It’s amazing how loyal Pritam is to certain film producers and none more so than the Bhatt’s. Anyone searching for his best music are advised to checkout his track record with them, particularly when it comes to his favourite music genre…ROCK. Mukesh Bhatt’s latest film Crook, is no different and continues the legacy of arguably, one of the best musical collaborations in the Hindi film fraternity in recent times. But what about the film you ask? Well rest assured, you don’t need to know anything else because as a music lover, you know the soundtrack will deliver regardless…the only question remaining is how good is the music?
Track 1 is a surprise offering! “Challa” has the hallmarks of classic Pritam but not for his usual expertise in rock music. Instead this is Pritam portraying his excellent mixing skills with a modern, bhangra-come-rap take on what is ultimately, a traditional punjabi song. The rap portion here is taken care of by the sultry vocals of Suzanne D’Mello whilst the traditional punjabi singing by Babbu Mann acts as the true USP of the song – in fact he provides a timely reminder of how effective his vocals can be when utilised for innovative mixing as found in “Challa”. Lyrics are ok if a little cheesy. No doubt it’s a half decent effort by Pritam but just as you begin to start enjoying it, the song ends and is short-lived at 3:41 min. Thankfully “Challa Remix” (Track 5) is a little longer but what really kicks ass here is the addition of an ultra wicked beat by expert remixers Tigerstyle…the effect is pretty awesome and as a result this one is destined for chart success!
After an unusual opening we hit the expected road that takes us towards Pritam’s holy grail of genres. Track 2: “Mere Bina” is initially one of those rock anthems you want to hate but end up LOVING upon repeated listening. You want to hate it because it sounds nothing especially new or fresh but Pritam has this canny knack of providing subtle attractions that win over the coldest of hearts...there are a few to spot here including the use of some stunningly catchy melodic beats and a haunting viola but undoubtedly the most fantastic aspect of this song is the awesome singing by Nikhil D’ Souza...you might just be lost for words listening to his crooning so expect a timely “WOW” to express your feelings and then….BLISS! If you’re not aware of this talented newcomer, he also sang the title song in the current smash hit musical Anjaana Anjaani. Check out his efforts in other recent quality releases such as Udaan and Aisha. Lyrics by Kumaar only work to melt your heart even further but wait…
Pritam wants to enthrall you even further with the quite excellent “Mere Bina Unplugged” version found at Track 8. If you enjoyed the original you will surely LOVE the alternative with K.K’s emotional rendition on a different planet altogether! All in all this track is a one way ticket to soft rock heaven. Just grab it as quickly as possible!
A soundtrack from Pritam would not be complete without a Neeraj Shridhar song and low and behold Crook has one called “Kya” , which you will find at Track 3. Unfortunately it’s a pretty poor effort compared to the smash hits this duo has produced in the past. The music and lyrics are particularly weak. If you’re a fan of Neeraj then give it a try because his vocals are lively as usual but the rest of you will not miss anything skipping the only dud in the album.
Track 4: “Tujhi Mein” reunites Pritam and K.K. for another outing on the composer’s classic take on rock but this time, hardcore rock! As expected the soundstage is pretty awesome with thumpin' drums and a haunting piano both making a huge impression. However, by far the most striking instrument is a special twelve stringed guitar, which plays intermittently mid way through the track alongside the standard electric guitar fusion…all in all an explosive mixture that, given a chance, has the potential to pump ecstasy in your ears! The melody is excellent and coupled with K.K’s superb vocals, lifts the song into overdrive demanding your attention from the start to end. Kumaar’s lyrics are his best for this soundtrack. Yes you have heard this genre before from Pritam but there is no question he is in his elements here and the end result is supremely enjoyable nevertheless. So it comes as no surprise to find another version on the soundtrack titled “Tujhi Mein Reprise” at Track 7. Pritam takes out the hardcore elements from the original here but it sounds no less attractive. Ahem…as if you really needed another invitation to rock heaven?
Track 6: “Tujhko Jo Paaya” is a short but soothing end to the album and a reprise of an earlier track “Mere Bina”. It definitely sounds ‘unplugged’ compared to the rest of the tracks and as such will be greeted with open arms by yours truly. Mohit Chauhan’s serene vocals sit against a peaceful and lush backdrop created by the strings of a single acoustic guitar. A really nice way to end proceedings...don’t be surprised if this brings a huge smile to your face.
The music of Crook is another rendezvous to Pritam’s rock annals and the first album to do that since last year’s awesome Tum Mile. But it's a much shorter album with only four original songs and only two of these being rock anthems so it doesn’t quite match Tum Mile's soundtrack for depth, quality and consistency. However whilst "Challa" and "Kya" will not be missed, "Mere Bina" and "Tujhi Mein" are a MUST listen for fans and you know who you are. Furthermore, the remixes at Tracks 5-8 are simply superb! So forget about the prospects of Crook as a film- when you have music that sounds this enjoyable you can only call this (Bhatt / Pritam) collaboration special and we await their next soundtrack with baited breath. And yes, Pritam has satisfied once again.
(Note the overall rating reflects the fact that there are four original tracks and only two of these are rated highly as concluded above. The remixes add further value to the soundtrack).