There was a time when I used to feel Vishal Shekhar (hereafter referred at times as VS) are the hope for hindi film music. Then so many similar soundtracks happened and it all faded away. I was (Still am) vocal of their ‘same sound’. The soundtrack of ‘Kahaani’ gives me a gentle punch by showcasing the excellent variety of this musical duo. Happy to be proved wrong!

The album starts off like a oriental music concert soon accompanied by quick piano play….Usha Uthup swings in to let us know why kolkata is a land of contradictions with lots of activity…yet static! Amidst the 1970s music just before the first antaraa u cant help but notice that this is a character in itself, this song. Has to be a background piece and i wish it happens. The fierce vocals that accompany usha uthup appear intrusive at first but soon you realise that u are humming the song with them. One would expect Vishal to be the one ‘shouting’ in this song but surprise surprise!! It is Shekhar. VS appear serious to change their ‘sound’ of music (thankfully!)

So Aami Shotti Bolchi, all and all a good song. Won’t be a chartbuster for long but you will come out of the picture hall, humming this song. Yep.

Javed bashir starts of this song with a mix of alaap and a bengali music setting. Soon after aggressive guitars take over and javed breaks it off with piya tu kahey rootha rey. Excellent lyrics! Yet again ‘police siren like sound’ and the ‘lane-by-lane’ sort of turns in the setting hint that this is also a song that will further the narrative and not stall it. Vishal shekhar have kept it in mind that they will have to sound different and thats evident by their choice of singer in this song. They could have used someone else. May be Tochi raina….but then they opted for Javed bashir. Good choice. Still i didnt like the song. May be you will. Definitely worth listening to once at least. The only thing i loved in this song is when it ends and how it ends, leaving the superlative Calcutta in your ears! Kudos VS !

KahaaniVishal starts off this sing by calling out (in a manner that is trademark of a typical saleem suleman composition…..shukran allah, songs of fanaa and so many others!). Again, you would associate Shekhar with a soulful ‘call’ but then it’s Vishal here! A very pleasant role reversal. The difference being vishal looks content with being in background (Unlike Saleem in most cases). Melodiousy so. KK o my dear dear KK! How we love you like this (sans any ‘wooo hooo and all that’). The song belongs to KK and how! The song is easy on ears and reflective on the soul. The song couldn’t have achieved half of what it has if vishal wasnt accompanying KK. My pick of the abum…this! (How can you not notice the flute especially towards the end of the song…literally hugging the vocals of KK)

Tore bina – Superb beginning, very folkish. Guitar accompanies and launches the song in a very ‘cokestudio india’ fashion with Sukhwinder going behind the microphone. Adorable lyrics. Yet the problem that i have with this song is that it comes across as very ‘instrument heavy’ and the voice, the strong voice of Sukhwinder feels caged amidst all this. I would have preferred an almost ‘unplugged’ version of this song to this one. If you argue that this song is melodious in parts, i will agree and will gently point that the ‘melodious’ parts are those where the music setting is relatively quieter and is giving sukhwinder a chance to sing. Good song. Could have been so much more.

The unplugged version of kahaani by Shreya ghosal starts off again with Vishal who is sounding more in the lead because of a minimalistic music arrangement. Melodious no doubt. Shreya ghosal has sung such type of songs so many times so it doesnt come as a surprise when she effortlessly pulls this song well. A very ‘by the campfire’ version. Thumbs up!

Ekla cholo re – A composition weaved around the poetry of Shri Rabindranath Tagore with THE BIG B behind the microphone. The song starts on a contemporary tone with THE BIG B making an entry flamboyantly and arresting your attention in the process. Towards the end this song gets hindi words wich also sound very good. The Only problem (nitpicking) that i have is that at times the chorus is forced and is loud. May be the situation demands it like that still i didnt like it.

Special mention of the lyrics by Anvita dutt and Vishal. (Excellent use of the word ‘tram’ in the song kahaani)

Will you hum the songs 2 months after its release?

Barring kahaani and aami shatti bolchee dont see any other song lasting long.

Will You enjoy the songs when they appear in the movie?

I guess so

And thats what counts in OSTs

Hai na?

Overall a 3.50/5.00 because of the super effort by VS. was fed up listening to the same tunes and same setting. This is a breeze of fresh air and a fantastic ode to Kolkatta..nah!! Calcutta!

My picks – Kahaani (KK version), Aami Shotti Bolchi, Ekla cholo re, Kahaani (Shreya) 

And Your picks are….?

Image credit – @P1j or as we know him…Hindi cinema encyclopedia