Music director Vishal Mishra and lyricist Rajshekhar have collaborated on a bunch of films including ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ and ‘Bamfaad’. On two of the films (‘Saand Ki Aankh’ and ‘Bamfaad’) they were given the responsibility to put together the entire soundtrack. While their song ‘Jaane De’ from ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ went on to become extremely popular, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ and ‘Bamfaad’ were highly enjoyable soundtracks.
The duo has now come together for ‘Ittu Si Baat’, a small-town love story featuring newcomers in the lead. Interestingly, ‘Bamfaad’, the last film Vishal and Rajshekhar had worked on, also had a small-town setting and had a love story at the core of it. The film had a brilliant soundtrack that went largely unnoticed owing to the step-motherly treatment meted out to by the record label. The music company didn’t even release the album and one could hear the songs only while watching the film. While it would not be fair to compare two films just because of them being set in similar milieus, it does help one in setting one’s expectations from the music of the film.
“Gulabi gulabi huye jaa rahe hain….”, this particular line written by Rajshekhar can be equated to the English idiom which says “watching the world with rose-tinted glasses”. “Gulabi” describes the feelings of two young individuals who have experienced love for the first time. The couple is talking about their aspirations (“pahaadon ke upar ek chhota sa ghar ho.…”) and the kind of emotions (“humko pata hai yeh sab khwaab sa hai, mohabbat mein sach yeh jeeye jaa rahe hain…“) they are going through. Vishal Mishra composes a mellifluous tune that has a dreamy vibe to it. Rajshekhar, on his part, writes the kind of lines that complement Vishal’s tune and the theme of the song very well.
A female vocalist, who has not been credited, sings the opening lines of “Sun Bhi Le”. Her rendition and the music piece that follow give you the impression of “Sun Bhi Le” being a folksy number but then, Arijit Singh makes an entry and the song goes in a very different direction. (“meri chuppi mein se meri baatein sun bhi le, main chup bhi rahun tu sun bhi le…”), the verses written by Rajshekhar serve as a gateway to the mind of a young man who is trying to confess his feelings to the woman he is in love with. The composition by Vishal Mishra is highly evocative and Arijit sings the song with a lot of tenderness.
It’s slightly odd to see a hero of a film set in Varanasi mouthing Punjabi lines like kitthe jaawaan ni, mar jaawaan ni. While one has seen a Maharashtrian cop singing “main ta tere layee sau raatan jaagun…” (‘Simmba’) and a Maharashtrian Squadron leader singing “tu hanju mainu dede, hansi meri tu laija…” (Bhuj: The Pride Of India’), one was hoping that this trend would fade out. For “17 Lakh Da Gajra”, the brief of the producer to the composer and the lyricist seemed to have been to create a “catchy Punjabi song” as per current trends. While the song is moderately engaging, the tune and the arrangements are too generic to leave an impression.
When you hear “Darbadar” for the first time, it reminds you of many of the singles Jubin Nautiyal has sung for T-Series. Most of those songs happened to be insipid recreations of older songs. These songs are largely characterised by generic techno beats with some tabla-dholak added to please the masses. After a couple of hearings, you realize this Vishal Mishra composed song is much better than those tracks and has an identity of its own. The way Vishal layers his voice over Jubin’s in the final portions of the song is quite interesting.
“Dil hatheli pe leke khade the, par emotion ko samjhe hai kaun, teri bhabhi ne maanga bhi humse, maange bhi toh ek iPhone…”, Rajshekhar uses the might of his pen to give the audience an idea about the plot or theme of the film through this song which has been titled “Middle Class”. Nakash Aziz’ spunky rendition matches the verve with which Rajshekhar has written the song. The tune is reasonably catchy and the popularity of this situational song would largely depend on the way it is picturized in the film.
The music of “Ittu Si Baat” is not as inventive as the ‘Saandh Ki Aankh’ soundtrack and it is not nearly as entertaining as the ‘Bamfaad’ album. However, once you keep the comparisons aside, you realize that it is one of the better Hindi film albums to have been released in recent times.