With the emergence of a new form of indian music and the latest “fusion” craze, a lot of filmmakers have jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly. However, the track record of those who have been able to create a successful “crossover” album are small; the last being Ashutosh Pathak and Dhruv Ghanekar for the soundtrack of Vinta Nanda’s “White Noise” (2005). However, the latter album was entirely in english, so the search for a truly “indian” crossover album still has gone unnoticed, until now!
Onir is a man who knows his music. His “My Brother Nikhil” album, on which he worked with Vivek Phillip (Composer) and Amitabh Varma (Lyricist) was one of the most underrated soundtracks of 2005, with the haunting Le Chale becoming one of the top songs of the year. The trio’s collaboration for Bas Ek Pal is beautiful, haunting and one of the best new-age soundtracks in recent memory to be released. 3 different Music Directors have been roped in which include the very popular Pritam (guest), Mithoon and Vivek Phillip. Despite the different composition styles, Onir manages to keep a level of universality to all the songs, quite an acheivement!
Pritam composes the opening chartbuster number of the soundtrack Hai Ishq Ye Kya Ek Khata. An all and all-out techno nightclub number, K.K. and Sunidhi Chauhan both rise to the occasion in their signature form. The song is all about “the moment” keeping the soul of the film alive. An energetic way to begin the soundtrack and gets listeners hooked from the onstart!
Editor’s Note: Although given only one track in the soundtrack, Pritam doesn’t fail to live up to his reputation as a very unoriginal composer. Here, he recycles the title line of his very soulful ‘Jal Jal Ke Dhuaan’ from Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena (albeit with some variation).
Mithoon, one of the two main composers of the soundtrack, makes his entry with Tere Bin what is sure to be one of the biggest songs of 2005, thanks to Atif Aslam (of Woh Lamhe and Aadat fame). His rendition of this soulful romantic number takes it to another level. Sayeed Quadri, who has written lyrics for the recent “Gangster”, “Zeher”, “Murder” and “Saaya” is a guest lyricist for the song. Needless to say, the entire song revolves around Aslam’s rendition, which makes the song very memorable! The remix version, composed by Eric Pillai, is sure to make this song popular in the club settings. The electronic background is well suited and adds another level of appreciation for the song. An actually tasteful remix!
Vivek Phillip enters the soundtrack to compose Zindagi Hosh Mein Nahin directing K.K. and Zubeen Garg (of Ya Ali from Gangster fame). An uplifting song, it is very tough to tell the voices of Zubeen and K.K. apart, but both do a commendable job in establishing the mood of the song. The spanish guitar is more prevalent in this song than others, which gives it a personality of its own. Amitabh Varma’s lyrics also take the song to a much higher level. The remix version, by Eric Pillai, and rendered solo by Zubeen, adds a techno jungle beat to the song. His voice stands out well and does an excellent job!
Mithoon returns to the composers chair to direct the title song Bas Ek Pal. Featuring K.K. and Dominique Cerejo, the song seems to be featured in an urban dance club with a more eclectic feel to it. Here electronics (most notably the electric guitar) are used not to take over the song’s environment but to complement KK’s singing. Dominique doesn’t have much to do in the song except for chant “bas ek pal.” But it’s K.K. who is the real revelation here. Subtly enhanced by the electronic background, his voice is the perfect casting, and K.K. does full justice to it. An extremely progressive film song! The remix version, also composed by Mithoon, is more of a house rhythm; relying more heavily on electronic rhythms and using them to enhance K.K.’s singing. Definite new territory for hindi film remixes!
The spanish guitar opens Phillip’s next song on the soundtrack Ashq Bhi. Amitabh Varma’s lyrics are a real highlight, subtle yet romantic. But the definite highpoint is the chemistry between K.K. and Sunidhi Chauhan in rendering this ballroom dancing song. Trumpets and the spanish guitar are heard the most within the song. It is as if Phillip is tipping his hat to older style bollywood songs (has the feel of an RD Burman style composition) through this number. Another excellent number that is sure only to gain in popularity!
The film number portion of the soundtrack ends with Phillip picking up the composition wand again, returning with favorites K.K. and Sunidhi Chauhan for a soft rock romantic number. Titled Dheemey Dheemey, the performance of K.K. and Sunidhi Chauhan in the song reaches it to another level, as their soft renditions are complemented beautifully by the instrumentation provided by Phillip. The saxophone in the song is a beautiful touch, and adds another dimension to the oft-repeated “obligatory love song” in hindi films.
A dark-horse soundtrack, one that comes without any prior announcement but takes the world by storm, is what “Bas Ek Pal” truly is. For years, a soundtrack had not released that could truly complement the modern rhythm with a truly progressive indian sound. For those who are tired of the current repetitive music directors dishing out album after album, or those who are genuinely interested in a progressive hindi soundtracks, a truly quality soundtrack, will lap this one up. One of the best soundtracks of 2006!