Writer-director Habib Faisal’s ‘Ishaqzaade’ served as the launch pad for Arjun Kapoor and also featured Parineeti Chopra in her first leading role. ‘Qaidi Band’, also directed by Habib Faisal, launches two new faces in Aadar Jain and Anya Singh. While Habib opted for Sajid-Wajid to do the music for his last film (‘Daawat-e-Ishq’), he teams up again with Amit Trivedi who had composed a bevy of hit numbers for ‘Ishaqzaade’. Kausar Munir, who had written the songs for both ‘Ishaqzaade’ and ‘Daawat-E-Ishq’, writes the lyrics for this one as well. As the film traces the journey of a music band consisting of a number of people incarcerated in a jail, one has good expectations from the music.
Had Amit Trivedi not clarified on a social networking website that “I Am India” has been, indeed, sung by Arijit Singh, one would have thought the music/marketing team has goofed up by crediting Arijit for a song which has been sung by Amit. One wonders what compelled the singer to impersonate the singer-composer’s voice. The fact that the track sounds like so many of songs/jingles composed by Amit puts you off initially but the energetic track grows on you after hearing it a few times. Newcomer Yashita Sharma, along with Arijit, infuses the song with a lot of energy which makes it further likeable. Amit’s voice is heard the other version titled “I Am India (Escape)” which has a more upbeat rhythm to it.
From the raw, organic sound of “I Am India”, one gets to hear a more polished and orchestra-heavy “Hulchul”. The song aims to depict the pain and anxiety of the undertrial prisoners and it does that quite effectively. The rock based texture of the composition, that is prominent due to the use of keyboards, electronic guitars and drums, and the lyrics (Kausar Munir) further help in this regard.
Yashita Sharma gets a solo number for herself in “Phir Nayi”, a very pleasant melody that talks about the aspirations of a young woman who has been incarcerated wrongfully and the things she would want to do if she was out of the prison she is in. Yashita sounds very different as the song requires her to sing at a lower pitch. It also goes on to show that she is quite versatile as a singer. The touch of santoor, in an otherwise western-orchestra led song, adds a nice touch. “Phir Wohi”, the alternate/sad version has a very different mood and orchestral setup which helps in distinguishing the two songs.
The rock sound is back with “Junooni” but unlike “Hulchul” this song hints at a romantic connection between the two central protagonists. It also gives an inkling of some pivotal change in the graph of the film. The rock based arrangements, the energy lent by the Arijit and Yashita and the lyrics weave a sense of euphoria in the song. Arijit starts off sounding like Amit but comes into his own as the song progresses.
“Udanchoo” deals with the similar theme as that of “Hulchul”; it also talks about breaking free but has a happy and bouncy vibe to it. The song has traces of frivolity one associates with the sound of a newly formed band. While the track comes across as something that has been produced in a jamming session, the choral vocals suggest it is something that is being played in front of a live audience.
The patriotic fervour that one witnessed in “I Am India” is evident in “Jagmag”. The latter, however, does not have a belligerent and brassy sound like the former. “Jagmag” is a sweet and simple song that talks about the greatness of one’s country. The tune reminds one of the kind of hummable and earnest patriotic songs children sing. The track is underlined by a percussive sound that blends in well with the sporadically-heard sound of guitars and keyboard.
The trumpet piece, which one hears right at the beginning of the song, sets the tone for “Poshampa” which pays homage to the quintessential late 70s/early 80s sound one got to hear in several of Kalyani-Anandji songs. The composition and the lyrics adhere to the template of a track which has been designed as a musical, one which tells a story through music and verses.
‘Ishaqzaade’ was an amalgation of Amit Trivedi and Yash Raj Films’ sensibilities, leaning more towards the latter. Amit was allowed to incorporate his new-age sound but within the commercial Yash Raj Films friendly soundscape. Here, he is given more freedom and as a result, we get a better soundtrack.