Siddharth. Why is he special?
Well for starters, he starred in one of the past decade's mega block buster: Rang De Basanti. A job at which he excelled. It feels good to say that Siddharth is back in black, not only as the main star of a movie, but also its album producer!
Yes sir, Mr. Siddharth is the musical honcho behind the Striker album.
What kind of expectations were to be held of an album like Striker? To begin with, it was not a mainstream Bollywood album at all, as was true about the movie itself. Which is one of the reasons we at BollyCurry did not give it our prompt attention and bring out this music review anytime earlier. However, the reviewer of this article seems to think otherwise, and so here we are, belately, even if!
Some singers in there are among those that we are accustomed to. But the album is unique because it has a total of six composers at its helm. You'd think, we've heard compilation albums before, what's so special about this one?
Call us biased or don't, but Striker is a compilation album that works, because all songs sound like they are from the same album, as they should. The songs correlate, and connect theme-wise. You'll know what we mean if you've heard those tracks!
A rhythmic and soft percussion sound opens up a way for Sunidhi Chauhan's voice to open a song with the words Piya Saanvara, which happen to be the title of the song. Composed by Shailendra Barve, and mostly comprising of a constant slow tempo, which requires Sunidhi to sing it in an accordingly soft voice. The lyrics are sweet, the tune and tempo are settling, but this song doesn't particularly stand out in the album.
The song is special, being the only female-sung number of the album, but one would hope that the video for this song would increase its appeal.
Then we have a song with a mysterious intro. It's the sound of a very light acoustic rhythm, and a background percussion that is like the sound created when knocking your knuckles against the guitar wood. So far, so good. The melody then ventures into a very new-age-esque sound, with Vishal Bharadwaj on vocals, and Gulzar at that of the lyrics. The title of this song is Aur Phir Yun Hua , and yes, this is a Vishal Bharadwaj creation, and a beautiful one, if we may say so. It's just the sweet and serene sentiment that the song brings about with itself. It has a very comforting aura, and the lyrics are easily appreciable for their simplicity. Go for this one!
Yuvan Shankar Raja is a name that we may not hear often in Bollywood, but is a major popularity down south. He's a popular music director who has also contributed in Striker, by composing the next song, Haq Se. The track is an interesting piece of work, because the tune of it isn't the kind you can take with you and hum as you walk along a cheery footpath. The song mostly consists of a silent and emphasized beat, with Yuvan Shankar Raja's voice and Siddharth's own in accompaniment, containing a few elements of Amit Trivedi's from certain songs of Dev.D. This song definitely feels like a situational one, which is certainly best heard befitting the movie scenes it was created for.
Blaaze.. what comes to mind when we hear this name? Well for us, we instantly think- 'A.R. Rahman's favorite rapper'. Right, well in this scenario, Mr. Blaaze has actually directed AND rapped for a track! It's called Aim Laga, Ungli Chala, and is, as anticipated, a very fast-paced, underworld-ish song. The best part of it has to be the intro, in which a very interesting percussion piece is played. Actually, it's not completely percussion, but I have no idea how to get into the technicalities. Make sure to catch this song, especially for the intro! Let it enthrall you.
There is also a remix version, called Aim Laga, Ungli Chala (Ricksha Mix). If anything at all, this version makes the song more dance-friendly, consequently a popularly adopted version in various clubs.
We at BollyCuryy have come to believe that there's always one angel song in every album. The one which makes buying the album a perfect deal! The angel song for Striker happens to be Cham Cham Jaani Raatein. What makes it so beautiful? Could it be the lyrics, written by Jitendra Joshi? It could be. Lines like, "Ujla ujla sa ye tan, jaise mehka ho chandan Khwabon mein teri guzrein, mera yeh saara jeevan" definitely linger on. Or maybe it's Sonu Nigam's fantastic rendition, which seems to emerge from the pit of his soul. Or maybe it's just a right amalgamation of all that, intricately directed by music director Shailendra Barve. Who knows what it is? All we care about is that thing one makes Striker a must-buy album.
Swanand Kirkire is a name we've heard more. He's done songs that we've loved from Parineeta and Khoya Khoya Chand! It appears again, his name, after those of the singer and music director for the next song, called Ajab Teri Karni Maula. A very folk number, rustic at that. This is why it is hard to review track from a commercial standpoint. But if it's just the song's quality we're to look at, then boss, this song is chockfull. Wonderful vocals and lyrics by Swanand Kirkire himself, and a wonderful-er background score, which has a very constant beat that you can instantly latch yourself with! One of those 'how-do-i-care-what-genre-as-long-as-it-makes-me-merry' tracks for sure!
And now we're onto the last, called Bombay Bombay. Yes, there is a reason for why this song was saved to be the last: It's directed by one of the reviewer's favorite music directors, Amit Trivedi. So yes, biased I certainly am! The track is an interesting hear, especially because Siddharth sings it himself! It has a very Bombay soul, which, in a nutshell, describes the lives of newcomers to Mumbai and all the extremities they face. Once again, Amit Trivedi gets an F in disappointing. He delivers, AGAIN! Definitely recommended.
So there you have it guys! Striker is a collection of some extremely must-have tracks, and I believe that it's USP is its shock factor, one could call it so. It's just so different, is definitely nothing like you've heard before and yet something that settles in to makes it own spot!
Our Rating: * * * [3.5 stars]