Pritam returns to his majestic best with reminisces of his career defining Life in a..Metro!
Notwithstanding all the big soundtracks we have had so far in 2009, Tum Mile is a bit of a landmark release and it’s one that will make you stand up and take notice even in the purple patch (of music releases) that we currently find ourselves in! That may sound like a cliché but coming from a known Pritam critic, it’s high praise indeed.
The soundtrack brings to us the golden collaboration of Movie producer Mukesh Bhatt and Music Director Pritam, the latter of whom has had a successful year already with his music for 'New York' and particularly 'Love Aaj Kal' regularly breaking into the charts. But some critics (including this one) were disappointed with those productions and felt Pritam could have done better...Tum Mile on the other hand has an extra secret ingredient called Emraan Hashmi. The star has acted as a lucky mascot for the music in previous ventures with Pritam and the Bhatt’s and so putting him into the equation gives you a mouth-watering prospect. Just recall the music of 'Jannat' (2008), 'Awarapan' (2007) and 'Gangster' (2006) as a trip down memory lane if you needed one!
But can the music of Tum Mile take a slice of your time that is occupied by all the bountiful releases we have had this late Summer / early Autumn? Can it topple your thirst for Himesh Reshammiya’s superb 'Radio' or A.R. Rahman’s 'Blue'? Can it have such an effect on you as to make you change your playlist after only a few listens? YOU BET IT CAN! In fact, give it time and it will be remembered alongside the best of 2009….and certainly the most melodious!
Beware first up as Track 1 is a touch disappointing and may put you off the soundtrack completely! Neeraj Shridhar’s version of the title song “Tum Mile” is nothing more than a fun, upbeat outing. It probably fits nicely somewhere in the movie but on its own, sounds out of place in an otherwise melodious and rock infused soundtrack. Pritam’s pop arrangements are catchy but unspectacular, in fact they kind of irritate after a few listens (apart from the excellent lyrics by Kumaar) particularly once you have heard the definitive versions of “Tum Mile” which come later at Track 5: “Tum Mile (Love Reprise)” and Track 8: “Tum Mile (Rock)” respectively. Verdict: It’s not a bad start but you expect much more and in the end this is merely a blip in proceedings! Stick with it folks….
Ah...Track 2 is when the magic of Tum Mile truly kicks in with a precious gem called “Dil Ibaadat” , a song that will find a permanent place on your playlist, such is the addictive charm prevalent here! Think back to "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" from 'Gangster' or "Zara Sa" from 'Jannat' and you have some idea about the potential here. Now imagine something even better than those two songs. A vacuum of haunting soft-rock melody greets you alongside a mesmerizing piano piece that will lift you off the very feet you stand on! But the best part of the song is the stunning entry to each stanza (the start of each new verse) which hits you with a progressive and melodious arrangement consisting of guitar strings, piano and dovetailing beats confirming Pritam’s mastery of this composition. The other key factors all fall into place beautifully including Sayeed Quadri’s poetry of a man besotted by his loved one and begging for her to reciprocate. But Pritam's trump card has to be the return of his prodigal son, his favourite singer K.K, whose powerful vocals just elevate this song to another level. The singer has had a quiet year thus far but this soundtrack marks his return in a big way. This song is arguably his best for Pritam till date. Verdict: The magic is well and truly released as Pritam delivers the first SUPER-HIT of Tum Mile, a truly infectious song with a killer melody!
Note, if you enjoyed Track 2, be sure to jump to Track 7 for a stunning Rock version titled “Dil Ibaadat (Rock)”.
OH. MY. GOD! If you thought “Dil Ibaadat” was good then wait till you hear Track 3: “Tu Hi Haqeeqat” , which will blow you away in what must rank as one of Pritam’s finest compositions to date! The scintillating guitar strumming melody that gives birth to this song will grip your senses from the off and resonate throughout your body delivering positive vibes right until the very end…that guitar melody is further layered with ridiculously catchy beats, multiple string instruments and a simple but haunting flute! Javed Ali’s singing is brilliant again as his soft and haunting vocals suit this track perfectly, you can really share his heart-wrench ( he is supported by Irfan Ashraf and Shadab)- Ali’s rise to becoming a regular playback singer should be no surprise to anyone, he’s a fine performer who needed a break, then got one with “Jashn-e-Bahaara” ('Jodhaa Akbar', 2008) and is now receiving his due. Expect his fame to rise even further after this. Special mention also to the lyricist, Sayeed Quadri (a favourite of Pritam) who provides poetry of bewitching quality here that would melt the heart of any romantic. Verdict: No superlatives for this composition, take a listen and it speaks for itself. Simply fabulous!
Bringing the soundtrack back to its core, Track 5 is a much-improved version of “Tum Mile” (Track 1) that we have all been waiting for! Titled “Tum Mile (Love Reprise)” , it replaces the peppy arrangements of the original with a slower, more soothing melody that is in sync with the ‘love’ theme here. The use of the sax sounding instrument and later, the electric guitar, is the icing on the cake! As for singing, Neeraj is replaced by Javed Ali who performs superbly again, he really is the king of romantic numbers! Verdict: An extremely enjoyable track which oozes melody and is a significant improvement over the original.
If nothing else reminds you of Pritam’s holy grail of soundtracks that is 'Life in a…Metro' (2007) then Track 6 surely will! First of all the title is a dead giveaway, “O Meri Jaan” . Secondly the melodious flavour gives you another taste from 'LIAM' but that’s not a criticism at all, in fact it works really well here! Another soothing number, this one relies on a haunting piano piece to give it an edge and the rest is left for K.K. to work his magic on! Since this kind of somber tone is his forte, one expects him to deliver with aplomb especially in this kind of form. Low and behold, he does exactly that, passionately evoking the despair of a man in need of his loved one...Sayeed Quadri’s lyrics are heart-wrenching. Verdict: Track 6 is another out and out winner for Tum Mile, K.K. and Pritam, this one also bridges another gap towards the ethereal sounds of 'LIAM'…
Track 7, “Dil Ibaadat (Rock)” , is the alternative to Track 2: “Dil Ibaadat” but is NO ordinary remix listeners! Far from taking the easy way out, Pritam slows down the tempo and dusts off his heavy (rock) instruments such as the electric guitar, percussive beats and piano and delivers another highly charged rock anthem that reminds you of his form in his career best 'LIAM'. Verdict: This is a fantastic track in it’s own right let alone a remix. In fact some may prefer it over the original. Masterfully arranged, supremely chilled out and addictive!
Track 8 is the final version of “Tum Mile” but arguably the best? Titled “Tum Mile (Rock)” , Pritam focuses on the electric guitar again to re-energise the song and in the process enjoys another rendezvous with 'LIAM'…the end result is another rock tune that ranks as one of the best of the entire soundtrack. His choice of singer is inspirational as well since Shafqat Amanat Ali (who made his name in the brilliant “Mitwa” from 'KANK' (2006) and who was last heard in "Caravan" from 'Hello' (2008) and before that "Yeh Honsle" from 'Dor' (2006)) packs a punch exhibiting the powerful vocals required for this highly strung and audibly louder version. Verdict: This may well be the definitive version of “Tum Mile” if not another must listen.
The final track (9) is an instrumental called “Soul of Tum Mile”. It’s a fitting end to a riveting score for the movie.
Every music fan has something to talk about at the moment! If it isn’t Sohail Sen’s excellent debut ('What’s Your Raashee?' ) or Himesh Reshammiya’s amazing return ('Radio'), then it’s Rahman’s first soundtrack ('Blue') after picking up the Oscars. But one man has been temporarily forgotten amongst all these discussions and wants a piece of the action. His name is Pritam and he is just about to take over your playlist with the music for Tum Mile, arguably his best soundtrack in years surpassing the likes of 'Love Aaj Kal' and 'Jannat' (which contained borrowed sounds that were credited by Pritam), certainly his most melodious since 'Life in a…Metro' and that’s no mean feat. His collaboration with the Bhatt's has worked wonders again although he has K.K, Javed Ali and Sayeed Quadri to thank for their respective contributions to the soundtrack.
Chart-busting success is guaranteed for the melody king as the music here is simply too irresistible to put down. Furthermore whilst there are three 'alternative' versions to original songs here, they are composed so well that they stand up on their own accord and shouldn't be seen as simply 'alternatives' or 'remixes'. Allow your mood to decide which version to listen to and expect plenty of satisfaction in return.
Finally there's just one more thing to say: Here’s a deserved "CONGRATS!!" from one of your staunchest critics Pritam, there’s certainly little to bash in your superb and melodious music for Tum Mile. Keep Rocking!
(Post Review Note: If you enjoyed the music of Tum Mile, be sure to catch Pritam's other new soundtrack called 'All The Best', it too contains some delicious rock fusion!).