Musical Thrillers and Pritam Chakraborty go hand-in-hand; for instance consider Dhoom, Chocolate, Race, Gangster, Jannat and more recently Dum Maaro Dum. Agent Vinod lays immense expectations both as an OST and an action packed thriller with today's hottest couple ('Reel' and 'Real') Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor sharing screen space after their last outing Kurbaan went dhadaam at the Box Office. A look at the CD cover, eleven tracks with a few reprises, remixes, typical Pritam..add to that unconstrained and vivacious talent of lyricist (and singer also) Amitabh Bhattacharya (A.B.) ..well, there is much more than the usual Pritam this time!
The proceedings kick-start with the much promoted "I'll Do The Talking (Steal The Night)" , a resurrected (official) version of a pop song called â€śRasputinâ€ť (credited on the CD cover). An English Rap soon joined by Barbie Amod's chirpy tone with some electrifying pumping and thumping beats, 55 seconds and Pritam brings on his regular 'soundtrack opener' Neeraj Shridhar followed by Shefali Alvaris (wonder if ever could hear Shefali without the auto-tuned effect). Aditi Singh Sharma is used well for the English part and the Na Na Na NaNaNaNa. The harmonica piece in the interlude could have been much more innovative, still is arranged well. A.B. is effective with some Desi Punjabi and English lyrics. The music at places though reminds of â€śJhoom Jhoomta Hu Mainâ€ť (Players) but nevertheless it embarks a perfect thrilling start and should be used for a crucial sequence in the movie. "I'll Do The Talking (Steal The Night) Remix" is perfect dance material with some useful changes here and there. Loved the ending 'Come Together and Sing Ringa Ringa Ringa Ring'!
"Dil Mera Muft Ka" certainly is not the usual 'Umrao Jaan' mujra types and is instilled with quite a lot of rock and rolla which certainly needs few hearings to settle down and adjust to the unusual techno arrangements. An attempt to be innovative but lacks the punch as in â€śChikini Chameliâ€ť and â€śChammak Challoâ€ť and so the shelf life will be restricted and directly proportional to the film's fate at the box office. Nandini Shrikar (â€śBhare Nainaâ€ť-Ra.One) leads the vocals among a gang of credited artists for the backing vocals/chorus (Muazzam, Rizwan, Shadab Faridi, Altamush Faridi, Sabab Sabri). Guest lyricist Neelesh Misra is excellent in the mukhda (with all the pachchttar's and sattattar's) but doesn't meets the expectations in the following antaras. Without a doubt a climax sequence should be picturised on this and may gain some taali's and seeti's from the front runners, still could have been much better. Average stuff and honestly hated the Ni Main Kamli Kamli part! "Dil Mera Muft Ka Remix" is without all the rock ribbed effect where Malini Avasthi replaces all the artists and works as a good filler. The treatment is different from the original but still nothing extraordinary.
Hamsika Iyer (â€śChammak Challoâ€ť-Ra.One) and Arijit Singh (â€śJhoom Jhoom Ta Hu Main Film Versionâ€ť-Players) together creates an aura in "Raabta (Siyaah Raatein)" that can't be expressed in words. Beautiful soothing piano starts the proceedings with soft guitar strums and Hamsika manages to make one fall in love instantly in the breathless mukhda and later, Arijit Singh (a classical trained artist) with his refined alaap leaves no stone unturned and makes everyone speechless and completely numb. Joi Barua brings on a perfect end to this jaw dropping composition with the English vocals. A.B. at his best with the lyrics and the more said is less for this talented writer. Pritam is the 'King' of love genre and he proves it yet again with three other versions of the song desperately waiting to be heard!
"Raabta (Night In A Motel)" sees Aditi Singh Sharma (a blunder with Hamsika credited instead of Aditi on the covers) replacing Hamsika for the female lead and is top notch. The composition turns more soft and unplugged as Arijit is made to skip the alaap (as in original). Joi Barua part is eradicated. Some change of lyrics would have been appreciated with both ears but still- Brilliant!
A solo by Arijit Singh "Raabta" is intoxicating and best of the four versions (although it depends). After a minute of pure orchestration, Pritam makes Arijit almost does a Ash King (especially at the end) but the young talent makes the song his own with A.B. providing the much required change in the lyrics (mukhda). The extra beats provide the extra zing and ensure that one can't resist playing the song in loop for hours at stretch.
Now the last version "Raabta (Kehte Hai Khuda Ne)" lands in a forte that belongs to the wonderful saccharine filled voice of Shreya Ghoshal and boy, her combination with Arijit blasts dynamite..Boom! Speechless...go hear all the versions and let your mind and heart wander in a world created by Pritam and A.B. Majestic!
Now here comes the addictive "Pungi" where Pritam brings on his hot favourite Mika Singh for the vocals with support from A.B., Nakash and himself. A.B. writes some wacky lyrics that will surely catch attention and if heard carefully, apart from the lyrics, the composition has many arrangements that are funny to the core and brings a smile on the face of the listeners (leave apart the video). Javed Jaffery inputs a short rap after 3.50 where it's impossible to guess what he is trying to say. The composition has in it to be a rage in the coming days if promoted (and used) well! â€śPungi Remixâ€ť wasnâ€™t required and offers nothing new.
"Agent Vinod (Theme)" is what everyone has heard since the first teaser of the movie was released; a more of a Bond meets Bourne and some Mission Impossibles! Starts off well, but becomes a tad bit overstretched and repetitive after 2.5 minutes with the never ending horns sound. Definitely would be used for various junctures in the narrative.
To conclude, a big thumps up to Pritam for showing immense confidence in the young talented Arijit Singh where any other day and Mohit Chauhan would have bagged at least one version out of four. Agent Vinod is one of the finest works from Pritam (considering an average 2011) with all the ingredients of 'Hit' material. â€śRaabtaâ€ť will rule the charts for at least a month or two and certainly will find place in playlist of every music lover. An entertaining soundtrack indeed!