Buying a Hindi audio CD: $8.00. Shah Rukh Khan’s current income tax: 3.75 crores. Awaiting Vishal-Shekhar’s next score: Priceless.
There are few things to look forward to on the filmi music front. With Anu Malik, Pritam, Nadeem-Shravan (now just Nadeem), and Himesh Reshammiya shamelessly ripping off tracks from all over the world, things have suddenly gone sour in a big way. Yet, there still seem to be that minority who always deliver when they’re required to. The duo of Vishal-Shekhar has had an above average year with three solid soundtracks in the forms of Karam, Dus, and Salaam Namaste. And we know that a masterpiece is composing itself somewhere within Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani.
Yes, fans of V-S know that this year hasn’t been as good as 2004 and 2005, but we can’t help but hold our breaths before each one of their releases; Home Delivery is no different. With Vishal writing his songs as usual, Home Delivery proves to be yet another feather in the already ornamented caps of V-S, but the ride isn’t as smooth as it could have been.
On a side note: Last time director Sujoy Ghosh and Vishal-Shekhar got together, we witnessed one of the finest musical creations of modern time – Jhankaar Beats. There’s no telling what this combination could do in the future. Also, for those of you who aren’t in the know, Home Delivery had a record 21 songs (although not all were full-fledged numbers). Vishal-Shekhar were skeptical at attempting this, but Ghosh convinced them. Here’s what Vishal had to say, “It is an experiment of sorts that has never been attempted before and one that is likely to set a new trend in music," T-Series and Super Cassettes headman, Bhushan Kumar, denied rumors that T-Series was going to release two CDs to accommodate the massive number of songs. How he managed to fit it all in twelve songs on one CD is yet to be known. Nonetheless, let’s find out for ourselves what Home Delivery is all about.
Let’s start the stroll with the title track shall we? Boman Irani. Yes, Boman Irani makes his way behind the mike to render a hatke (isn’t that given with any V-S sound?) title track to say the least. From the trumpeted interims to the hyped chorus, Boman Irani makes an impressive entrance into the world of Playback singing. Short n’ Sweet is an appropriate set of superlatives for this tune, which lasts only 2 ˝ minutes.
“Har kisi ka koi hota sahara. Har dil ka koi dil hota pyaara. Har raat ki ek subah hoti. Phoolon sa khilta jahaa. Kaash, aisa hota…Kaash, koi na rota. Kaash, paas aa kar…Kaash, koi na khota.” – Vishal Dadlani
Let’s move on to one of my favorite pieces on the lot, Kaash. V-S’s favorite, Shaan, is in amazing form, as he renders over an exquisitely orchestrated harmony. Vishal and Shekhar outdo themselves with this lyrically pleasant piece, written by Vishal himself. You can’t help but marvel at the chemistry that Shaan and V-S have shared right from the get-go in Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi. The sax takes over in the instrumental that appears later on in the album. It won’t be long before this tune plays itself on your lips.
Maya turned heads even before the audio had released. Why? Sanjay Dutt. Sanjay Dutt is known to lend his voice; but only in films that he stars in. Well, Mr. Dutt was nowhere to be found on the sets of Home Delivery or even in the credits. Director Sujoy Ghosh is adamant on keeping a tight lip, so we’ll have to find out for ourselves. It should be recalled that Dutt sung a V-S tune in his previous film, Musafir. Nonetheless, this is yet another highly innovative style of composition by the infectious duo. The line of Maaya Hai Maaya Hai is rendered perfectly by Sanjay Dutt, who gives a solid performance. Give this a few listens and it will surely leak into your head.
Vishal-Shekhar flex their muscles with the vibrant Happy Diwali that comes at a perfect time, as the Diwali celebrations slowly come to a close all around the world. Versatility flows in the blood of V-S as they come up with a tune sung mainly by a children chorus that will undoubtedly be accepted and loved by crowds of all ages. I’ll admit, it took me a few listens for this piece to flow for me, but once it did…I was hooked! The piece is rendered by Vaishali, Aparna, Divya, Suraj, Surthi, and featuring Sunidhi Chauhan.
Happy Diwali appears in a remixed reprise but the names of Kunal Ganjawalla and Shaan are nowhere to be found in the credits. It’s strange, given that Kunal and Shaan have a substantial role in the remixed version. Nonetheless, everyone comes together to make this version as enjoyable as the original. Kudos to V-S!
Another short gem makes its present felt in the form of Cuckoo Cuckoo. Don’t let the title fool you; this song is out-n-out FUN. You have to go all the way back to 2003 in Supari to hear Shekhar Ravjiani render his own music (“Chaha”). I always liked his voice and he gives me another reason why, as he sings with ease here. What would a Vishal-Shekhar album be without Sunidhi Chauhan? She gets comfortable with Ravjiani, as they take you on a two-minute joyride…CUCKOO CUCKOO.
Khushboo Churaati is a pleasant change from all those electrifying item numbers that V-S and Sunidhi Chauhan have hooked up to create. The duo creates a smooth light-rock ballad upon which Sunidhi sings Vishal’s words flawlessly. Yet again, it took me a few listens before I got comfortable with the repeat button, but it happened. An instrumental version appears with the piano taking over the vocal reigns. The lovers of light rock and Sunidhi Chauhan will eat their hearts out.
“Chand ki roshni se, hawa ki khushboo se bani. Shaam ke rangon se, raat ke kajal se saji. Aasmaan ki chaadar odhe hue. Zameen ki sej par soye. Kitni haseen ho tum…pyar mein khoyi khoyi.” – Vishal Dadlani
Yes! V-S have stricken gold with the lyrically, musically, and vocally masterful Chand Ki Roshni. They’re just toying with the art of music, as V-S simply show off here. For those of you with a sense of music theory – Just look at the variability of ragas and notation. What’s better, K.K. (yet another V-S favorite) keeps with the beat perfectly. This is one tune that didn’t take any time to grow on me. Oh and by the way, Vishal Dadlani should fetch himself accolades for his beautiful words. An instrumental rehash is born out of this phenomenal piece. It’s just fun to see V-S show off…too much fun.
Gyaan Guru is our final destination. Could there have been a better ending? Yes. Does it continue the trend set by the previous pieces? To some extent. Gyaan Guru pales when placed next to the rest for one reason: lack of musical ingenuity, which V-S are accustomed to. However, the track does carry with it a quick beat and some heavy vocals provided by Vishal Dadlani himself. However, I would prefer him in Sholon Si over Gyaan Guru. It’s an above average ending to this otherwise creatively new soundtrack.
This year has been the story of three young n’ fresh composers: Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar, and Salim-Suleiman. All of them have tasted success, and there’s no sign of them quitting. Most recently, Salim-Suleiman and Yash Raj’s Neal ‘N’ Nikki should give Home Delivery a run for its money. It should be interesting to see which score the masses will take a liking to, if not both. As I said in the beginning of our stroll, there’s a masterpiece brewing within Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani, until then, all we can do is hold our breaths once again. Enjoy Home Delivery everyone!