You expect a good quality soundtrack from Kahaani. After all, it was Sujoy Ghosh and Vishal-Shekhar who had started it all with Jhankaar Beats and while the album grew on to be an anthem of sorts, comparisons were inevitable when they collaborated for Home Delivery and Aladin again. For Kahaani though any such comparisons are futile since this one has a different milieu, setting and situation. However what you do expect to hear is a soundtrack that won’t compromise on the sound and would stay true to the film’s theme
If there was ‘Dilli‘ in No One Killed Jessica that had taken a fast-and-the-ferocious route exactly a year back, this time around it’s the turn of Kolkata to unleash ferocity in Kahaani. It’s the coming together of jazz, hard rock, R.D. Burman and Usha Uthup which makes ‘Aami Shotti Bolchi‘ as an experimental outing that should elevate the graph of the narrative in Kahaani. Though predominantly in Hindi, there are tidbits of Bengali and English thrown in as well by lyricist Vishal Dadlani to make ‘Aami Shotti Bolchi‘ a song that would go down well as the true theme song in the album.
‘Alaap’ at the beginning of ‘Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re‘ catches one’s attention because this is not really the territory that Vishal-Shekhar have been known for exploring. Alternating between the likes of Ra.One, The Dirty Picture and Anjaana Anjaani in recent times, each of which had an eye on contemporary urban or hardcore ‘masala’ style, they take a different route with ‘Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re‘ which is a fusion classical track with a good blend of Western and Indian sensibilities and treatment. Javed Bashir gives full justice to Sandeep Shrivastava’s rooted lyrics and despite this being a sad outing, he keeps the pitch up to make it a track that commands attention of the listener.
The song where one does get to hear Vishal-Shekhar for what they are known for most i.e. melody is the title song ‘Kahaani‘. A soft-n-smooth number where K.K. is just the right choice as a singer, ‘Kahaani‘ brings a certain ‘thehrav’ to the album and continues to add on variety to the proceedings. A special mention for Vishal Dadlani’s lyrics here that seamlessly blend the inner conflict of the protagonist with the setting of Kolkata that she is in, ‘Kahaani‘ goes well with the theme and mood of the very title of the film.
Going well with RD Burman’s style of composition as was evidenced in films coming from the house of Gulzar during the 70s and early 80s, ‘Kahaani‘ also sees another solo version by Shreya Ghoshal who is clearly relishing her times behind the mike. Rest assured, if Pancham would have composed this song, it would have fallen straight into the lap of Asha Bhonsle. With Vishal Dadlani as the additional vocalist, there is a sense of totality that sets in for the song.
Anvita Dutt writes ‘Tore Bina‘ which takes a listener back to the mood that had been created with ‘Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re‘ a while ago. Yet another track that one won’t necessarily associate with Vishal-Shekhar, this once again keeps the flag high for the album which is high on the quality quotient and offers one of the better theme based soundtracks in the recent times. Sukhwinder Singh also demonstrates once again that if and when he wants, he can truly break the shackles of being trapped in routine fun-masti-mazaa mode and can take a different route, as is the case here.
Last to arrive is Rabindranath Tagore’s legendary Bengali track ‘Ekla Chalo Re‘ that is rendered by Amitabh Bachchan. The actor who sparsely chooses his assignments as a singer and has made exceptions for Vishal-Shekhar (Aladin, Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap, Bhoothnath) in the past goes all sober and mild for ‘Ekla Cholo Re‘ which has been given a different spin by the composers. While the core spirit and movement of the song remains attached to its roots, it’s the arrangements along with English portions by Clinton Cerejo that bring on a flavour that would be go well with the today’s audience as well who haven’t been exposed to Tagore.
It would be sacrilege to compare Kahaani with other soundtracks that are borne out of hardcore commercial requirements and take an expected conventional route. Sujoy along with Vishal-Shekhar resist the temptation of straying away and instead stick to the core theme by coming up with a soundtrack that keeps it close to Kahaani across the album. While this means that from commercial standpoint it would have to rely on the movie’s theatrical run to make major impact in terms of physical sales/downloads, for the discerning audience who like their soundtrack to be meaningful as per the film’s requirement, it is a treat.
Kahaani, Aami Shotti Bolchi, Piya Tu Kaahe Rootha Re