T-Series is one of the most proactive production houses in the Hindi film industry. As a music label, the company was always very active. However, in the last 5-6 years, T-Series has been churning out multiple films every year (sometimes, in a month). Most of the films produced by T-Series have had multiple composers. With ‘Double XL’, however, the company seems to have given co-producer Mudassar Aziz the freedom to put together the soundtrack.
Instead of featuring multiple composers, the album has just one music director leading the show. Sohail Sen, whom Mudassar had earlier collaborated with on films like ‘Happy Bhag Jayegi’ and ‘Happy Phir Bhag Jayegi’, has composed three out of four songs on the album. One song has been composed by Kanishk Seth. All the songs have been written by Mudassar Aziz. The film traces the journey of two young women who are judged for being on the heavier side and features two romantic tracks as well. Looking at the team involved in the soundtrack, one has good expectations from it.
The album opens with the very catchy “Taali Taali”, a Tamil kuthu style dance number that implores you to start tapping your feet as soon as it starts playing. Sohail’s brief here seems to be to create a song along the lines of the masala songs one hears in commercial Tamil films.
There was a possibility of the composer creating something gimmicky but Sohail uses the references given to him well and skilfully puts together a vastly entertaining track that gives an ode to many of the popular songs from Tamil cinema one has heard in the last couple of years. The song marks the Hindi debut of popular Tamil singer Silambarasan. Both his Tamil accent and infectious energy work well for the song. Rukhsar Bandhukia, the female vocalist, lends him adequate support.
With “Ki Jaana”, Kanishk Seth does what you expect him to do. He introduces (or reintroduces) the listeners to the poetry of a revered poet from several centuries ago by layering it with a modern tune and contemporary arrangements. Even though his approach is getting a little repetitive, one is not complaining at the moment.
“Ki Jaana” is based on a popular creation by Baba Bulle Shah. While some of the verses from the original poem have been used here, Mudassar has written some fresh lyrics keeping in mind the situation in the film where this song will be placed. Kanishk composes a free-flowing tune that is easy to hum along. The production gives one the impression of it being an Amit Trivedi number. While Kavita Seth renders her portions effortlessly, Kanishk’s singing comes across as a little laboured at times.
In today’s times, one craves to listen to songs that would remind one of traditional Hindi films songs that featured Indian instruments and were strong on melody. “Tumse Mila Doon” is a beautifully composed track that is in a similar space. The song starts with a soulful rabab portion played by Chandrakant L and soon enough, Javed Ali enters the soundscape.
It is a pleasant surprise to see Javed Ali mouthing Tamil lines (Tamil lyrics remain uncredited) towards the beginning of the song. As the song moves ahead, one hears him the gorgeous Hindi and Urdu lines written by Mudazzar Aziz with utmost perfection. Sample this line – “Hai qissa dil ka mukhtasar haan tamaam tum likh do, mere sar gunaah-e-ishq ka ilzaam tum likh do…”. Here is a filmmaker who needs to write songs more often. The song has been arranged and produced very well by Sohail. The use of acoustic instruments (tabla, dholak, guitars and percussions) plays an important role in making the song sound ‘rich’ and beautiful.
“Rangeelo manva deep hawaaon mein jalaawe, rangeelo manwa sapnon ki shart lagaawe, zamaane ko haraawe….” – Mudassar Aziz lyrics are one of the highlights of “Rangeelo Manva”. After a song replete with traditional instruments, Sohail goes electronic with this song. Towards the end of the song, however, you do get to hear tabla and sitar as well. Initially, one gets the impression that the song has a simple structure to it. However, you soon realize there are some complex layers to it. Everything that Sohail does here, including getting two female vocalists (Rekha Bhardwaj and Pratibha Singh Baghel) with a similar vocal texture, works for the song.
‘Double XL’ is a brief (the entire album is fifteen-minute long) soundtrack that manages to impress. The album does not offer a single dull moment and that is something one can say about very few Hindi film soundtracks releasing these days. Sohail Sen should be composing for more films. Mudassar Aziz needs to write more often.