Neeraj Pandey’s films barely have any scope for music. ‘Rustom’, co-produced by Pandey, is a thriller that also has a romantic angle to it. Plus, given the fact there are as many as ten tracks in the album, one has a fair reason to expect a good soundtrack. One composer roping in multiple lyricists for a single film is quite a common practice. However, one sees a refreshing change here. While the film has as many as four composers, there is just one lyricist (Manoj Muntashir) credited with writing all the songs. As the film is set in the late 50s, one expects the album to carry a retro sound to it.
Arko Pravo Mukherjee opens the soundtrack with “Tere Sang Yaara”, a love ballad sung by Atif Aslam. After hearing the track, one gets a strong feeling that it was picked up from a bank of songs created and compiled by the composer. The reason you feel that is because the track, in terms of the arrangements and the overall sound, does not really throw anything that would give one a glimpse of the era the film is set in. A generic number, that could have been put in any film where a couple is shown to be in love, “Tere Sang Yaara” has a lilting melody that might not stay with you for a very long time but is good enough to be heard a couple of times. Arko does well as a vocalist in “Tere Bin Yaara – Reprise”, the other/sad version of the track.
You hear “Rustom Vahi” once and you know the song has been made for a film which has a true blue thriller setting to it. Reminiscent of R D Burman’s style of music and the kind of songs Kalyanji – Anandji put together for Feroze Khan and Rajiv Rai’s films, “Rustom Vahi” catches your attention instantly. Yes, Raghav Sachar could have come up with a slightly more inventive tune while retaining the sound that one hears here but the track is immensely catchy and takes you a trip down memory lane with its uber cool retro sound. Apart from the infectious tune Sukriti Kakkar’s spirited rendition and Manoj Muntashir’s simple and easy-to-hum verses will make you play the song on a loop.
For most of its part, “Tay Hai” sounds like Ankit Tiwari’s own “Agar Tu Hota” (‘Baaghi’). Like most of the songs composed by him in the past, this one, too, adheres to the template created him in the early years of his career. He does not go overboard with the arrangements and uses the instruments minimally which goes well with the song. The antara offers some variation and he sings the song rather well. The song does not hurt your ears but the familiarity (resulting in fatigue for the listener) is too obvious to be ignored.
The innocence rendered by Jeet Gannguli in “Dekha Hazaro Dafaa” grows on you as you listen to the song a couple of times. The old world charm encapsulated in the songs works well when one sees it with the context of the film. In a similar zone as that of “Chaar Kadam” (‘PK’), the romantic number, which is driven by the sound of piano and violin, has a soothing effect on the listener’s mind. Arijit Singh and Palak Muchhal, as always, sing well.
With the kind of sound it carries, “Dhal Jaun Main” would have comfortably fit in a Vishesh Films’ production. The 90s-like feel that one finds in many of Jeet Gannguli’s compositions and the Pakistani pop sound which the Bhatts seem to have a fixation for, can be found in this Jubin Nautiyal – Akanksha Sharma sung number. Jubin does a very good as a vocalist and brings out the emotions very well in a rather templatized track. Even with a predictable tune, the song makes for a pleasant hear.
“Jab Tum Hote Ho” is, undoubtedly, one of the more imaginative compositions that Ankit Tiwari has come up with till date. The track has a nice melancholic touch to it which has been accentuated by the kind of tune which go well with ghazals. Shreya Ghoshal sounds slightly different from her usual self and does complete justice to the emotions carried by this sombre song.
“Rustom Vahi Theme” is top lined by a saxophone piece which fleshes out the basic tune in style. Raghav Sachar frequently uses saxophone in his compositions and in this track, he uses it very well to bring out the retro feel in the track. Jasraj Joshi does not come across the brightest choice for singing “Rustom Vahi (Male)” and “Rustom Vahi (Marathi)” as his voice does not really gel well with the song.
Though there is some disparity in quality and extent to which the album engages you varies from song to song, the makers have succeeded in putting together an album that does not offer a single dull moment. While the songs range from being very good to above average in quality, each and every song makes its presence felt.