The Hindu listens to the soundtracks of Fanney Khan and Mulk.
The six-track album has been composed by Amit Trivedi with lyrics by Irshad Kamil and Hasrat Jaipuri. Guest composer Tanishk Bagchi’s solo offering of the album is ‘Mohabbat’, a decent listen, that is entirely singer Sunidhi Chauhan’s show. So while Bagchi creates an original song, lead composer Amit Trivedi does the recreation this time. The latter adapts Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Yeh Jo Halka Halka’. Incidentally, there’s been another rendition of the track, as ‘Chale jaise hawaien’ from Main Hoon Na (2004).
Even though Trivedi creates an original refrain, we’ve heard better adaptations from him in the past and this is pretty ordinary. Once again, it is Chauhan and Divya Kumar’s singing that elevates the track.
Although I was hoping to hear Kishore Sodha’s trumpet throughout the album, it solely features on ‘Tere Jaisa Tu Hai’ . And it is indeed Sodha’s work that is the highlight of the inspirational piece, particularly owning the soaring segments. The rock-infused song otherwise is reminiscent of Trivedi’s older work. And Monali Thakur manages to stand her ground while negotiating the high notes. But the singer sounds much more in her element performing the chirpy folk ‘Fu Bai Fu’ featuring lyrics that are direct movie and song references. For instance, Kamil slyly references one of his own with ‘Heer Hui Sad Usey Lag Gayi Loo’. Trivedi himself gets behind the mic for ‘Achche Din’, a song that once again is awash with déjà vu inducing elements, but has a tenderness that appeals. And the song’s arrangement has one key redeeming aspect in the form of Inapakurti D Rao’s clarinet that beautifully shadows the singing almost throughout the song.
In terms of quantity, 2018 has been the busiest year for Trivedi. However, in terms of quality, the man is going through not-so achche din right now
While the trailer of Mulk has been a sombre one with mere fleeting shots of happy moments, the ratio is reversed when it comes to the film’s music. Two of the three songs in the soundtrack are upbeat ones. The one melancholic track, ‘Khudara’, comes from Prasad Sashte, a long-time music producer who has now become a composer. On some level, it it’s evocative of ‘Bhare Naina’ from Mulk director Anubhav Sinha’s previous films, Ra.One. It’s rendered by Vishal Dadlani who incidentally co-composed the Ra.One track. Sashte splendidly makes the best of Dadlani’s vocal skills both in terms of scale and nuances. The composer delivers equally well in his other song, the playful celebratory ‘Thenge Se’ where he and lyricist Shakeel Azmi (who’s penned the whole album) cleverly incorporate references to O.P. Nayyar-S.H. Bihari’s ‘ Kajra Mohabbat Wala’ ( Kismat , 1968). While Sunidhi Chauhan and Swanand Kirkire handle the song in the perfect spirit with Suvarna Tiwari’s backing, Sashte’s arrangement sees lovely use of Amit Padhye’s harmonium and Tapas Roy’s mandolin.
The third and final song comes from Anurag Saikia (in his third multi-composer effort this year) which is a qawwali titled ‘Piya Samaye’. The arrangement is understandably standard here for most part. But the composer has a pretty engaging — if mildly familiar — melody as well in place, and gets a competent set of singers to deliver it with finesse — Shafqat Amanat Ali, Arshad Hussain and his team.
Given that it comes from a bunch of low-profile names, Mulk ’s soundtrack definitely exceeds expectations. And I really hope Anurag Saikia gets his own soundtrack at some point.