As far as I can recollect, there has never been a film based on the musical instrument 'banjo'. Hence, when a film comes with this title, it is prudent that 'banjo' plays a good part in the entire soundtrack. Vishal- Shekhar are ropes in to make this possible for the Riteish Deshmukh starrer and Amitabh Bhattacharya writes the lyrics. It is good to see a single team coming together for this so one expects certain consistency in the sound.
There is a definite 80s touch to the manner in which 'banjo' is played right at the beginning of 'Bappa'. Expect this one to be quite popular on Ganesh Chaturthi not just this year but in years to follow as well. Vishal Dadlani brings on good ferocity to the manner in which he goes about singing this devotional number with a contemporary touch to it. The 'dhol' beats are just right too and the presence of 'banjo' right through the song makes it all the more exciting.
It is time to go subtly romantic with an inherent sweetness in 'Udan Choo'. The manner in which the song begins, you are reminded of a Mexican style with a touch of Raj Kapoor to it. What makes the song sound quite different from what is currently on the stands is the voice of Hriday Gattani which is sweet, simple and soulful. As the song proceeds, there is all the more influence of Shankar-Jaikishan in there, which brings in retro appeal to this smoothing sailing track.
The song that follows too has a celebratory feel to it as Vishal Dadlani and Nakash Aziz come together for second straight song in succession – 'Pee Paa Ke'. While there have been 'daaru' and 'talli' songs in abundance for last 3-4 years, this one at least makes an effort to be different. All of that happens due to signature musical style of Vishal-Shekhar which makes it mark here as well. In fact this is also one of those songs in Banjo where Vishal-Shekhar pay homage to R.D. Burman all over again. That said, they could have well done away with the rap portion which comes across as rather interrupting.
With all the fun and celebration for a good part of the album, the song that follows, 'Rehmo Karam', brings the pace down drastically. Ajay Gogavale [of composers Ajay-Atul fame] comes behind the mike for the song which has a typical feel of being put together for the middle part of the film's second half. A sad song about having a conversation with God, this one is strictly situational and that's about it.
The soundtrack concludes with 'Om Ganapataye Namaha Deva' and Banjo could well be one of those rare instances where two male singers have come together for half the album. This happens here with Vishal Dadlani and Nakash Aziz pairing up yet again. This one isn't devotional in the true sense and gives an impression of being created for a concert situation where Riteish Deshmukh is on his own and is missing Nargis Fakhri who has set him up for good success but is currently not the scene.
Banjo is a largely situational soundtrack though even in that aspect it brings on at least 3-4 tracks that manage to leave a good mark. Along with the film's narrative, the music should really accentuate the overall appeal.
‘Bappa’, ‘Udan Choo’, ‘Rada’