Anu Malik has created some of his best soundtracks for director J.P Dutta’s films. While the music of their first three collaborations ‘Border’, ‘Refugee’ and ‘L.O.C Kargil’ is celebrated till date, the much underrated soundtrack of ‘Umrao Jaan’, too, deserves to be counted as one of the finest works of the composer. Javed Akhtar has been an inseparable part of the team and has written some superlative poetry for each of these aforementioned films. With the team reuniting after more than a decade for ‘Paltan’, one expects another great soundtrack in the offering.
The cumulative sound of whistle and percussions mark the arrival of “Paltan”, the title track. The song reflects the never-say-die attitude of the Indian army and the selfless love they have for the country. The song makes for a good hear and the four vocalists Divya Kumar, Irrfan, Adarsh and Khuda Baksh sing it with gusto. Having said that, it is not the kind of song which will stay in one’s memory for a long time.
“Raat Kitni” is a song which plays in the background as the soldiers think about their family and reminisce about the happy times they have spent with them. The song has a trace of melancholy in it. It does not really bring anything new to the table and reminds one of several other songs one has heard in this genre. Sonu Nigam’s rendition is, arguably, the best thing about the track.
Sonu Nigam is heard again in “Main Zinda Hoon”, the best track on the album. This is one song that, perhaps, gets closest to the kind (and level) of music Anu Malik put together for a ‘Border’ or an ‘L.O.C Kargil’. Javed Akhtar writes some poignant lyrics that bring out the thoughts of a soldier beautifully. Though the song is almost eight minutes long, you do not get bored and want to keep listening to it. It would be interesting to see how it is picturised in the film.
The music of ‘Paltan’ does not match up to the high standards set by Anu Malik, Javed Akhtar and J.P Dutta in their earlier collaborations. With just three songs, only one of which compels you to hit the repeat button, the album is low on both quantity and quality.