A young film often offers a good opportunity to a composer to go ahead and get some funky tunes in place. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu comes from the house of Dharma Productions, who after a long association with the composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has moved on, first Ajay-Atul for Agneepath and now the young talented Amit Trivedi who shot to fame with the amazing DEV.D- (2009) (a soundtrack tagged the 'Baap of all genres') and produced some further innovative stuff in 2010 for Aisha, No One Killed Jessica, Udaan and Chillar Party. Amitabh Bhattacharya (lyricist) has been a regular associate with Amit Trivedi since his spectacular debut in Aamir (2008) and now when these two artists come together under a banner like Dharma Productions with Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor coming together for the first time, one expects the soundtrack to be lively, peppy and at the same time rich in quality. So, let's dwell inside and hear what these artists have to offer in the five originals and two remixes!
It opens with a crackling title track "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu" that has been making roars and catching lots of eyes with its promo video. Benny Dayal and Anushka Manchanda's dictions are as usual perfect and bring on the required attitude to the song, Shefali Alvaris supports them well. The composition has a mild peppy orchestra going through its four minute run which never gets too loud nor too pacy and that's what makes it a winner. Amitabh Bhattacharya keeps it simple this time without getting into some provocative forte with his writing. No second thoughts and the number returns back with the same set of singers as "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu-Remix". This time it's fast paced loaded with some usual remix protocol, which should make up for an adrenalizing dance number in New Year parties!
Remember “Sham” from the movie Aisha? Who can forget such a beautiful composition, here is another lively chilled out number "Gubbare" which lands in the same corridor. Some pretentious instrumentals starts off in the first 30 seconds but from there on, Nikhil D’Souza takes centre stage with Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya providing the backing/supporting vocals and Shilpa Rao joining in at the end. Amitabh Bhattacharya gets his poetry in motion and what draws attention is the affluent use of the drums and the trumpet (from 2.00 to 2.30 and onwards) -a certain trademark of the composer. Few hearings and the song will grow on you and should definitely be used well in the movie.
"Aunty Ji" develops some curious expectations due to its unusual name and moreover the singer's name Ash King, who has till now crooned some beautiful romantic numbers- “Te Amo” (Dum Maaro Dum), “I Love You” (Bodyguard) and “Suno Aisha” (Aisha) specifically and here, he enters a completely different genre (fun/comic) which is still unexplored for a voice like him. The song is a take on the middle aged woman with a touch of Retro to it reminding me some crazy numbers of the Late Shammi Kapoor. Much emphasis is laid on the instrumentals (trumpet and guitar) for both the interludes with some Spanish vocals added in the first. Ash King breaks the shackles certainly in this number, Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics are worth a hear at least once, especially the second antara, but on the musical front as a dance number, this number fails to lure you to the dance floor. Interesting attempt though and definitely one to sound better on screen!
The soundtrack takes a 180 degree turn with "Aahatein", a soft but absorbing number that goes unplugged for the first 1:30 minutes on piano and the soulful vocals of Karthik and Shilpa Rao weaving magic around some simple yet intriguing lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya that makes up for a 'High Repeat' value. Of course a track like this does have a restricted/niche audience for itself but in the context of the film, it should fit in pretty well. Ready for some gorgeous alternatives?
Firstly "Aahatein-Remix" has Shekhar Ravjiani and Shilpa Rao behind the mic. A conversion of a soft number into a remix is a risky affair and sometimes composers do spoil the whole ambience of the original through addition of some unnecessary thumping beats and high tempo. But Amit Trivedi is no ordinary composer, he keep the mood and aura of the original intact with some ornamented and refined innovation. Shekhar Ravjiani strikes gold with his deep low/whisper notes and the final outcome is even better than the original. Plug in your earphones and take special notice how the song picks up at 1.07 and then at 1.42, awesome effects!
"Kar Chalna Shuru Tu" brings Vishal Dadlani and Shilpa Rao together once again after some terrific compositions in Anjaana Anjaani last year and as a mere co-incidence, the song knocks at the doorsteps of “Aas Paas Khuda” and “I Feel Good” if the overall theme is taken into consideration. Shilpa Rao falls flat at high notes (2.10 to 2.15) but overall does well to match up to Vishal Dadlani's vociferous voice. Amit Trivedi makes his presence felt with his trademark use of 'Chorus' and favourite ‘Sax / Trumpet’ combo in tandem with the vocals, which is certainly the USP of the composition, especially at 4.06: Majestic! After a long time, a talent like Vishal Dadlani has been used to his full potential and the result is an engaging, philosophical composition which marks a perfect end to the soundtrack. Superb!
If compared to past comparable soundtracks like I Hate Luv Storys; Anjaana Anjaani, Break Ke Baad, then Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu falls a little short in terms of out and out winners. But then they were all composed by masterful composers in this field (Vishal Shekhar). Amit is still learning the trade especially when it comes to commercial cinema and this is not a bad attempt although listeners searching for some 'masala' numbers should stick to Ajay Atul’s Agneepath. EMAET has some cool songs to chill out to and they should sound even better on screen.