The music of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ was fairly good and benefitted from the success of the film. Despite being a thriller with a political backdrop, the film was a love story at the core of it and because of this factor, the makers found it easier to incorporate songs in the narrative. In ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, the thriller and political elements seem to be at the forefront and hence, one is not sure what kind of songs will be there in the film. What makes one optimistic is the fact that all the films, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, have boasted of good music and the team (Ali Abbas Zafar, Vishal and Shekhar and Irshad Kamil) had delivered a great album last year in the form of ‘Sultan’.
The opening track, aptly titled “Swag Se Swagat” has a lot of swag in it alright. The basic tune is quite good but what gives the song long legs is the way it has been arranged. A bit of the signature theme of the film (Julius Packiam), peppered with a well-orchestrated amalgamation of claps, horns and percussions make the song sound really interesting. The track has a touch of Middle Eastern sound as well. Though it is a promotional track, it conveys the message of the film in style. Vishal Dadlani is at his usual boisterous himself and Neha Bhasin, who has featured as a vocalist in all of Zafar’s films, gives a good account of her too.
The song, which has the most sonic appeal, is undoubtedly “Dil Diyan Gallan”. It is hard to imagine somebody else’s voice to suit the song the way it matches Atif Aslam. In fact, the song infused with an old-world charm and Punjabi lyrics, is reminiscent of several songs the singer has recorded for his private albums in the past. The infectious tune, Indian arrangements and some heart-rending poetry by Irshad Kamil make sure that this song finds your way into your playlist as soon as you hear it. Neha Bhasin lends her own distinct touch in the “Unplugged Version” which has a nice Kashmiri sound to it, courtesy the sound of oud and rabab.
Vishal and Shekhar try to do too many things with “Zinda Hai” – the theme piece by Julius Packiam is heard for a long time before Sukhwinder Singh makes an entry at 1m 17s into the song and heavily lifts the functional tune. Raftaar enters the scene to render a pointless rap portion that makes no impression. The spirited singing by Sukhwinder Singh and some memorable lines by Irshad Kamil save the song from being a complete downer. This might well be Salman’s introduction song in the film and one waits to see how the visuals help in boosting this ordinary track.
After some heavily-orchestrated songs, arrives “Daata Tu”, a serene melody where, presumably, the abducted nurses are appealing to their God to help them out. The arrangements, unlike the other tracks one has heard so far, are minimal and that works in favour of the song. Led by Shreya Ghoshal’s dulcet voice and powered by some thought provoking lyrics by Irshad Kamil, the song makes for a very pleasant hearing. The prayer-like quality of the song is accentuated by bells, claps, flute and tabla.
The orchestral arrangements and the overall feel of “Tera Noor” remind one of “Tuk Tuk” and “Bulleya”, the two songs from ‘Sultan’. “Tera Noor” is a qawalli driven by an electronic and metal laden base topped with drums and electric guitars. One expects this powerful song to be played at an important juncture in the film where a lot of action is taking place. Apart from scoring high as an audio track, it should do a good job at amplifying the drama unfolding on screen as well. Jyoti Nooran sings the song with gusto and compliments the high-voltage energy of the composition and the lyrics.
‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ is a much better soundtrack as compared to ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. Barring one song (“Zinda Hai”) that does not impress, the album gives you enough reasons to cheer about. Ali Abbas Zafar continues to demonstrate the fact that he has a good ear for music. After two successful partnerships with Sohail Sen (‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ and ‘Gunday’), the director seems to have gelled well with Vishal and Shekhar. Furthermore, the composer duo deliver a good soundtrack for the second time in a row for him after ‘Sultan’.