Chikni Chameli might be running on high rotation on radio and TV channels but Agneepath is packed with five more songs exhibiting Ajay- Atul’s dexterity, finds Anita Iyer
1990. Produced by Yash Johar, the original Agneepath had three songs composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. Fast forward to 2012 and Dharma Production’s remake of the cult movie has six tracks composed by National award winners Ajay- Atul Gogavale.
Although an action film essentially, the remake provided ample scope for music with six tracks, asserts Atul. “I would say the sound of the album is very cinematic. Agneepath is a cult movie and you need to maintain that grandeur in the remake – you can’t play with loops or samples.”
Busy working on the background score of the film, slated to release on Jan 26, Atul insists that he wants Deva Shree Ganesha to be the representative song of the album rather than Chikni Chameli.
Sung by Ajay Gogavale, the composers rely on their core territory – the Maharashtrian feel with heavy dhols and percussion to create a grand aura. Needless to say, the trick certainly works. For recording the acoustics, 40 dhol players from Nashik were summoned at Yashraj Studios in Mumbai apart from the string, viola, tabla and bass sections. Keyboards cannot emulate what the presence of 40 souls playing in a studio can, he insists.
Going through the album, what strikes you is the varied choice of singers roped in, right from Roop Kumar Rathod to Udit Narayan and Anand Raj Anand to name a few. O Saiyaan provides aural pleasure with extensive string section, piano and table weaved wonderfully. Teaming it with Roop Kumar Rathod’s baritone voice makes it a priceless catch.
In Gun Gun Guna, the duo exploits the weighty dhols again. Saving the item song Chikni Chameli for Shreya Ghoshal, Gun Gun Guna has Sunidhi Chauhan lend her vocals with élan but the surprising element in the track is Udit Narayan’s entry in the fag end. Appearing less than a minute in the track, he leaves a lasting impression. It is sad that we don’t get to hear this gifted singer more often.
Equally refreshing is Sonu Nigam’s rendition of Abhi Mujhe Mein, who has been singing sparsely in the past few years. Based essentially on piano, this track again boosts of excellent string section and santoor. The singer- composers get together for this one after their debut album Gayab in 2004. Apparently, Nigam was not content with his first recording and sprung up at 2 am to re-record the track. The composer narrates, “We were exhausted recording the instrumentals the whole day and received a call around midnight from him asking if he could come down to our studio. Knowing that it would be late by the time we wind up, we were not keen on recording that night. He, however, turned up at our studio and went behind the mic at 2 am. We wound up by 3.30 am and he sounds much better than the earlier one.”
Moving ahead, one promising pick from the album is Shah Ka Rutba, tightly worded by Amitabh Bhattacharya and based on rabab and claps – reminding us of the qawallis from the 70s like Purdah Hai Purdah, Yaari Hai Imaan and the likes. Robust voices of Sukhwinder Singh, Anand Raj Anand (for Rishi Kapoor) and Krishna offer the qawalli flair to the track. It would be interesting to see how this situational song is picturised in the film. Atul is all praises for Amitabh Bhattacharya’s authentic Urdu lyrics in this one and considers his best in the album. Bhatacharya showcased his versatility last year with variety of songs in his sleeve from Delhi Belly’s D K Bose to No One Killed Jessica and Band Baaja Baarat to Chikni Chameli now.
As the first teaser of Chikni Chameli was released, music critics started pouring their comments in the web space. Liked by a handful, the composers were knocked by many for borrowing the tune from their earlier composition Kombi Palali from Jatra. “The knack with recreating a track in different language is the lyrics. Lyrics of the original song are imprinted on our minds and if the translated ones don’t have that feel, the song is not accepted by the listeners. That was our worry with Chikni but Amitabh gave interesting rhyming to it.”