28 May 2012

The Hindi Film Soundtrack 2012: January - May Review (Part I)

A notable Hindi film soundtrack of January-May 2012

We have been listening these five months, most of what has hit the screens, along with the songs that continue to feature as compulsory companions in Hindi feature films. The onscreen lip synching repeats itself still with stubbornness, seldom but, with any purpose or design to its representation.

The stand out soundtrack so far has been Ajay-Atul’s Agneepath. The folksy and Maharashtrian strains are no wannabe; it is very much in the duo’s veins as we see it engaged to best effect in Gungunguna Re. Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya is at his element here, so is Sunidhi Chauhan. Udit Narayan gets a song after a long hiatus and he fits apt to the very nineties proceedings. The star clearly are the beats, the lazim drill inspired sounds are all gusto and life of the song.

Despite the Shreya Ghoshal surprise and the lively intermediate music, Chikni Chameli is a bow to formula, and that the composers just rehashed their Marathi number for this one, doesn’t add up here. Shah ka Rutba has strong vocals in Sukwinder Singh (We are yet to catch up with his latest spelling change of the name) and Anand Raaj Anand. The song loses melodic steam in its pacy culmination, a déjà vu of how Shankar-Ehsan-Loy almost killed Kajra Re (Bunty aur Babli, 2005). 

Deva Sri Ganesha is very much the devotional heart of the Ajay-Atul oeuvre. Though not as radiant as the duo had got Shankar Mahadevan in Sri Ganeshaya Deemayi (Viruddh, 2005), the familiar robust chorus provides able support to Ajay’s variant vocal texture. Then there are the trademark festival beats.

The criminally underused Roopkumar Rathod gets to render O Saiyyan, again the chorus is heavy, soft guitar strains a good addition. The main vocals are effectively toned down; the lyrics don’t touch as much. The similarly toned Abhi Mujh Mein Kahi has Sonu Nigam doing the honours, the violins are a breeze, again the toned downed vocals, the mukhda* strains does have a high-pitched variant as its saving grace. A soundtrack with meaning and enthusiasm, certainly not classic - but hitting the right notes.

Subsequent posts shall talk about other notable soundtracks that have made a mark this year like London Paris New York, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Kahaani and Ishqzaade.  

*mukhda - The opening lines of a song, often a refrain in the entire song.  

Music Director Duo Ajay-Atul

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