempt by Anushka Sharma to rap, the song turns out to be quite catchy and should serve its purpose of working as a marketing tool for the film.
One finally gets to hear “Sahiba”, the track where a very tiny portion of which, one had got to hear in the trailer. The folksy number has a similar aural structure to “Dum Dum” but has a much more evolved tune to boast of. Pawni Pandey, who recently lent her voice to “Laila Main Laila” (‘Raees’), shows a very different side to her as she sings this mellow number with Romy. The lilting melody has an uplifting tune which reaches its pinnacle whenever Romy sings “Sahiba, Sahiba, chal wahaan jahaan Mirza”.
Despite being an upbeat track “Bajake Tumba” has a certain amount of warmth to it, accentuated by Romy’s heartfelt singing. The rustic number has a character interacting with the crowd surrounding him and the dialogue-like verses has been set to tune appropriately by Shashwat Sachdev. The song has a situational feel to it but it manages to keep you hooked. The arrangements, including the use of some mickey orchestrated horns, do not let the track become monotonous.
After showing some promise with “What’s Up”, Jasleen Royal is back to churning the kind of tracks that have forced one to brand her as a composer with limited range. “Din Shagna Da” has some interesting lyrics by Neeraj Rajawat, the orchestral arrangements are nice but the tune fails to ignite any interest in you. Jasleen’s voice also works against the track which needed a singer possessing a more mature, full-throated voice.
‘Phillauri’ brings a promising composer to the fore and serves up with a mix of melodious and peppy Punjabi numbers that one would like to hear for some time. The film moves back and forth between two eras and one can distinguish which song belongs to which time period. Producers Anushka and Karnesh Sharma seem to have a good ear for music what with the music of each of the two films produced by them so far has turned out to be good.