Earlier this year, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Gulzar delivered a winner of a soundtrack for Meghna Gulzar's 'Raazi'. A couple of months later, the team comes back to deliver another album. As their collaborations ('Bunty Aur Babli', 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom' and 'Mirzya') have also resulted in great music, the expectations are quite high from the music of 'Soorma'. What raises one expectation further is the fact that the film has been helmed by Shaad Ali whose films always have good music.
The album opens on a very promising note as the very soothing (and catchy) romantic ditty "Ishq Di Baajiyan" making one's heart flutter instantly. The rhythmic melody has been sung wonderfully by Diljit Dosanjh who is also the lead actor of the film. In a very interesting way, Gulzar brings to the fore the pain the character is going through for his love with lines like these - "gin ke dekh badan pe neel diye hain ishq ne, pade jo haath pe chhaale chheel diye hain ishq ne". The qawalli bit ("kabhi usse noor noor kehta hoon...") lends a certain devotional touch to the romantic number.
"Soorma Anthem" plays in the film at a time when Sandeep Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) starts practicing again after recovering from his injury. Given the situation, one expects the song to be powerful and inspiring at the same time. The track successfully manages to evoke emotions and makes you want to hear it in a loop. Shankar Mahadevan's power-packed vocals, Gulzar's evocative line ("peeche mere andhera, aage andhi aandhi hai, maine aisi aandhi mein diya jalaaya hai") and a fantastic composition put together by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy ensures that this song stays in your mind long after you have left the theatre.
After a love song and an inspiring anthem, comes "Good Man Di Laltain", a celebration number. When you have efficient vocalists like Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan leading the show, you cannot expect the song to be low on energy. The track might sound a little generic initially but as it progresses further, you realise Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have added enough elements to make sure that it does not sound like one of the several Punjabi dance numbers one gets to hear these days.
I am writing about "Pardesiya" after listening to it six times. Apart from being wonderfully immersive, the song has so much depth in it that you need to listen to it multiple times to get to the core of it. The song is dipped in melancholy and that comes across very effectively. Apart from that, the track also has a devotional feel accentuated by lines like "Thakur man ki shakti de de, bhagat nahin main bhakti de de...". Five singers are credited for the song but it is the two lead male vocalists Hemant Brijwasi and Sahil Akhtar that get to sing a large chunk of the song. The two singers take the song to another level with their vocal dexterity.
Flicker Singh was a pseudonym given to Sandeep Singh for extraordinary dragflick skills. No wonder that one of the songs in the film is titled "Flicker Singh". The song plays in the background when Sandeep Singh starts proving his mettle as a hockey player and his career is on a steady, meteoric rise. The track has the quintessential punjabiyat, an upbeat sound one expects in a song of this nature. While the mukhda has a machoisic feel to it, the antara has a wonderful subtext to it.
After a no-show in 2017, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy delivered a fantastic soundtrack earlier this year with 'Raazi'. Now, they have put together another show of brilliance with 'Soorma'. After 'Mirzya' and 'Raazi', this is the third magnificent album team SEL and Gulzar has delivered in the last two years.