Here's a film, what looks like a rustic, action-romance thriller of sorts, with a motley crew of artists. Director Habib Faisal, fresh after the critically and commercially acclaimed slice-of-life Do Dooni Chaar, is back with his second film, Ishaqzaade. The film stars Parineeti Chopra who debuted with a bang in Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, demonstrating she not only oozes acting talent but also carries it off with spunk. Joining her is Arjun Kapoor, son of director-producer Boney Kapoor, making his debut here in a role that seems to be a world apart from the kinds of film his father makes. Most interestingly, Ishaqzaade is produced by Yash Raj Films, perhaps in a desperate attempt to fight their own roller-coaster stagnation.
The film's album brings composer Amit Trivedi together with lyricist Kausar Munir and the results are impressive. The album is raw, edgy, lively and most importantly, fresh. Trivedi and Munir prove to be a team to reckon with.
The album starts with Chokra Jawaan, a song soaked in rustic flavor. Vishal Dadlani and Sunidhi Chauhan tackle the song with gusto, as they dive into the jugalbandi with all the energy they can muster. It's one of those boys vs. girls songs that Hindi filmdom loved so much in the 1980s and 90s, but with a distinctly Amit Trivedi twist. A fun song, but does feel long after a while.
Pareshaan starts on a soft, mellow note as Shalmali Kholgade comes in with her soothing vocals. It gradually builds into an unexpected outburst of a chorus that jams rock and harmonium. The song is about a woman's restlessness of being in love and Trivedi with lyricist Munir steer well clear of the cliched "bubblegum" romantic song. Instead, 'Pareshaan' is both soft and edgy. It's innocent, yet with the right dose of naughty. Above all that, it's just incredibly catchy.
The Pareshaan Remix switches the rock/harmonium combo with trance and violin. A good listen, but nowhere near the impact of the original.
With Jhalla Wallah, singer Shreya Ghoshal proves why she is one of the most gifted voices around. The track is a playful naughty-but-nice qawwali and Goshal carries it brilliantly on her very capable vocals. Munir injects fun lyrics like "Humne samjha tha golden jubilee jise...woh to matinee dikha karke chumma le gaya", and Goshal goes to town with them. Trivedi's composition here is eclectic and definitely leads to some foot-tapping.
The Jhalla Wallah Remix teams Shreya Ghoshal with Ajinkya Iyer and Neuman Pinto to an equally catchy techno mix. In true Trivedi style, it's not your usual remix track - combining the shayari and qawwali with auto-tuned rapping, it has his experimental mark all over it.
The title track, Ishaqzaade, isn't what you'd expect to hear as a title song for a film like this. Just when you'd think this track would be fast-paced, raw with a kick, Trivedi surprises us with a ballad. Crooned wonderfully by Javed Ali and Shreya Ghoshal, this track has a soft rock composition put to grounded, romantic lyrics. It reminds of the excellent 'Aazaadiyan' track from Udaan, given a slightly more typically filmy romantic touch. This one might take some time to grows on you, but grow it will.
Aafaton Ke Parinde is the alternative title track of the album, and the one that you'd expect the first time around. Sung by Suraj Jagan and Divya Kumar, this track is explosive. Trivedi's composition here is excellent, layering grunge over the incredibly effective dubstep and almost raucous backing vocals. It all works superbly together. After 'Pareshaan' this one is the next best song in the entire album.
Ishaqzaade is Amit Trivedi in brilliant form once again. The album combines the deep-rooted emotional connect of Udaan's music with the feisty punch of No One Killed Jessica, all with a rustic heartland soul. This time, he's matched evenly with lyricist Kausar Munir, who gives Trivedi's compositions the lyrical punch that make this album so good. It's the kind of album that you'll have on loop within the first listen. And that's an effect Trivedi has quickly become known for, the sign of a composer who's here for the long run. Check out this album now!
Listen to the full album here.