It is a tough task to put together a theme-based soundtrack for a film and make it interesting and entertaining enough to find an audience. Amit Trivedi and Shellee make it happen with Udta Punjab, writes Aelina Kapoor
There was a time when every Shahid Kapoor film was embellished with a chartbuster soundtrack. Even in movies like Phata Poster Nikhla Hero and R... Rajkumar, tapori songs led the way.
However, he took a different route with films like Haider and Shaandaar, where the music was a mixed bag.
Now that he is playing a rapper in Udta Punjab, there are expectations that composer Amit Trivedi and lyricist Shellee will come up with something exciting.
There is an eclectic sound that begins the proceedings for Udta Punjab, what with Babu Haabi kick-starting the soundtrack with a rap portion that is highly intoxicating. It makes sense too and, since there is a mention of weed right at the start, one gets a hint of how the song will unfold.
Never mind the brief pause after the first minute that makes you wonder if Chull (Kapoor & Sons) will arrive out of nowhere, Chitta Ve manages to keep it intact as Shahid Mallya and Bhanu Pratap take care of the song for the rest of its duration.
It is remarkable hear Kanika Kapoor sing Da da dasse; she sounds so different from her chartbuster item numbers. The credit must go to Amit Trivedi for creating the kind of composition that gives her something different to munch on.
Babu Haabi's rap portion is smartly interspersed within the song, giving it a nice mix.
The late Shiv Kumar Batalvi had written a poem titled Ikk Kudi, which now finds itself in a movie. Amit Trivedi ropes in Shahid Mallya and Diljit Dosanjh respectively for a solo version each.
From the fast pace Udta Punjab has taken so far, it is time for the proceedings to get a tad relaxed. Unfortunately, this slows down the pace of the soundtrack as well and one ends up missing the euphoria that is actually expected from the film.
Thankfully, guest lyricist Varun Grover's work in the title song, Ud-daa Punjab, enhances the momentum and brings the album back on track.
Right from the rhythm, to the pace to the composition, to the singing by Vishal Dadlani and Amit Trivedi… everything fits in well. In fact, you don't really expect rap portions in this song, especially after the way it starts. However, it is most welcome along with the dhol. Good fun!
For those hunting for a qawwali in the middle of this all, there is Hass nach le, sung exceedingly well by Shahid Mallya. This one is pure, melodious, spiritual. It makes you want to close your eyes and listen to it in solitude. Shellee's lyrics are superb.
You'll end up playing this one on repeat mode.
The album concludes with Vadiya and composer Amit Trivedi – who has sung the song too -- reserves the best for last.
Vadiya has a psychedelic sound to it and one could expect to hear this song playing when Shahid is shown in a doped state during the film's narrative. The visuals should pretty much do the trick in this song, which is a fitting finale to a soundtrack that has its base in the drug problem of Punjab.
It is a tough task to put together a theme-based soundtrack for a film and make it interesting and entertaining enough to find an audience. Amit Trivedi and Shellee make it happen with Udta Punjab.