Pritam's score in the earlier film in this franchise, Pyaar Ke Side/Effects (note the 'lucky' '/''!) was a success in some tracks. So we expect a bigger, better score.
And we get it!
The dozen tracks include three versions of 'Harry Is Not Brahmchari', one of which is a remix (which isn't worth writing home about as a version in its genre), but the lead track, despite a rather cacophonous arrangement and heavy domination of the orchestration is a nice listen with a sense of fun in the lyrics. Jazzy B and Ishq Bector have fun, but it is the high-pitched Divya Kumar (Bhaag Milkah Bhaag et al) who really heightens the Punjabi element and steals the song away from his co-singers. The second version (called 'The Original Song') is more ear-friendly, though pub-dancers will find it less tango-worthy!
The fun intensifies with 'Tauba Main Vyaah Karke Pachtaya' (Shahid Mausam Mallya, Poorvi Koutish, Alam), which conclusively proves that a light song can be brilliantly penned and need not be trite, inane or nonsensical. Mayur Puri's words score in almost every line, and are hilarious in parts (Ho raja ho maharaja koi ho chaahe sultan / Biwi se darna zaroori hai / Yeh rooth gayi to Ramayan mein jaisi Kaikeyi hai / Ab to yeh meri life Mahabharat si ho gayi hai! ). Shahid's nuanced singing is the next-biggest asset (note the way he stretches the last syllable, of course under Pritam's guidance!) of this perfectly cast song.
The Punjabi version of this song has the right impact of the dhols and infuses choral backing too. Arif Lohar joins the trio in getting the right Punjabi inflection. The shaadi interlude is traditional and was done by Pritam earlier in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009) with a cosmetically-different variation.
Yet another two-version song is the splendid narrative song, 'Bawla Sa Apna' sung in one version by Mohit Chauhan and in the other children's version by a talented girl called Diva. Swanand Kirkire's lyrics do get inspired by Gulzar (in the sapna-sapnu leitmotif similar to the senior lyricist's Sapna-sapni gimmick in the 1979 Golmaal).
But the seemingly commonplace song takes a nice dimension in the last antara. Diva, if we may say so, outshines Mohit's version, for Mohit is merely his usual self, while Diva, helped by the different orchestration, scores higher.
The fourth song with at least one more version is the Farhan Akhtar-rendered 'Yahaan Vahaan'. Again, the reprise is more ingenious and haunting because of the sustained background riff. Swanand's lyrics are simple and heartfelt and the melodious tune once again shows Pritam's consummate mastery over soulful songs. Farhan, the singer, has come a long way from his Rock On!! days and, guided by Pritam, evolves almost into a pro in his technical vocal finesse, though his emotional expressiveness was never at fault even then.
Farhan's 'Ahista Ahista' written by Ankit Tiwari is another nice but unmemorable number, with a soothingly soft orchestration. The ballad-like track is rendered well by Farhan, but we wonder how a song can be jointly composed by two separate entities – Pritam and Mikey MacLeary!
With huge expectations from Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan and Pritam separately and together, the music at least will surely not disappoint. Last year, Pritam scored with his entries into both the Karan Johar (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and Aamir Khan (Dhoom 3) territories. He now makes his first and striking impression in the hitherto alien (for him) terrain of Farhan Akhtar!
'Harry Is Not Brahmchari', 'Yahaan Vahaan', 'Tauba Main Vyaah Karke Pachtaya', 'Bawla Sa Sapna'
Music: Pritam & Mikey MacLeary
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire, Mayur Puri, Amitabh Bhattacharya & Ankit Tiwari
Music Label: T-Series