Regardless of the theme and the subject they deal with, Meghna Gulzar's films have always carried good music. Interestingly, she has never worked with a composer twice. While Anu Malik scored the music for he debut film 'Filhaal', Pritam was the man behind the music of 'Just Married'. Apart from serving as the writer and co-producer for 'Talvar', Meghna's first hit and the finest Hindi film of 2015, Bhardwaj scored a wonderfully melancholic album for the film. Even 'Dus Kahaaniyan', which she directed one of the ten stories for, had some good songs. For her new film 'Raazi', she teams up with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to create a four-track soundtrack.
A film which tells the story of a spy who puts her life at stake for her country is bound to have a song with a patriotic fervour to it. "Aye Watan" sounds like a wonderful cross between a devotional prayer and a patriotic number. The track also has a Rahman-ish sound to it and it reminded me of a couple of patriotic numbers (e.g the songs from Bose The Forgotten Hero) he has composed in the past. Arijit Singh immerses himself into the song completely and manages to arouse emotions with his rendition. The alternate version, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, has a different prelude which fits in very well with the theme and mood of the song.
The fact that the film is based in Kashmir comes across quite prominently in 'Dilbaro'. Apart from some lines written in Kashmiri, it has a bunch of Kashmiri instruments like rabab and dotara playing in the background. The song gives one an impression that it is a 'bidaai' number that will play when Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) gets married and goes to Pakistan with her husband. It is masterfully composed track with some evocative lines by Gulzar that stay with you long after you have heard the song. There is a very nice portion that arrives at 3:17 minutes where Shankar Mahadevan renders a couple of beautiful lines that covey the emmottions of Sehmat''s father (Rajit Kapur). Through her singing, Harshdeep Kaur reiterates the fact she is somebody who deserves to be heard a lot more often.
The title track "Raazi Hai" is more upbeat than the other tracks in the album. It also highlights the sense of urgency and the underlying tension running through this film which is essentially a thriller. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy manage to weave in emotions, a sense of frisson and heroism in this well-mounted track which might be played at multiple junctures in the film. "Lagan ki baazi hai, chot bhi taazi hai, lagaa le daanv par dil, agar dil raazi hai" - Gulzar's poetry plays an important role in elevating the emotions in the track to another level.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who did not have a single release last year, open their 2018 account on a very promising note. Meghna Gulzar shows that she has a good ear for music as she continues to extract good music from her composers.