Just when you thought 2010 was going to end on a whimper, the most prodigious talent on the music scene returns to delight us all! Indeed our very own Quentin Tarantino (Amit Trivedi for the ignorant) is back in his best avatar with the music release for the forthcoming offbeat crime thriller No One Killed Jessica (NOKJ). Expectations from fans are humungous not least because this is Trivedi’s second offering for director Rajkumar Gupta, after the incredible musical fusion presented for his debut soundtrack Aamir. Can he rekindle that magic? Scary thoughts…
Da-Da Da-Da Da-Da Dilli-Dilli Dilli-Dilliiiii…Dil Dil Dil Dil…DILLI !!!!!!!! . Those are the explosive vocals of Aditi Singh Sharma that bring to life the opening track “Dilli” which, suffice to say will blow you away! The ultra cool and urban rock (read heavy metal rock!) anthem will have you hooked in no time but it’s the added magic of the Punjabi fusion that gives the whole song an eclectic mix, taking it right up to the heady heights of Aamir. To get the Punjabi fusion it’s over to Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics that have you salivating at the thoughts and meaning of his folksy ode on Delhi…great stuff. And those exact words are uttered passionately by Amit’s favourite Punjabi vocalist Tochi Raina (supported by Shriram Iyer and Aditi Singh Sharma for the main chorus) who is stunning as usual. The hard hitting song works wonders both on and off screen. This is quite possibly the coolest track of 2010!
Checkout the remix version later at “Dilli (Hardcore)” though you might find the original was hard hitting enough!
The next song “Aali Re” is softer in its execution compared to “Dilli” since it’s all about portraying Rani Mukherjee’s character in the film as the fearless, arrogant and heroic crime reporter but nevertheless, it’s no less passionate or intoxicating! Another crazy mix of fusion by Trivedi, “Aali Re” is just layered with charming instrumentation and a unique song structure that never ceases to surprise you. The drums you will hear the most as they give the song punch and rhythm. Adding to this are the madcap vocals (by a host of singers including Tochi Raina, Biswasjit Chakraborty, Shriram Iyer, Raja Hassan, Anushka Manchanda, Sonu Kakar, Aditi Singh Sharma and Sonika Sharma) including wonderful chorus chants such as “Din Chak”, “Rappa Rap” and “Rakka Chika” "Boom Boom Patakha Re" etc. In fact such is the charm prevalent in the style and structure of “Aali Re” that it reminds you of Rahman’s earlier experimental (raw) work from the 1990s (Jeans anyone?). That is not meant in a derogatory way, simply kudos to Trivedi that he can bring that kind of fusion back in the current era and make it work. If the first song was the coolest of the year then this surely ranks as the wackiest but regardless, it is of the highest quality from start to finish.
What brings the soundtrack down are the last two songs which fail to live up to the high standards set previously. In fact both songs are instrumental in nature with more emphasis on providing a mood for the film than anything else- this wouldn’t normally be a bad thing but Trivedi’s wow factor is unusually missing here.
Whilst “Dua” starts on a lovely note particularly the piano piece, the music rings a familiar chord with his earlier Udaan particularly once the music kicks in midway through the song. Meenal Jain does sing beautifully however with supporting vocals by Joi Barua, Raman Mahadevan and Amitabh Bhattacharya. The latter pens some fine lyrics as he did throughout Udaan. This is definitely one for the film.
The amazing Shilpa Rao softly croons “Yeh Pal” in another slow ballad backed by a soft orchestra but just when the song is about to end (around 3:30min), Amit decides to blow it up into a techno frenzy which works for the film but doesn't quite enhance your enjoyment of the song. Comparisons are sometimes unfair and harsh but Shilpa’s equivalent song in Aamir (“Ek Lau”) was streets ahead in terms of quality.
Let’s get straight to the point. NOKJ isn’t music for the masses like his last soundtrack (the very enjoyable Aisha) but music for those keen and discerning listeners that want something different, something urban, something hip, something non-linear, something cool. NOKJ delivers all that and more in “Dilli”, “Aali Re” and “Aitbaar”. With the help of some terrific lyrics by Amitabh, it's also a first class score for the film. Admittedly not as good as Aamir, you should still go grab the soundtrack as soon as and end the year on a musical high courtesy of apna “Tarantino” who has comfortably delivered some of the high notes of 2010!