Films from the Bhatt camp are known for their strong soundtracks, with the songs that are picturised on Bhatt favourite Emraan Hashmi continuing to prove especially enduring.
With frequent collaborator Pritam seemingly booked solid, and with Anu Malik – who gave the superhit soundtrack to the first Murder film several years back – rumoured to have turned down the gig for music-directing the sequel, this time round a group of fresh up and coming composers: (Harshit Saxena, Sangeet & Siddharth Haldipur, Mithoon) have a chance to make an impression on the industry.
But how do the songs from the forthcoming thriller Murder 2 hold up against some of the memorable melodies to come from the Bhatt camp in the past?
The album opens with Haal E Dil – a romantic pop/rock track very much in the Bhatt film vein. Stirring, lushly orchestrated and dare I say it, epic in tone, it’s a great opening – dramatic, yearning and a touch melancholy. Singer Harshit Saxena does a decent job of what is essentially a generic pop ballad – but this will be popular. I love these kinds of songs that evoke a specific mood. There’s also an acoustic version of this song – foregrounding Saxena’s vocals and stripping the song of the soaring choruses and much of the pop/rock feel – though it manages to still rock out pretty hard.
Aa Zara has Sunidhi Chauhan sounding her most breathlessly sensual – but vocal delivery aside, I feel like I’ve heard this song before. A steamy sounding, vaguely repetitive nightclub number, with rhythmic grinding guitar, I honestly can’t think of much else interesting to say about it. I have the feeling this one is about the picturisation more than the song anyway. The “Reloaded” version amps up the beats per minute and the synth, making the song dance floor friendly and actually, a lot more interesting – a rare case of the remix being better than the original.
The double whammy of Aye Khuda and Phir Mohabbat comprise the album’s undeniable highlights – these two tracks were composed by Mithoon and are absolutely sublime. Aye Khuda is a powerful, rock-influenced, soul-filled devotional track that takes some spiralling and surprising twists and turns in its impressive, touching melody. Vocals are handled by Mithoon himself along with Kshitij Tarey and Saim Bhat, and the interplay and contrast between the three voices is something that keeps me playing this dramatic, emotionally stirring track. The remix is an alternate, uptempo take, no less dramatic or gripping to listen to.
Phir Mohabbat – the second of Mithoon’s contributions to the album – is a downbeat, near acoustic love song, sung with deep emotion by Mohd. Irfan. The sparse instrumentation, a near hypnotic beat, the melancholy, emotional tone and the quality of the singer’s voice mean this is a deeply absorbing track.
Final track Tujkho Bulaana is somewhat disappointing – it has a generic pop beat and repetitive vocals, and feels old fashioned (but not in a good, celebrating retro way). This could be any “party pop song” from any generic 90s-ish B-film, and that’s a shame – singers Sangeet Haldipur and Roshni Baptist are clearly pouring their energy into the
track but it feels mediocre.
All up – the Murder 2 soundtrack is pretty hit and miss, but mostly miss. With one absolute stand out track: Aye Khuda and another that will probably be a decent hit: Haal E Dil, the rest of the album ends up being sadly mediocre – a shame when usually, the Bhatts can be counted on for great soundtracks.