Saturday, April 21, 2012

Music Review: Ishaqzaade (2012)

Although still relatively unknown, Habib Faisal has an impressive resume already. Scripting films like Band Baaja Baraat, he made his directorial debut with the immensely likable Do Dooni Chaar, a joyous, honest celebration of middle class life. Now he offers his next film, Ishaqzaade with another star son Arjun Kapoor and the flavour of the season, Parineeti Chopra. Made on a scale typical of Yash Raj Films, the film shows great potential for a marriage of gloss and content. The theatrical trailer of the film hit all the checkpoints, and looks quite fresh. The music has been given by the versatile Amit Trivedi and the lyrics are by Kausar Munir only cements that promise further.

The album opens on a relatively ordinary note with the title track "Ishaqzaade". Given that the trailer is practically exploding with attitude, the song is fairly safe. A romantic ballad, it is ably voiced by Jaaved Ali and Shreya Ghoshal. It is buoyant, melodious and grows on you after a while. However, it remains the least of the tracks in the album.

Next is the item song "Chokra Jawaan". This is where you see Trivedi get into the groove. The song reminds me of Kajraa Re from Bunty Aur Babli. The premise is similar: horny young man trying to woo a dancing hottie. However, the unconventional execution makes it a great outing. The 90s style beats, heavily reminiscent of Ek Do Teen days gives it a distinct flavour. Also, some stunning singing from Dadlani and Sunidhi Chauhan, who happily shed every shred of pretense and embrace their inner sleaze and tease, elevates the song to another level.

After this, we have a powerful, lilting tune in the form of "Pareshaan". A song about the exasperating confusion of first love, it is sung with great restraint by newcomer Shalmali Kholgade. It is also arranged beautifully by Trivedi who fuses Indian and Western instruments almost effortlessly. The use of the harmonium in the song is particularly noteworthy.

The penultimate track of the album if "Jhalla Wallah". It is also, in my humble opinion, the finest song of the album. It features Shreya Ghoshal in her post-Ooh La La avatar and she nails it. She really is shaping up to be the Asha Bhonsle of our generation. Few female singers today can claim that level of versatility. As a tune, the song reminds me of "Namak" from Omkara, in the best way possible. However, the true star here isn't Trivedi; it's Kausar Munir. A song about a woman bitching about her jhalla aashiq, the lyrics of the song are some of the freshest I have heard in years.Sample this:

Aashiqon mein jiska title Titanic,
Muaa! Kinaara dikha kar ke dubba ke gaya.

Humne samjha tha golden jubilee jise,
Woh toh matinee dikha karke chumma le gaya.

Hands down, this is the best dance song I have heard this year.

The final song of the album is "Afaton Ke Parinde" which serves as an alternate title track. This one's is more in sync with the mood and attitude of the film as conveyed the trailer. It's position is similar to that of the title track in Tashan, a severely under-rated album in my opinion. Again, the star here is Munir who brings his best to the table as a lyricist. His lyrics are fresh, contemporary and yet, are purer and truer to the linguistic roots of Bollywood music than most recent albums I have heard. The effortlessness with which he toys with language reminds me a lot of Gulzar. That is the greatest compliment I can offer for him. Seriously, where did they dig this guy out of?

Overall, Ishaqzaade isn't Trivedi's best album. That still remains Dev D, and maybe always shall. However, the songs work together well as an album and capture the youthful, mofussil charm of the film quite well. Featuring some great singing and a phenomenal new talent in the form of Kausar Munir, this is undoubtedly an album worth adding to your playlist and playing in loop.

Music: 3.5/5
Lyrics: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. hey do you recognize the stringed instrument played in afataon ke painde from 1:20 for 25 seconds..???

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