Shandilya scores melodiously well
By MovieTalkies.com, 06 April 2007
This album is a surprise. The film 'Big Brother' belongs to the action genre and one doesn't really expect much in terms of music, at least, from the album. But the soundtrack of 'Big Brother' proves one wrong. And it does it in the most pleasing manner. The music is different. It is melodious for a change and composer Sandesh Shandilya, along with guest composer Anand Raj Anand, does a very creditable job of giving variety. All the tracks in the song are different. Shandilya has explored all genres of Hindi film music and has given a score which calls for repeated hearing.
'Big Brother's' album opens with a number called 'Piya' rendered by Shreya Ghoshal, Ustad Sultan Khan and Kunal Ganjawala. This number is a delight. It is a love song and has been rendered most beautifully by Shreya. She is almost flawless. Sultan Khan joins in towards the middle of the composition and adds to its flavour. The real surprise is Ganjawala, who sounds so different in this number. His does away with his usual style and suitably modulates his voice to suit the needs of the song. One would have expected his voice to have been the odd one out, but he fits in seamlessly with Shreya and the Ustad, making this a truly memorable number. It has everything that one would want from a romantic number—sensitive lyrics (Anil Pandey), melodious track and soft rendition. Shandilya gets all the ingredients right with 'Piya.'
The surprise continues with the next number, 'Jag lal lal lal lal' rendered by Ustad Sultan Khan again. This is a solo number. Written by Pandey again, this is in the quwali tradition and the Ustad's voice gives it that vintage feel as well. A renowned sarangi player, Sultan Khan needs no introduction to music lovers. And after 'Piya Basanti' and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,' his voice too needs no introduction. His is a voice soaked in vinatage wine and has the quality of transporting you into another world. That's what the best of music does. 'Jag lal' has the same mesmerizing quality about it. This number appears thrice in the album. The first is the solo by Sultan Khan. The second is a version by Zubin Garg and third time the number is sung by the two of them together. All three version have quite the same quality to them. Zubin excels as well in his rendition.
Like we said in the beginning, this is an album of surprises. Every composition gives you something which you didn't expect. There is no room for clichéd responses here. Sunidhi Chauhan has sung many an item number and done a very good of it too. But the item number that she sings for Shandilya in this album, 'Baalam Tera Nakhra,' belongs to the same genre and yet is different. One can feel the effort that the singer has made to sound truly authentic. Her voice is, of course, her biggest asset. She uses her husky, deep-throated vocals to the best in the song. Her entry into the composition is truly remarkable. The way she sings the first word of the song, 'Baalam' has the hallmark of a seasoned thumri artiste. She goes on to lend authenticity to the song with her enunciation as well. Shandilya experiments with sounds in this so-called 'traditional number' as well. He manages a fantastic fusion of jazz and Indian classical in this track and gets away with it. The fusion does not take away from the track's old world charm but seems to enhance it.
The genre of devotional music too is given a contemporary twist by Shandilya in the next track 'Jeevan Tumne Diya Hai.' Sung by Udit Narayan Alka Yagnik, Roop Kumar Rathod and Sadhana Sargam, this number takes you back to the good old days of Hindi cinema when we had these devotional songs backed by an orchestra. The singers are all veterans and they do a very good job with this number.
The album ends with a traditional Punjabi number, composed and sung by Anand Raj Anand along with Jaspinder Narula. 'Lak Tunu Tunu' is probably the only weak link in this album. The song has nothing new to offer. In fact it faces the danger of sounding a little dated. While that was an asset with numbers like 'Jeevan Tumne Diya Hai' earlier in the album, it doesn't quite work for this number.
Sandesh Shandilya succeeds in creating some melodic gems in this album. It is worth a hear if just for 'Piya' and 'Jag Lal'. The songs probably may never make it to the Top 10 list anywhere, but that would be a comment on the Top 10 list and not on the composer's musical merit. He comes out tops in this album.