For the music of Paathshaala, producer Ahmed Khan and director Milind Ukey went with newcomer Hanif Shaikh, who not only composed all the songs, but wrote all the lyrics and lent his voice to some of the tracks as well. The story of Paathshaala is set at a children’s school and stars Nana Patekar, Ayesha Takia and Shahid Kapoor in an extended appearance. So, how did the newcomer do on his six tracks and four remixes? Did he make the singers and musicians shine and get an A+? Read on to see!
First on the album is the lovely Aye Khuda sung by Salim Merchant (yes, that Salim of Salim/Suleiman fame). It is a sweet sounding song and very Western in flavor. I especially loved the acoustic guitar line. Salim Merchant has a good tone and vocal quality. It does sound as if he is straining a bit in parts, but he settles down and overall it is a nice performance. The arrangement and the harmonies are a highlight. From the pretty beginning, the song transposes into a faster paced track with a great beat full of sound. Love the phrasing and how it is paced with the music. Some of the best sections are the instrumental “ahhh” sections. The song makes you want to see the movie to see what will be happening in the scene. This is definitely one that you will play again.
The remix is quite good too, and takes the sweetness of the song and translates it to a faster paced electronica version that is a nice listen. I really liked the synth beats that they added. The mix retains the vocals of Salim Merchant and actually he does not sound as strained on this version. I would say that the whole thing repeats too much, but overall would recommend you give this one a listen, too.
I really loved the beginning wicked groove in Paathshaala (Khushnuma), even with the English lyrics. The music in the next section is a bit odd and sounds out there with its electronic sounds that don’t really match to Vishal Dadlani’s great vocals. Vishal is not only a great composer in his own right, he has a fabulous voice and it fits well to the song overall. Fortunately, the distracting extra sounds fade and the song changes again to a very nice, if generic, modern beat. There is a very cool refrain that has these staccato sounds along with the Paathshaala phrase, which is a nice addition. The lyrics are repeated too many times and get a bit tedious. The song ends with a fabulous set by Vishal that really shows off his voice. The track is okay, not great but not bad. I think it needed something more in both lyrics and music to make it great.
Bekara is already creating a rage with fans with the song promo picturised on Shahid Kapoor. The mixture of Lucky Ali’s vocals and Shahid is just too good. Lucky Ali has a terrific voice, with such a vibrant sound to his vocals, but it did feel like in parts he was fighting with the back music. Still I love this song, especially the Bekaraar lyrical phrase. The music is nicely layered with a great acoustic guitar line. This is one you will replay again and again. It certainly lived up to the minute teaser. Fab music plus terrif vocal equals awesome song!
I was worried about the remix for this song because it doesn’t seem like it would lend itself to change. I did not enjoy it, but if I had heard it before the original I would have liked it better. It has a completely different club feel and it has some great synth beats that are composed very well. But if you love the original give this a skip.
Mujhe Teri has a country flavor to the music at the start with a super acoustic guitar line. It is sung prettily by Tulsi Kumar, who has a breathless quality to her vocals that really works on this song. Hanif Shaikh has a fine voice with a little rough vibe that balanced nicely with Tulsi’s vocals. The basic back beat got a little tiring even with the extra instrumental lines and rock guitar riff. Throughout there was a very nice harmony in the voices. I did not think that the lyric phrasing matched the beat in all of the song, but it was okay. Again a nice song but not something I want to hear over and over. I have a feeling this one will grow on you and become more personal once it is seen in the context of the film.
I really liked this remix of Mujhe Teri; it has a totally different sound and feeling and it works. I may like it better than the original or at least it is a tie. Give it a shot – it has some great vocals, mixes and the added beats makes it a very good track.
The flute in the beginning of Teri Marzi (Aye Khuda) is lilting and light and so pretty. This is the only song on the soundtrack that has a real Indian feel to it and I love the beat. Kalish Kher is at his wailing best, and I mean that completely as a compliment. I love his voice and how much feeling he puts into every note. The music is wonderfully composed and arranged with many layers of sound that are mixed very nicely. This another favorite track on the album and one you should move to your “Bollylist of fab songs” right away.
This is another song I did not think would be a good track for a remix and I was right. Why, WHY do they insist on doing this?? They just added the standard electronic-synth beats and sped it up. Just hit next and go on.
The Paathshaala Theme starts off very simply with a harmonica and guitar and you think aww, sweet, but then it changes, and how! It becomes a full on jumpin’ electronica track with a very catchy beat. Add in an energetic children’s choir and Hanif Shaikh and you have Paathshaala. Definitely a more situational track, it will be interesting to see how it ends up in the film. Full marks go to the arrangement, the kids and the beat. Watch out, it will go through your head after just one listen.
Overall, Hanif put together a very good album that shows great potential. I think once his talent is developed and honed a bit more, his work will be even better.I would easily give this album a 3 for ‘Teri Marzi’, ‘Bekaraar’ and the other songs are good too; there really are no bad songs here. I say get the CD and give it a spin! This will hold you over until the film releases on April 16th!