One of the most anticipated releases of 2013 is Kapil Sharma’s “I, Me aur Main” starring John Abraham, Chitrangada Singh, and Prachi Desai in the lead. Bollywood loves a “man-child coming of age story” and this time it’s Abraham who has to learn of true love from the many women that he’s upset and taken for granted, through his resourceful neighbour Desai. The music is a mixed bag of tracks from four different music directors, Sachin and Jigar, Falak Shabir, Gaurav Dasgupta, and Raghav Sachar. This makes for an interesting album in comparing the varying styles where the results vary.
Starting off with a remake of the Chalbaaz hit, Naa Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai, but to suit the sexy boy of the film and it’s completely addictive. Starting with the iconic melody and launching into the English verses, Sachin and Jigar’s track manages to pep up the mood and keep you engaged. The wonderful Neeraj Shridhar is in his element and sounds smooth as he conveys the hero’s flirty nature. However, it’s Anushka Manchanda’s fabulous vocals that keep the chorus as the welcome earworm since the song is already making waves with its promo. The arrangements are funky and get you in a dancing mood. It’s another example of redoing a classic song, without losing the inherent melody and adding some modern touches that aren’t too overwhelming. Keep this one on repeat.
Next up is the soulful Saajna, which is Falak Shabir’s outing as singer and music director. It’s a lovely track that transcends its situational appeal (likely to be in the moments when our hero is spiraling down) as the lyrics are potent and very eloquent. Though the song sounds like the typical Sufi songs, we hear in Vishesh films, Shabir ensures that it’s the lyrics and arrangements that make that tiny difference. The lyrics convey all that regret and yearning for a love that you’ve lost, and Shabir’s emotive vocals enhance this beautiful ballad. It helps that the music complements the feel of the song, with an acoustic guitar riff and a backing chorus that work seamlessly. The Unplugged version is one of my favourites on the album, because it lets Shabir showcase his poignant vocals. He slows down the tempo and lets the listener savour the experience.
Next is the middling Cappuccino, which is by Sachin and Jigar and check off the lists of things you need for hero-introduction songs. There’s the quirky lyrics, “Cappuccino mein haseeno ne De diya hai dil khol kar yeah” and the funky vocals of Abhishek Nehwal who sounds like he’s having tons of fun with the energy of the track. However, the track’s Celtic sound has its indebtedness to Dropkick Murphey’s “I’m Shipping Off to Boston” which was the thumping theme for Scorsese’s The Departed. These interludes are quite jarring but if you can forgive that then Cappuccino is a salvageable attempt at humour and fun with this standard number. Try this one out.
Another favourite is finding the versatility in Monali Thakur’s vocals for Darbadar, which are Sachin and Jigar at their best. Thakur sounds equally adept in the racier item numbers, but transforms wonderfully for this classical number. Her usually pitchy voice is toned down and she invests the right amount of verve and energy for this track. The arrangements right from the opening ektara and piano, to the energetic qawalli parts with the tabla and sitar during the bridge, it’s just beautiful and may just make it on your most played list this week. It is tracks like these that reveal the innate artistry behind a Sachin and Jigar song where everything comes together in rewarding fashion. Keep this on repeat!
Meri Jaaniye is the complete romantic number, but much too cheesy. However it sounds dreamy in places its likeable guitar melody. The arrangements are top notch but they do get a bit too much during the bridge. It’s primarily Monali Thakur and Shaan who save this track with their efficient and precise vocals. However, it’s the schmaltzy and repetitive lyrics that don’t work.
The last track is Nasha Nasha, which was already featured in the film Daddy Cool from a few years back. This one is by Raghav Sachar, who makes this the perfunctory club number with its funky beats, Hinglish verses, and more cowbell! Yet, one good thing is hearing Neha Bhasin, who adds the attitude and swagger to this track. Perhaps the inclusion is for us to reconsider, but just listen to it for Bhasin and hope that she better songs than this.
I, Me aur Main was a fun album with more hits than misses, and was a pleasant listen for the varied styles that the four music directors offered. The big tracks are already winning praise and favour, and are bound to last after the release. Yet, this was a good effort on all counts.