This is a coming-of-age film with one new face and two one-film old actors. The title is a metaphor for one's oldest friends.
First, let us mention the factors that prevent the album from being far, far more appealing: one, the overdose of Ram Sampath as singer, and two, the overloud sound and raucous arrangements that take the charm away from good lyrics and the innate melody in the compositions in at least three of the seven tracks.
Make no mistake, Ram Sampath's tunes are almost always hum-worthy and simple, and his blend of old-world feel and contemporary musical feel is creditably quite effortless. But here, probably because of the youth quotient, he lets go and makes the sound a shade too loud, and the mixing a tad unbalanced as it part-suppresses the vocals, which as we know from huge experience in Hindi films, is a big no-no for a wide connect.
Also, the magic that KK's powerful yet soulful throw brings to the table in 'Dil Aaj Kal' could have also been exploited in 'Yaari Yaari' and the two-version 'Beetey Hue Din', both tracks in which this very gifted and expressive playback singer would have scored high, lifting the songs' audio values considerably. Ram Sampath's vocals are technically fine but lack the mellow appeal and composition-enhancing expertise of a professional singer, and KK is one of the best in the business.
Here's wishing that today's composers understand this when they self-(over)indulge, sheltering under the excuse that they know the nuances of their tune's expression best!
'Dil Aaj Kal' is one of the smoothest compositions I have heard of late, and the only song on the track that is wonderfully orchestrated. The lyrics by Prashant Ingole are impressive ('Hai hunar ek naya issko tujhse mila / Muskura ke yeh milta hai sabse abhi / Aadhi raaton mein mujhko yeh deta uthaa / Mujhse pooche yeh raatein kyun katti nahin'). If the first word 'dil', the common singer, and the oodles of soul here remind the listener of another KK masterpiece, 'Dil Kyoon Yeh Mera' from Kites, well, it's not Ram Sampath's fault!
The Sona Mohapatra version of this song, however, sounds very lame and tame in comparison, and the slower beat has nothing to do with this. Sona seems to be making an effort to fulfill the needs of this simple but demanding composition, and this detracts from the tune and lyrics, that also includes some nice riffs of the guitar.
'Beete Hue Din' has simple but poignant lyrics (Munna Dhiman) that create a strong whiff of nostalgia along with the strange mix of happiness and pathos in the tune. But though the tune is evolved, the treatment could have been changed. And while the Rock version is too loud, the Acoustic version gets too tepid. This may sound like nitpicking, but a midway-to-both treatment was needed, and one version would have been enough!
'Jind Meriye' (Navraj Hans-Ram Sampath) goes with today's trend of part-Punjabi lyrics in a sad song, along with a novel voice. And yet, the song scores high with its old-world feel, taking us back to the era of Laxmikant-Pyarelal-Anand Bakshi, when they would either create, or harness, Punjabi folk with deep intense melody and words. There is a welcome theheraav and the lack of fake Sufism in this lovely ditty, which strikes home despite there being nothing new in either words or music. Here again is where Ram Sampath is different and superior to the young breed.
'Out Of Control Mundey' (Mika-Deane Sequeira-Suzanne D'Mello, the most noisy (and noisome) track on this album, is a trendy (sic), brazenly cacophonous exercise with routine lyrics (Kunwar Juneja). While Mika's singing is as always as status quo (he must be the only leading singer whose range, if any, has never ever been explored!), the song could belong to just about any other film album, Grand Masti upwards!
The music is pleasant to listen, though as we said, the orchestration could have been "less conformist" – that is, less rock heavy. The score will need the support of a successful film to work, despite its merits.
'Dil Aaj Kal', 'Beete Hue Din', 'Jind Meriye'
Music: Ram Sampath
Lyrics: Ashish Pandit, Kunwar Juneja, Prashant Ingole & Munna Dhiman
Music Label: Eros Music