Far from the normal musical standards of the showman, Black and White’s soundtrack is hard to be compared. Sukhwinder Singh is slowly making a dent in the industry. Although his previous tunes are sometimes incomprehensible (with some exceptions), it has to be with Subhash Ghai that he decides to unveil these secretly kept tunes.
For all these years, ‘Joyi Aaya’ is what was expected from Singh – melodious and tranquil. He did it and this time, very well. Sadhana Sargam being the lead female singer is an excellent choice and the deepness in her tender vocals is fully exploited. A sheer delight to the mind and to the ears, this semi-classical number is further enhanced by the classical alaaps and high-pitched renderings from Singh. From the chorus to the smallest orchestration details, the track is a must-listen.
DJ Amyth probably remixes his best track in the super fast version of ‘Joyi Aaya’. The shift in genre is blatant. Overlapping sounds, the racy male chorus and the voice effects are well handled by the DJ. Kudos!
The vocals of Sukhwinder Singh are the epitome in the slow-paced and raaga-based ‘Main Chala’. Set on a fine tune, the song progresses slowly with a right dose of high-pitched singing – which is clearly the forte of the renowned singer. The piano in the middle is pleasing. Shreya Ghoshal renders the rhythmic ‘Main Chali’ – which includes a thematic interlude and peaceful flute music. Her voice adds an overall meaningful value to the soundtrack.
A mehndi song in the form of ‘Peer Manava’ has Sukhwinder Singh and Shraddha Pandit in a rhythmic music all over. There is a catchy folk tune in the background and the female chorus gels well with the pace of the track. The remixed version by DJ Amyth is not as splendid as expected. In fact, such a song should not have been touched with beats.
Another beautifully composed number is ‘Haq Allah’ which is blended with regular harmonium bits. The rhythm is rightly chosen. Sukhwinder Singh and Hans Raaj Hans deliver an amazing performance. Although both voices can sound the same in normal recordings, here one can easily distinguish. Highlights include Singh’s voice and the chorus. The fast-paced version of the number is quite ordinary. The second reprise by Sukhwinder Singh is strictly okay.
‘Yeh Hindustan Hai’ is one of those out-dated numbers which do not retain attention anymore. The experienced Udit Narayan should not lend his voice to these type of tracks. Jagjit Singh’s version is much better although he does not seem to be much at ease in his rendition. The flute work in this version is a treat to listen.
The collaboration between Subhash Ghai and Sukhwinder Singh go way back in 1986 during the song recording of ‘Maine Rab Se Tuhje’ for Karma – which had music by maestros Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Since then, Sukhwinder Singh has been a regular with Mukta Arts, even before he became famously recognised after Dil Se (1998). Again under the baton of Laxmikant-Pyarelal in 1991, he rendered two songs for Saudagar namely the solo ‘Deewana Tere Naam Ke’ and ‘Saudagar Sauda Kar’. The peak of his career came in 1999 when A.R Rahman gave him four powerful numbers in the classic Taal; the energetic ‘Ramta Jogi’ with Alka Yagnik, ‘Main Samajh Gaya’ with the trained Richa Sharma, ‘Kariye Na’ in a powerful duet with Alka Yagnik again and the futuristic version of ‘Taal Se Taal’ (Western) – which remains one of best orchestrated number ever in Bollywood and by whiz kid Rahman.
The challenges for Singh continued further with the underrated ‘Yaadein’ in 2001 where he gave another smashing rendition in the unsung ‘Chanda Taare’, composed by Anu Malik. Sometimes the best in Bollywood comes with perseverance and maturity. In 2005, the talented Ismail Darbar and entertainer Subhash Ghai joined hands for the music of Kisna. ‘Woh Kisna Hai’ is one of the simplest and poignant numbers both from Darbar and Singh. The collaboration does not stop here. ‘Wohi Din Aa Gaya’ and the spiritually acclaimed ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ are strong compositions and wonderfully delivered by Singh for the Mukta Arts Banner.
With Mukta Arts diversifying its activities into production, Sukhwinder Singh as the singer was still getting singing assignments and the numbers eventually turned out to be hits! In 2006, it was under the direction of Himesh Reshammiya that he rendered two popular numbers such as ‘Ankhiyon Se Gal Kar Di’ and ‘Bijuriya’. Sache Ashiq’ was another track he provided his vocals.
The musical partnership with Ghai and Singh was bound to happen and it occurred with Iqbal. It had two numbers composed by Singh and penned by none other than the showman himself like ‘Khelenge Khelenge’ and ‘Paani’. In the washout ‘Bombay To Bangkok’ (2008), Sukhwinder Singh composed and rendered the title track - which is still worth a listen.
Black and White’s soundtrack marks another journey for the entertainer and the singer. What has been probably missing in all their past work is now fortunately compensated in this soundtrack. Use of instruments is carefully picked and the relevance to the situation of the track is fully emphasized. If veteran Vanraj Bhatia stole the spotlight with ‘More Haji Piya’ in the recently released Halla Bol where Sukhwinder Singh provided the music, his ‘Haq Allah’ is the answer. ‘Joyi Aaya’ should not be mistaken as a rehashed version of another Rahman song. It’s pure and it would be a pity to see it going unsung. Quality of singers does matter and this is reflected with the voices of Jagjit Singh, Sadhana Sargam, Shreya Ghoshal and Hans Raaj Hans. Going by the scenario and the mood of the script, Ghai is wise as a businessman to choose Singh over the contemporary music directors around. Black and White has music which does take time to grow.