A kick start to year 2010
Artist: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sukhwinder Singh, Mika Singh, Rekha Bhardwaj and Clinton Cerejo
Music Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyricist: Gulzar and Ajinkya Iyer
There is a certain quality hallmark which comes in when names like Gulzar and Vishal Bharadwaj are involved. They have come up with at least three landmark albums together in ‘Kaminey’, ‘Omkara’ and ‘Maachis’ where they have created a diverse soundtrack. This is why when ‘Ishqiya’ flashes these names on the credit, you start expecting a moon, more so because of the rustic small town setting that the film boasts of.
Thankfully from the very first note that plays for ‘Ishqiya’, you know that the album is going on a right track. In the past Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has sung number of beautiful songs for Pritam and Sajid-Wajid. He reinvents himself for Vishal Bharadwaj with ‘Dil To Bachcha Hai’ which is a soothing melody that is unconventional, boasts of a new tune and also of course carries a romantic appeal to it. One can sense the music of 50s in this song set in the 2010, which pretty much establishes the timeless flavour that it comes with. One wonders though if there was any need whatsoever for including a ‘remix version’ of the song.
There are no complaints though when ‘Ibn-E-Batuta’ arrives in as many as three versions (one original and two remixes). This is the kind of rustic track that one always expects in a Vishal Bharadwaj film and since he is also the co-producer of ‘Ishqiya’, there are no surprises whatsoever. A fun track with a deep rooted meaning (about a journey) embedded into it; ‘Ibn-E-Batuta’ has a catchy tune which gets you hooked on to it in the very first listening. Picturised on the entire principal cast of the film, Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi, ‘Ibn-E-Batuta’ is the kind of song that can be played in a marriage celebration as well as find a place in a DJ’s collection.
The album pretty much follows the Vishal Bharadwaj-Gulzar template with a romantic and a fun song followed by a couple of semi-classical love songs. Incidentally both are sung by Rekha Bharadwaj, who recently impressed one and all in her rendition for ‘Kanha’ in Sajid-Wajid’s ‘Veer’. The songs in question are ‘Ab Mujhe Koi’ and ‘Badi Dheere Jali’, both of which have an appeal lasting longer than the film’s narrative. Reason being that they are unlike numerous situational or item songs that are composed in the current times and instead maintain a seamless flow. Set at a slow pace, they make you forget if the song picturisation is on Vidya Balan or any other star and primarily allow you to appreciate their authenticity and quality quotient.
Ultimately, ‘Ishqiya’ turns out to be a short and sweet album that has an eye on being a quality outing rather than commercial sales. Of course the album is for the niche audiences and this is the reason why one doesn’t sense much filmy appeal about it. However, given the fact that change is the need of the hour today in Bollywood, ‘Ishqiya’ being a kick start to year 2010 is not a bad bet after all.