Dharma Productions have a track record for providing elegance and class in the music for their movies but their last venture, We Are Family was ordinary in all aspects which also raised questions about their regular musicians Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. This time, for a cult classic remake Agneepath, they choose National Award winning musical duo of Ajay-Atul, who recently produced a good score for Singham alongside some good jazzy tunes in My Friend Pinto. If one looks at the past record of the composer duo, they have not lived up to expectations in the various cameos before Singham but this time with "Chikini Chameli" being promoted aggressively (it was released digitally a week prior to the official music release) and Katrina Kaif making her fans go crazy, immense hype and expectations have been built around the soundtrack...so does the Marathi Jodi deliver? Well, let's check out the soundtrack with six beautiful compositions, each written by arguably the finest (current) song writer in Bollywood, Amitabh Bhattacharya (lyricist).
No surprise, the much hyped item number, "Chikini Chameli" blasts a dynamite as an opening track and has the potential to shatter all records...if "Munni" and "Sheila" stirred the nation, then expect this 'Chikini Chameli' to rule at least the first half of 2012. It's high on Nagada and Dhol beats with Shreya Ghoshal, known for her sugary-sweet vocals, surprising once again after some "O La La" in The Dirty Picture recently. Take special notice of how seductively she renders the line "Aayi Chikini Chameli, Pahua Chada Ke Aayi". Although Ajay-Atul have reconstructed their Marathi composition of 2006 into "Chikini Chameli", it has superhit written all over it with Katrina Kaif performing some electrifying latka's and jhatka's (agreed that the choreography by Ganesh Acharya will receive criticism for some loud steps but it's the beats and the pace that make it a winner). Apart from this, it's the new age lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya who takes the cake away with some hatke cheeky lines that definitely deserve an applause, especially the mukhda and the first antara, "Gehre Paani Ki Machli Hoon Raja, Ghaat Ghaat Dariya Mein Ghoomi Hoon Main, Teri Nazro Ki Lehro se, Haar Ke Aaj Doobi Hoon Main".
The soundtrack takes a complete u-turn with "O Saiyyan" with minimum/soft arrangements where Roop Kumar Rathod casts a magical spell on the listeners with his voice alongside some quality Sitar and Tabla Jugalbandi in the interlude. It certainly demands full attention and few hearings to settle down but once it does it will be hard to resist. It defines the state of mind of a girl (Priyanka Chopra) after falling in love and Amitabh Bhattacharya as usual is effervescent with his lyrics. An impactful composition!
"Gun Gun Guna" has a Rahman touch right from the start. Listen carefully how it starts in the first 30 seconds with layers of instruments adding on after each line, real quality stuff from the composers. It's easy on the ears with a hummable tune and becomes highly addictive in just a few hearings. Sunidhi Chauhan perfectly brings on the fun/positive mood which has an Amitabh Bhattacharya stamp all over it. The conversational lyrics are the highlight of the composition which makes one think and throws light on how to live life to the fullest. Hear some pretentious instrumental from 2.28 to 2.52 with Udit Narayan doing a small cameo at the end which even raises the bar an inch higher. Sing along Gun Gun Guna Ye Gaana Re!
Sonu Nigam is still the master and he proves it yet again in "Abhi Mujhe Mein Kahin", a six minute composition where the musical arrangements are more or less same as in ''O Saiyyan'' but the result is even better this time and certainly will strike an instant chord with the music enthusiasts resulting in high 'repeat' value. The instrumental Jugalbandi of Sitar, Piano and Violin in both the interludes create a peaceful ambiance where vocals and lyrics dominate proceedings. While one waits to see it rise in popularity in days to come, one can be sure that this is one song that has the potential to enjoy a long shelf life.
With immense expectations, one lands on the last track, "Deva Shree Ganesha", a devotional forte that belongs to the composer duo of Ajay-Atul. It starts with some usual enchants, Nagada sounds and enters Ajay Gogavale (earlier gave backing vocals in 'Saathiya/Badmaash Dil' from Singham) with his graceful voice and the result is an elegant composition which is creative, devotional and may be used for a climax sequence in the movie. The last one minute is opulent and has the power to provide an adrenaline rush with the Aarti enchants. Superb!
Ajay-Atul deliver a terrific soundtrack for Dharma productions and on this performance they will soon join the elite class of musicians in Bollywood. The soundtrack encompass a wide array of themes, ranging from dance, romance, qawwali to devotional and the extensive use of instruments give the soundtrack tremendous scale and impact. Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics are a class apart and elevate ordinary tunes to great levels. The choice of singers, especially in "Shah Ka Rutba" will be applauded for sure. To conclude, all six tracks are a must hear and contain pure sounds full of emotion and pathos, perfect for the film! Strongly Recommended.