Director Vijay Krishna Acharya’s debut directorial feature ‘Tashan’ had an electrifying soundtrack by Vishal and Sheykhar. Though the music of his subsequent films (‘Dhoom 3’ and ‘Thugs of Hindostan’) were not as exciting as ‘Tashan’, they still had a couple of good songs. Interestingly, all the three films directed by Acharya had different music directors. For ‘The Great Indian Family’, his fourth film as a director, Vijay has roped in Pritam with whom he had collaborated on ‘Dhoom 3’. While Amitabh Bhattacharya had written just one song () for ‘Dhoom 3’, he gets to write the entire album here.
Since Vicky Kaushal plays a popular bhajan singer in the film named Bhajan Kumar, the film had to have a couple of bhajans. The album opens with “Kanhaiya Twitter Pe”, a song which has been designed as a playful bhajan with some colloquial words put in. The tune, composed by Pritam, is just about passable. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics sound interesting sporadically. The one thing that works greatly for the song is singer Nakash Aziz’s rendition. His voice suits the song very well and his rendition reminds you of the style in which several singers in India sing bhajans.
When you hear “Ki Farak Painda”, you instantly think of the trailer of the film. That’s because Amitabh Bhattacharya has been asked to write the kind of lyrics that sum up the message the film tries to give the audience. While some of the verses written by Bhattacharya () are thought-provoking, the tune by Pritam reminds one of some of the weaker songs he did 10-12 years back. The composition also has similarities with “Heartthrob”, perhaps the most unimpressive song from ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’. Incidentally, both “Ki Farak Painda” and “Heart Throb” have been sung by Dev Negi. This one also has Neeti Mohan behind the mic. The usage of Punjabi words seems a little strange seems the film is set in Uttar Pradesh.
After two unimpressive songs, some respite comes in the form of “Saahiba”. While the usage of Punjabi words, again, is questionable for a film set in Uttar Pradesh, Amitabh Bhattacharya writes some catchy phrases that linger in your mind long after the song is over. Pritam composes a breezy tune that doesn’t break any new ground but is likeable. Darshan Raval and Antara Mitra complement each other’s voices well, which was quite important for a song of this nature in which the two leads engage in some playful banter.
While “Kanhaiya Twitter Pe” was a boisterous bhajan, “Pukaroon Hari Om”, sung by Sonu Nigam, has a serene feel to it. While Pritam doesn’t offer anything extraordinary here, he does manage to create a tune that is pleasant and has a calming energy to it. The lyrics, written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, are good. One couldn’t imagine any other singer singing this song as well as Sonu does. Layering the track, almost exclusively, with Indian instruments is a decision that works very well for this song.
With just four songs, ‘The Great Indian Family’ is the shortest album Pritam has created in years. Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya have given us some of the most memorable Hindi film albums in the last several years. With them coming together for this film, one had great expectations from its music. However, this turns out to be the kind of album which neither of them would look too fondly at a few years down the line.