Pankaj Kapoorâ€™s debut directorial venture and Shahid Kapoorâ€™s only film in the last year since the terribly dated Milenge Milenge (which didnâ€™t work either musically or as a film) and possibly Sonam Kapoorâ€™s chance at bagging that one role that will change her life, Mausam stands like an acid test for a whole lot of people involved in the film. But for Pritam, itâ€™s also a challenge, as he hasnâ€™t delivered a single impressive package this year, save for a few songs here and there, which on the whole donâ€™t really make for that single package deal that we look for from the composer, as we reminisce his classics such as Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani days. And now arrives the soundtrack of Mausam and the return of the composer-lyricist combo of Pritam and Irshad Kamil after a tepid Kucch Luv Jaisaa. With the heavy burden of expectation on my mind, I start off on the hitherto unpredictable musical journey that would be filling my ears.
Easy on the ears, the instrumental intro, with the acoustic guitar transporting you into another world altogether, and as Shahid Mallya (earlier heard in Mere Brother Ki Dulhanâ€™s â€śDo Dhaari Talwarâ€ť) starts crooning to â€śRabbaâ€ť , the honey-dipped single breathes a whiff of fresh air as consistent melody overtakes the usually predictable stuff Pritam usually does. Occasionally reminding you of â€śBheegi Si Bhaagi Siâ€ť (Raajneeti) and â€śAjj Din Chadheyaâ€ť (Love Aaj Kal), this trackâ€™s beautifully written lyrics and an attractive fusion of the antara and mukhda, both built on a very strong semi-classical base, with the gentle dholak beat and some commendable sound arrangements and mixing doesnâ€™t make it sound like a rip-off, but more like a gentle reminder of the good music that Pritam does. For those enthusiasts who would love to explore the song further, thereâ€™s yet another version crooned by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, which is sure to satiate the hearts of Rahat Fateh Ali Khanâ€™s true fans, and though Mallyaâ€™s raw Punjabi accent correctly forms the atmosphere of the song, you donâ€™t end up feeling this is an unnecessary addition at all. Awesome!
Remember â€śMauja Hi Maujaâ€ť from Jab We Met? Or better still, â€śTwistâ€ť from Love Aaj Kal or the title track of Dil Bole Hadippa? â€śSajh Dhaj Keâ€ť totally fits into the bill of a very Punjabi song that might not necessarily be groundbreaking per se, but the whole song has a very addictive feel, and has all the ingredients to make it a chartbuster, and indeed, chartbuster it becomes! Mika Singh has become like instant coffee, any Punjabi/Bhangra/Masala single you fit him in, he produces a success, for the obvious reason that his vocals fit these genres very well. Here too, the song succeeds in every front and has it in it to be a topper on radio airwaves, because not only does the song fit a perfect situation, itâ€™s also really fun to hear with an amazing bass-line that is accentuated well enough in the â€śDesi Mixâ€ť by Tiger Style, whoâ€™s also produced a â€śClubâ€ť version and though we wonder why, I guess our questions are very well answered when we hear the respective remixes in our headphones or crank the volume of our speakers way up. Aggressive promotion will ensure that this is one track that can never be ignored. Thumbs up!
Ustad Sultan Khan starts the next song with his alaap backed by a haunting pad and this is where Hans Raj Hans takes over â€śIk Tu Hi Tu Hiâ€ť . We all know that he has great potential if given the right track, but what we have seen instead see is him getting misfit in situationals or musical disasters (â€śTumba Tumbaâ€ť anyone?) and this is where weâ€™re given this track to renew our view of him to a more positive light. He has a good hold over the song throughout and the composition, aided by some terrific arrangements and mixing, make this song a classy affair. This being a song describing the pain of separation, it differs highly from the usual â€śsad versionâ€ť of songs forcefully interjected into many a soundtrack (and this used to be a fashion almost two decades ago), making it a cut above the rest and putting it into the league of songs like â€śDooriyanâ€ť (Love Aaj Kal) Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehnaâ€™s title track, Dil Chahta Haiâ€™s â€śTanhayeeâ€ť and most importantly, â€śAaoge Jab Tumâ€ť from Jab We Met which make a difference from all the other conventional sad songs weâ€™re handed over now. For music enthu-cutlets, thereâ€™s a â€śRepriseâ€ť version by Shahid Mallya who yet again impresses with his range of emotive abilities but has otherwise no changes in the music and is almost a minute shorter than the epic original version. The ultimate version however is the â€śMehfil Mixâ€ť by the Wadali brothers who previously displayed their finesse to Bollywoodâ€™s music with their rendition of â€śRangrezâ€ť from Tanu Weds Manu. Their raw, rustic, mostly unmixed feel throughout the soundtrack, with dollops of harmonium, just create the right effect! The Wadali brothersâ€™ vocal range is damn impressive and contributes to the classical atmosphere that rings throughout the whole album. This is one track that will linger in the minds of the listener and demands replay value due to its sheer brilliance.
Though the essence of these lyrics has been executed in numerous romantic songs in the 70s, thereâ€™s a certain freshness, class and finesse here that cannot be ignored. Pritamâ€™s composition is striking and the music will surely haunt connoisseurs long after theyâ€™ve heard it with tremendous repeat value. This song might not have whatâ€™s now given the dubious honor of â€śmass appealâ€ť but thereâ€™s surely going to be a major section of the audience who will appreciate the song for itâ€™s true worth. Itâ€™s arguably one of the best of the album.
Karsan Sagathia helms the next number â€śAag Lage Us Aag Koâ€ť and though the song has a very folksy rustic element to it, this one relegates to being a situational number, which will evidently look good on screen but clearly doesnâ€™t really work as a standalone single. However, one must applaud Pritam for being a versatile composer and thereâ€™s more evidence of that here. There is a very Gujarati feel to the whole song, and after listening to it, one eventually concludes that the song will be used for an important portion of the film, with an intense underlay throughout the sceneâ€™s surroundings hence the short length of the song.
The soundtrack of Mausam came with humungous expectations and ends up fulfilling the expectations of not just music connoisseurs, but also the lovers of pumped up and universally appealing music. If you have a â€śRabbaâ€ť and a â€śSajh Dhaj Keâ€ť stealing the hearts and minds of people all over, thereâ€™s also a â€śPoore Se Zara Sa Kam Hainâ€ť and â€śIk Tu Hi Tu Hiâ€ť (all three version) that sends music lovers into a trance! This oneâ€™s a complete package of an album that proves yet again that Pritam knows his ropes very well; itâ€™s only a matter of opportunity the filmmakers would provide him to further his experimentation and undoubted talent. Overall the album is strongly recommended for adding to your music collection as soon as possible!