What do all Sanjay Leela Bhansali films have in common? Excellent MUSIC. Black is hardly a musical film compared to Khamoshi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and Devdas, but the fact remains, this film has some of the most memorable and haunting original scores in recent times.
Monty, best known for creating the Devdas theme, creates 23 tracks, all unique and hidden as a background score for Black. The music released by YashRaj after the film hit screens was quite an ingenious idea. Firstly, people could get an actual feel for the film after viewing it. Or secondly, people who haven’t seen it, might be curious to see how the music helps the movie progress. Either way, it’s a must half for everyone who appreciates intellectual music with both western and eastern instrumentals fused together.
To describe every track would be cheating you out of a musical experience. However, I will tell a bit about some tracks that remain with you after hearing the whole album.
The CD begins with “Michelle’s theme”, suitably placed in most of the movie promos and throughout some of the other tracks. As you watch Rani Mukerji or Ayesha Kapur, you can feel the music bringing these characters hope, courage, and the challenge to overcome all odds.
The only track with actual singing is “Haan Maine Chukar Dekha Hai . . . ”. The song is not your typical run-of-the-mill tune, it’s the sentiment of the main character touching different things such as water flowing, the air in the weather, etc. Prasoon Joshi is one of the better lyricists from last year (having working on tracks from Hum Tum and Phir Milenge) and he works his magic in this song. The singing by Gayatri Iyer complements the words and she has the perfect raspy voice that makes the song worth hearing again.
The other tracks of Black are different one another. Some include Amitabh Bachchan’s character speaking. If we add the music to his words, the impact is strong and make the tracks some of the best of the album. He is included in the tracks “B-L-A-C-K”, “Signs”, and “The Bulb is Dying”.
Other personal favourites to check out were: “Michelle’s First Day At School”, “Ray of Light”, “W-A-T-E-R”, “Jazz”, “50 Steps”, “The Colour of Achievement” to name a few. Upon hearing some of these tracks, you get an international feel from the music. There are heavy instrumentals and soft instrumentals with the perfect blend of everything from violins, piano, flutes, guitars, etc. For instance, the number “Jazz” gives you a feel of the 1950s while “50 steps” gives you the nostalgia of the 1920s and 1930s. You don’t need to have seen the film to appreciate the music, its an original album with a variety to appeal to one and all.
There is a point in the track “B-L-A-C-K” where Amitabh Bachchan tells Michelle to be “proud you are different”. I say the same to Bhansali and Monty for creating a film and an album that dares to be different and not your typical conventional musical score.
Overall, its recommended for listeners who love hearing diversified instrumental pieces.